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Arsenal 16:00 Man City

Usmanov has Arsenal doubts

Red & White Holdings to keep situation under 'close review '

Last Updated: 08/07/09 6:01pm

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Usmanov: Has doubts

Usmanov: Has doubts

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Arsenal's second-largest stakeholder Alisher Usmanov still has doubts as to whether the club have enough capital to support manager Arsene Wenger.

The Russian businessman's proposal for a rights issue of new shares to generate cash for new signings has been rejected by the Gunners' board.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis explained on Wednesday that the proposal by Red & White Holdings, Usmanov's company, was turned down because the board did not want to use "permanent capital in an inflated transfer market".

In response, Red & White issued a statement saying: "Based on financial information that only they have, the board have informed us that they are confident they have adequate financial resources to support the manager to strengthen the squad, to weather the property downturn, to renegotiate the Highbury Square loan on good terms and to deal with the continuing difficult economic conditions.

"We do not share their view but are prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

Close review

"However, we will keep the situation under close review and remain committed on behalf of interested parties in the club to ensure that there are sufficient financial resources for the club to succeed at the highest level and win major honours such as the Premier League or UEFA Champions League, while operating within a self-sustaining financial model."

Gazidis, though, maintains Arsenal's current capital structure is "very efficient".

He said: "We can comfortably afford to meet the annual costs of this debt while at the same time generating surplus funds to invest in the club.

"With regard to players, the board decided not to issue permanent capital in the hopes of signing one or two players in an inflated transfer market.

"Instead, the focus continues to be on securing the services of talented young players we have on long-term contracts and making very selective acquisitions, only where a new signing will add real value to our already strong squad."

Strategy

Arsenal have, so far, only brought in Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen in what is understood to be a £10million deal from Ajax.

Gazidis added: "We have followed a slightly different route to most and have built, not bought, a team that has players who are highly sought after and valued by the biggest and best clubs in the world. But we intend to keep them.

"The club, supported by the talents of Arsene Wenger, has embarked on a longer-term strategy of building its team rather than buying it.

"There is a football graveyard of clubs that have not adhered to these principles and have unfortunately suffered the consequences."

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