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U.S. Billionaire Stan Kroenke Gets Full Control of Arsenal, Buying Out Russian Rival Usmanov



Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov agreed on Tuesday to sell his 30 percent stake in Arsenal to the club’s majority owner, the American billionaire Stan Kroenke, an agreement that would end years of acrimony and values the English Premier League team at $2.3 billion.

Kroenke and Usmanov spent years fighting for supremacy at Arsenal, buying up shares whenever they became available, and the deal clears the way for Kroenke to take the club private, an action that Usmanov had long blocked by refusing to sell his shares.

Kroenke, whose family also owns several American sports franchises, including the Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Nuggets, gained the upper hand in July 2011, leaving Usmanov to do little more than complain from the sidelines or seethe privately in the luxury skybox he maintains at Arsenal’s stadium.

Usmanov accepted an offer of 550 million pounds in cash, or about $712 million, giving Kroenke more than the 90 percent stake required to purchase the remaining shares in the club, Kroenke’s investment company, KSE, said.

Usmanov spent years denouncing the way Arsenal was run, frequently complaining in open letters about the club’s strategy and direction under Kroenke’s leadership, and he expressed a desire to take full ownership so that he could invest his own money to allow the club to compete for soccer’s top trophies.

It is unclear why Usmanov, who is 118th on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people, decided to finally sell shares in the team. As recently as last year, he offered £1 billion to buy Kroenke’s stake. A few months later, Usmanov rejected an offer of £525 million for his stake — only slightly lower than the figure he eventually agreed to.

“I have always been and will continue to be an ardent supporter of Arsenal, and I see my 30 percent stake as an important aspect in protecting the best interests of the fans in the club,” Usmanov said at the time.

In announcing the terms of the deal on Tuesday, KSE said the sale would further the club’s strategy and ambitions, allowing it to act more decisively than in the past. But the Arsenal Supporters Trust, a group that represents the club’s small shareholders, described the announcement as a “dreadful day.”

“Stan Kroenke taking the club private will see the end of supporters owning shares in Arsenal and their role upholding custodianship values,” the group said in a statement. Under private ownership, the club will no longer have to hold annual meetings, forums that at times made for awkward questioning of its management.

Usmanov’s exit comes during a time of great change at Arsenal. This will be the club’s first season in more than two decades with a manager other than Arsène Wenger, who stepped aside and was replaced in May by Unai Emery.

The team, which last won the Premier League in 2004, prepared for the Wenger’s exit by revamping its soccer operations, bringing in senior executives from high-profile European clubs including Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.

Yet uncertainty remains. Ivan Gazidis, the club’s chief executive and the one responsible for many of the changes, has received an offer to take over at A.C. Milan.

Usmanov is a close associate of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a relationship that has come into greater focus in Britain as the countries’ ties have deteriorated in the aftermath the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England in March.

The British prime minister, Theresa May, has blamed Moscow for the attack and threatened to take action against wealthy Russians with ties to the president.

Roman A. Abramovich, the Russian co-owner of Chelsea, who also has a close relationship with Putin, was forced to miss his team’s victory in the F.A. Cup final in May, after the British authorities delayed the renewal of his investor visa.

The sale of Usmanov’s stake in Arsenal also raises speculation about another English Premier League team with which he has connections. His longtime business partner Farhad Moshiri, whose wealth stems largely from his involvement in Usmanov’s business empire, took control of the Liverpool club Everton in 2016.

Usmanov’s holding company, USM, quickly became a major sponsor of the team, which has been among the biggest spenders in the Premier League during the current player-transfer window. Everton also has plans to build a new stadium.

Premier League rules forbid dual ownership, so Usmanov was unable to invest in Everton while he retained his stake in Arsenal. Moshiri and Usmanov co-owned the 30 percent stake in Arsenal at one point, before Moshiri sold his share to clear his investment in Everton.

Article by nytimes


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VIDEO: Ronaldo’s Overhead Kick Against Juventus Beats Gareth Bale’s Stunner Against Liverpool For UEFA Best Goal Poll



Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick in the Champions League final has been overlooked in a goal of the season poll conducted by UEFA according to Eurosport.
The Wales international scored with a brilliant acrobatic effort – one of two he scored in the game – as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Kiev to claim their 13th European crown.

Despite the sensational nature of the strike, it is another brilliant overhead kick, by Cristiano Ronaldo, which has been nominated as the Champions League entrant for the 2017-18 vote on, the European governing body’s website. Ronaldo, then also of Real Madrid, performed his bicycle kick as the Spanish giants beat Juventus – the club he has since joined – 3-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie in Turin.

UEFA’s technical observers said the goal was “an extraordinary display of technique and athleticism”. The shortlist features 11 goals in total, one from each of the competitions run by UEFA.

England international Lucy Bronze is nominated for the volley she scored in Lyon’s victory over her former club Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League. England Under-19 international Elliot Pemberton also makes the list following a fine piece of skill and left-foot strike against Turkey.

The first of the three goals scored by Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen in Denmark’s 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland a World Cup qualifying play-off in Dublin is also included.


  • Lucy Bronze (LYON 1-0 Manchester City) – UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals, 29/04/18
  • Olga Carmona (Switzerland 0-2 SPAIN) – UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship group stage, 21/07/18
  • Elisandro (Sporting CP 2-5 INTER FS) – UEFA Futsal Cup final, 22/04/18
  • Elliot Embleton (Turkey 2-3 ENGLAND) – UEFA European Under-19 Championship group stage, 17/07/18
  • Christian Eriksen (Republic of Ireland 1-5 DENMARK) – European Qualifiers play-offs, 14/11/17
  • Paulo Estrela (PORTO 5 -1 Besiktas) – UEFA Youth League group stage, 13/09/17
  • Eva Navarro (Germany 0-2 SPAIN) – UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final, 21/05/18
  • Dimitri Payet (MARSEILLE 5-2 Leipzig) – UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, 12/04/18
  • Goncalo Ramos (Slovenia 0-4 PORTUGAL) – UEFA European Under-17 Championship group stage, 07/05/18
  • Ricardinho (PORTUGAL 4-1 Romania) – UEFA Futsal EURO group stage, 31/01/18
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus 0-3 REAL MADRID) – UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, 03/04/18





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BRING POGBA: Cristiano Ronaldo Urges Juventus To beat Real Madrid And Barcelona To Land Want Away Man United Star



Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly pushing his club to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona to the transfer of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
According to Diario Gol, Ronaldo would dearly love to see Juve get the better of two of his major rivals in European football – Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
The report is the latest to claim Pogba is desperate to get away from United after becoming unsettled at Old Trafford, and it could be that he’ll be targeted by his old club Juventus.
The France international showed some of the best form of his career during his time in Turin, and it would undoubtedly be a major boost for the club to have him back.
Although Pogba has struggled to replicate that form in England, he showed flashes of his old self with his quality performances with France as they won the World Cup this summer.
Having signed Ronaldo from Real this close-season, if Juventus could also find a way to lure Pogba back to Italy it would be a serious statement of intent from the Serie A giants as they look to build on their domestic dominance by finally conquering Europe.

The transfer deadline for Premier League clubs ended last Thursday, meaning they can no longer make any signings again until January. They can, however, still sell players, and most European clubs can still buy them until August 31, although Serie A clubs have just until the 17th to make new purchases.

Manchester United Need Pogba More Than Pogba Needs Manchester United

Manchester United ‘need Paul Pogba more than Paul Pogba needs Manchester United’, according to former footballer Chris Sutton. According to Manchester Evening news, the BBC pundit says that Paul Pogba’s influence is growing at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho would do well to take note of that.

Pogba said there are things he would like to say about his situation at Old Trafford but would be fined for doing so following United’s win against Leicester on Friday night.

It came in the wake of a prolonged transfer saga linking Pogba to Barcelona after the Frenchman endured a tempestuous relationship with Jose Mourinho last season. Pogba was dropped for United’s key games against Sevilla and Chelsea last season and player and manager have not seen eye to eye ever since.


And Sutton believes that Mourinho should steer clear of further bust-ups with the midfielder. “What was the point of Jose’s criticism of Paul Pogba after the World Cup saying he needs to do it in a United shirt?” he told BBC 5 Live.

“What was the point? Every action has a consequence and that’s clearly upset Paul Pogba. “Manchester United need Paul Pogba more than Paul Pogba needs Manchester United right now and that’s the bottom line.

“He was their best player on Friday night and why should he hang around for Jose really when all he does is sly little digs at him?” Pogba was handed the captain’s armband for United’s opening-day win against Leicester, and fellow pundit Ian Wright believes Pogba’s influence is greater than that of Mourinho at Old Trafford.

“I don’t think there is anything else at Manchester United that could be causing his [Pogba’s] angst apart from his manager,” Wright said. “The players love him, the fans love him, Ed Woodward loves him because he’s not only a magnificent player but on the commercial side he’s a massive, massive asset at Manchester United.

“I think it’s a fight that Mourinho is having with Pogba and Ed Woodward that I think that eventually he will lose because those two guys are much more powerful that Jose Mourinho.

“He [Pogba] is saying that because he has been empowered and he knows that he can make a veiled dig at his manager saying that he would like to say things about his manager.”


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UEFA SUPER CUP: It’s Real Madrid Vs Atletico: Team News, Line-Ups, Head To Head, Betting Tips



UEFA Super Cup
Wednesday 15th August
10:00 Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (Betting Tip 1/GG)


Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet for the tenth time in a European fixture on Wednesday to battle for the Uefa Super Cup.
Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick helped Los Blancos seal a third consecutive Champions League crown last May; their fourth triumph in five years and their 13th in their history.
Atletico have been used to pushing their neighbours all the way in Europe’s premier club competition, forcing them to extra time in 2014’s final with only a penalty shoot-out separating them in another all Madrid-meeting in 2016.
A disappointing group campaign last season however fed them into the Europa League, where they swatted away Arsenal in the semi-finals before cruising to a 3-0 victory to lift the trophy in a match lit up by Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico managed to hold onto their prized asset again this summer with Real adjusting to life without Cristiano Ronaldo. Their first real tests of the season await.

Head to head
Real Madrid have won 100 of their 194 meetings with Atletico, losing 49 of those matches over the years.

Team news
Luka Modric has played just 15 minutes of pre-season since returning from his World Cup break and could start on the bench on Wednesday, amid uncertainty over his long-term future in the Spanish capital.
Real’s Spanish contingent have all played a full pre-season owing to La Roja’s early exit in Russia with Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema showing promise in an attacking three under Julen Lopetegui.


Reports in Spain suggest Keylor Navas will start in goal in Wednesday despite the arrival of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea last week, having had little time to train with his new teammates.
Lopetegui had been planning on giving 21-year-old defender Jesus Vallejo a chance to make an impression in the first-team this season but a muscular injury is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the month. He is the only Real Madrid player absent through injury.
Atletico’s World Cup-winning pair Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez only returned to training last Monday but featured in the second half of Saturday’s pre-season friendly with Inter. A role from the bench could await them this week.
Thomas Lemar, another member of that triumphant France squad, cut his holidays short by almost two weeks, however, linking up with his new club at the end of July. He has featured heavily in pre-season since along with fellow summer signing Gelson Martins and is expected to start.
Nikola Kalinic has inherited Fernando Torres’ old number nine shirt since his arrival at the Wanda Metropolitano and having had a relatively quiet summer after being booted out of Croatia’s World Cup campaign before the group stages were over, he might be fresh enough to make his debut.

Possible starting XIs
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Isco, Asensio, Benzema

Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Luis, Koke, Saul, Rodri, Lemar, Costa, Kalinic


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