In recent times when it comes to accolades Arsenal have had to watch their London rivals Chelsea take all the plaudits ahead of them in terms of footballing success. In the eight years since Arsenal last won a trophy Chelsea have accumulated two Premier League titles, four FA Cup triumphs, a League Cup victory and of course the Champions League trophy last season; a total of eight additions to their trophy cabinet since Arsenal won the 2005 FA Cup Final.
So while the sides on the pitch battle it out for the higher league position toward the end of this current season off the pitch Arsenal appear to have gazumped Chelsea in one unusual way.
For many years Roman Abramovich has sat comfortably inside the top ten list for the richest Russians in the world; but not anymore.
It appears that Abramovich may have splashed a rather disproportionate amount of money on a brand new yacht, the biggest private yacht in the world, as well as 40 works by conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov for $60 million to add to his already vast art collection valued at around $1 billion. Such extravagance is bound to lead to a loss of wealth and that has been the case this year; with Abramovich losing $1.9 billion according to the list released by Forbes.
So where do Arsenal come into it?
Well via Alisher Usmanov of course. The controversial Uzbek-born mining tycoon was rated for the second year running as Russia’s richest man with a staggering $17.6 billion fortune.
Usmanov of course is a major shareholder in Arsenal FC but not to the point where he can have the sort of influence that owner Abramovich has at Chelsea.
He is a 29.95 per cent shareholder at the club although maintained in January that if he had the chance he would be willing to plunge more money into the transfer market than current majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.
Considering this most recent news release it could be fair to say that Arsenal fans may just wish Usmanov was in charge of matters.
Perhaps not considering their previously fractious relationship with the 59-year-old businessman but if he could bring eight trophies in eight years to the club perhaps they could be persuaded.
image: © wonker