Alisher Usmanov has made a massive investment in global company Apple, which could generate him hundreds of millions in the next few years.
The Russian stakeholder at Arsenal has pumped $100 million of his own cash into the company, which seems to be a very shrewd move with Apple’s share prices at the lowest point they’ve been since 2011.
Considering this is a guy who has a personal fortune of around $20 billion, making him the wealthiest man in Russia, the timing and motives behind it seem a little strange.
There is no doubt that it’s a good investment because Apple is an established and developing brand all over the world, so what does it mean for the Gunners?
Usmanov has always been critical of Stan Kroenke ever since the American bought enough shares to takeover the majority at Arsenal, which effectively means from a business point of view he calls the shot.
Usmanov has always maintained that Arsenal need big players and the ability to retain superstars instead of selling to their main rivals, which in turn makes them weaker.
It’s a little naïve to suggest that he’s made this investment as an attempt to try and give himself even more of a platform to try and form some sort of takeover of Arsenal.
If he wanted to do that, then he has enough personal cash to fall back on and he could have taken the reigns at Arsenal long ago, if that was his main motive at the club.
What seems more likely is that he’s bitter because he can’t control Arsenal for his own business related reasons.
The Apple deal is a good example of his more opportunistic side, which is going to make him a big return on that $100 million investment if the share prices go back up at some point in the future.
He has clear issues with the way Kroenke runs the club because he obviously thinks Arsenal could be a bigger side and a bigger brand if they were more successful.
Success makes it easier for Arsenal to increase their appeal around the world, which opens up more revenue streams which in turn makes the shareholders in the club a lot more money.
If Usmanov does takeover the club one day in the future, to hold a controlling majority of shares, then things could move at a very fast pace but it’s debatable just how much of his own money he’d inject into the Gunners, whereas Kroenke has spent a long time creating a sustainable and reliable business model.
Although as Usmanov has been keen to point out - on the pitch, it has not yielded success.
What do you think he’s up to? Is it just business?
image: © wonker