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Arsenal shareholder named richest Russian for third year running

Alisher Usmanov is once again the richest Russian in the world.

For many years Roman Abramovich has sat comfortably inside the top ten list for the richest Russians in the world; but not anymore.

Last year saw Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s wealth diminish by $1.9 billion according to the list released by Forbes.

Meanwhile for a second year running Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov was named Russia’s richest man with a staggering $17.6 billion fortune.

This year reads much the same.

Usmanov is once again Russia’s richest man - with his wealth increasing by a further $1billion to around $18.5 billion.

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 has a 29.95 per cent share at the club and in the past has not seen eye to eye with the rest of the Arsenal board.

A self-confessed Arsenal fan he has previously stated his belief that the clubs introverted transfer dealings were affecting their chances of winning titles. He even once stated that if he were the majority shareholder, and not Stan Kroenke, the club would be winning silverware.

He claimed that the American ‘lacked ambition’ and that the sale of Robin Van Persie was counter-productive - especially the fact he was sold to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Usmanov has been loved and hated by the Arsenal fans - in fact there is still something of a divide on the issue.

Recently he has had a softer view on Kroenke’s management of the club. The big money signing of Mesut Ozil in the summer forced him to say…

"In the past I tell the club that if they want to pretend to be number one in every tournament then they must have best players in the world, and if we don't have them in our squad we need to buy these in the market. Wenger confirmed this by buying, for example Ozil.”

With Usmanov once again at the very top of Russia’s rich list - ahead of the big spending Abramovich and AS Monaco tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev it is important Arsenal maintain a healthy relationship in the boardroom - and perhaps Usmanov should have more jurisdiction.

With the money he could pump into the club they could sign a Mesut Ozil or two every season!

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