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Dein's latest move rekindles takeover talk


David Dein today re-emerged as a key player in the future of Arsenal Football Club when he revealed he is to chair a new company, with billionaire deep pockets, that plans to buy up shares in the Gunners’ holding company.

The former vice chairman David Dein has sold his 14.5% stake in Arsenal for £75 million to a specially created company called Red & White Holdings.

The investors backing Dein include Russian steel magnate Alisher Usmanov and London-based investor Farhad Moshiri, who is a long time associate of Usmanov. According to financial magazine Forbes, Usmanov is worth $2.6 billion, making him the 278th richest person in the world. Apparently, he has some history of being a fan, as he has an executive box at Emirates Stadium.

Dein says Red & White plans to increase its shareholding in Arsenal, but the company has no intention, at the moment, to launch a takeover bid.

But the company will seek a meeting with the current Arsenal board of directors. Dein resigned from the club's board in April, following a reported disagreement regarding his role in encouraging American billionaire Stan Kroenke’s purchase of a 12% stake in the club.

Dein today spoke of his lifelong love affair with Arsenal and reassured fans that he has the best interests of the club at heart...

Red & White say Dein’s role as company chairman will involve him developing proposals to support the future success of Arsenal, as well as increasing the firm’s stake in the club.

In a statement, Red & White says it “believes that in light of the fast-changing landscape for football, both in the UK and globally, it will be able to assist Arsenal and ensure that it will be able to thrive in the future and become the leading football club in the world.

“Specifically, Red & White believes that in order to remain competitive at the top level of the game, Arsenal will require access to significant funding. Additionally, Red & White believes that the continued involvement of Arsene Wenger, over and above any renewed contract, is vital to the future success of the club.”

Dein said, “I have always had the best interests of Arsenal at heart - I've had a love affair with the club since I was six. I firmly believe that the involvement of Red & White with a significant stake and the long-term commitment of Arsene Wenger are absolutely the best outcome for the club, fans and shareholders alike. I am delighted to have found, in Farhad Moshiri and Alisher Usmanov, individuals who share my vision for Arsenal and of where it needs to go to be the world's leading football club.”

On behalf of the company’s backers, Moshiri said, “We are very excited not only to secure a significant stake in one of the world's most famous football clubs but also to have secured the involvement of David Dein for the future.

“Arsenal is a great club with huge potential and we look forward to increasing our stake and exploring ways to help support the future development of the club for the benefit of all fans and shareholders.”

What do you reckon to David Dein's latest move? Are you glad to see our former vice-chairman becoming involved in the Arsenal hierarchy again? Or do you think his attempts to find billionaire foreign investors will harm the long term future of the Gunners? Post your views here, using our comments section below

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Posted by Gordon Masson on August 30, 2007 in Debate of the Day, News | Permalink

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Comments

The last thing we need right now is a take-over battle, hostile or otherwise.

I thought the club was on sound financial footing, and money was available for Wenger if he ever wanted to use it. I'm really not interesting in incurring massive Glazer-esque debt, signing lots of overpriced players and passing the costs onto ticket holders.

If Dein really had the best interest of the club at heart, he wouldn't be founding a company with the (apparent) sole intent of taking over. All it's going to do is create boardroom battles. I personally think he just can't stand not being involved in the club, and is guilty of a little hubris (i.e. only I, the great David Dein, can keep this club at the top).

Posted by: Adam | August 30, 2007 8:14 PM

This was why I was provisionally in favor of Kroenke- if the club is going to be taken over, I'd rather have it be taken over by someone who's at least involved with sports and isn't particularly shady...

Posted by: louisquatorze | August 30, 2007 9:42 PM

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