Alisher Usmanov hits out at Arsenal board over Robin van Persie

Arsenal's second-largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, criticises the way the club is run in wake of Robin van Persie bombshell

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Arsenal's Emirates Stadium Photo: tomazstolfa, via Flickr

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Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second-largest shareholder, admits he has serious reservations over the club’s direction following Robin van Persie’s refusal to sign a new deal at The Emirates.

The Arsenal captain said he will not be extending his current deal, which expires next summer, because he disagrees with the club over its long-term vision.

Premier League champions Manchester City have emerged as the front-runners to secure the Dutch striker’s services, but Arsenal hinted they may force the forward to see out the remainder of his contract in a statement released following Van Persie’s announcement.

Now, Usmanov and Red and White partner Farhad Moshiri, have publicly criticised Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke in an open letter for the way the club is being run and blamed the club’s board for not providing Van Persie with a compelling vision for the future at The Emirates.

The letter read: “This policy is leading to the loss of our best players, often to our main competitors, and even causes the players themselves to question their future at the club and the club’s ambitions.

“The situation with our captain and outstanding performer from last season Robin van Persie sums this up. Yet again we are faced with losing our true marquee player at the club because we cannot assure him of the future direction and given confidence that we can win trophies.

“Where are the safeguards to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and again in the future? As a top club we should, at the very least, match if not beat the offers that other clubs make to try and lure our very best players away, and also provide a more compelling vision of the future.

“You can try and put a good face on a bad game for as long as you want, pontificating about the merits of this model, but it will not hide the obvious fact that it just does not allow our great manager to fully realise his managerial talent and deliver success for the fans who are paying the highest prices in the land.

“It appears that a place in the Champions League will be the pinnacle of our ambition again next season. Unfortunately, in the future we may see this ambition lowered further.”

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