Arsenal board under fire

Usmanov and Moshiri express concerns after RVP blow

Robin van Persie: Arsenal striker has announced he will not extend his contract

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Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri have hit out at the Arsenal board in the wake of Robin van Persie's decision not to extend his contract.

Usmanov and Moshiri are major shareholders in the Gunners via their Red & White Securities investment vehicle, and have written a letter to the club's hierarchy in the wake of the events of the past 24 hours.

Red & White Securities hold around 30 per cent of shares in the Gunners' parent company, which was the subject of a takeover in 2011 by American tycoon Stan Kroenke.

Van Persie announced on Wednesday afternoon that he would not remain at Emirates Stadium beyond the final 12 months of his contracts following discussions with manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The Gunners captain, who bagged 30 goals in the Premier League last season to secure the Golden Boot, admitted that he could not find a common ground with the club over their future plans and ambitions for silverware.

"Yet again we are faced with losing our true marquee player at the club because we cannot assure him of the future direction and give confidence that we can win trophies."

Red & White Securities

Quotes of the week

Cheaper replacements

Usmanov and Moshiri believe Wenger's hands are being tied by the stance of the club's board and they fear the club's best players will continue to depart unless changes are made.

"It is down to our manager and not the shareholders to have to deal with the club's tight finances, carry the burden of repaying the stadium debt by selling his best players and having to continue to find cheaper replacements," the duo wrote.

"All of that, naturally, comes at the expense of performance on the pitch.

"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.

Great manager

"Yet again we are faced with losing our true marquee player at the club because we cannot assure him of the future direction and give 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."

Red & White Securities

Quotes of the week

"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."

Crowning achievement

Red & White, who point out they have "invested circa £200million of cash", set out their "vision" for Arsenal.

The letter added: "It is simple. A debt free club, with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the club's long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent.

"Together they can help the club win the most prestigious trophies - because it is the trophies which are the crowning achievement for everybody at the club.

"Finally and reflecting our long-term commitment to the club, we will continue to purchase more shares in the club from anyone who wants to sell them to us.

"Also in order to formalise our long-term involvement with the club and put an end to any speculation over our position, we, as the co-owners of Red & White, will proudly retain our holding in the club as a long-term investment for ourselves and our family members to benefit for generations to come.

"We want the absolute best for the club and will do what is necessary to ensure the success of the club that we all love."

Will Robin van Persie leave Arsenal in the summer transfer window?

  • Yes
  • No