Former Arsenal shareholder Usmanov considers Everton investment

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has revealed his interest in investing in English Premier League football club Everton.

Usmanov is a former shareholder in rival Premier League outfit Arsenal and also serves as president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE).

Usmanov is close to Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s majority shareholder. USM Holdings, the holding company for Usmanov’s business interests, holds naming rights to Everton’s Finch Farm training ground as part of a five-year deal signed in January 2017. USM Holdings last summer expanded its deal with Everton to become the club’s official match-day presenting partner.

“I am thinking about my investment into this club,” Usmanov told the Financial Times. “There are many ways (to invest). It is not obligatory for me to participate myself. I could sponsor them. I could be a shareholder.”

Usmanov said he would invest in Everton with “great pleasure” if Moshiri approached him on the matter. “Everton is the club of my friend, my brother,” Usmanov added. “So of course in a manner I am [already] linked to it.”

Everton recently submitted plans to build a state-of-the-art new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock and Usmanov has suggested that USM Holdings would consider sponsoring the venue.

He said: “They are going to build a new stadium. Why not the USM Arena?”

Usmanov previously held a 30-per-cent stake in Arsenal, which he sold to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in 2018.