Dein strengthens Arsenal hand

Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has sold his 14.58% stake in the Gunners to Red and White, a company in which he will be the chairman.

Dein has re-emerged as a central figure in Arsenal's future.

Having stepped down in May following a disagreement with the rest of the board over the merits of encouraging a wealthy American investor, Dein has now sold his stake for £75million.

Red and White is jointly owned by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, a London-based investor. But Dein will become its chairman.

Funds have been committed to buy more Arsenal shares, although Dein insists there is no "current intention" to try to take over the entire club.

Red and White will seek a meeting with the Arsenal board and are keen to keep manager Arsene Wenger.

Dein said: "Thursday's announcement marks a significant step towards realising the vision I share with thousands of fans at home and abroad of making Arsenal the world's number one football club.

"I have not lost my passion for the club; indeed, it is greater than ever. My ambition remains to play an active role in Arsenal again. My immediate intention is to work with others to provide the financial resources necessary to turn the vision of Arsenal as the world's number one club into reality."

Mr Moshiri is a London-based fund manager and the chairman of Russian mining company, Metalloinvest.

Usmanov, who has a box at Arsenal, is the majority shareholder of Metalloinvest and has media and telecoms holdings that include Russia's largest business newspaper and investment in a mobile phone company.

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