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Rediff.com  » Sports » Russian billionaire says no buyer for Arsenal

Russian billionaire says no buyer for Arsenal

October 26, 2003 22:00 IST

Russian billionaire industrialist Vladimir Potanin dismissed on Sunday a British press report that he was in line to buy into premier league soccer club Arsenal.

The Independent on Sunday said Potanin, a metals magnate, was considering investing up to 120 million pounds ($203 million) in a new stadium in return for a share of the London club.

"Vladimir Potanin has no plans to acquire any sports clubs whatsoever," said a spokeswoman for his mining empire's parent company Interros.

A press release by Interros said reports that Potanin was in talks with Arsenal were untrue.

Potanin, a former Russian deputy prime minister, is one of a small group of "oligarchs" who were awarded multi-billion dollar industrial empires in the privatisation of Russian industry in the 1990s.

Fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea three months ago, winning the club the nickname "Chelski" in the British press, and stocking it with top players from around the globe.

The Independent on Sunday said Potanin was an Arsenal fan and had flown to London to see the side play. The club are trying to raise 400 million pounds for a new stadium.

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