ALISHER USMANOV, the Arsenal shareholder, believes the club's nine-year trophy drought could have been avoided had the club not gone into debt to build the Emirates Stadium.

Alternative financing, he insists, would have led to greater success. "The acquisition was financed with debt," he said. "There is another way of doing it: when shareholders buy all of the assets and contribute them to the club. These debt-free assets generate income for the club."

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