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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Usmanov to Sponsor Dynamo

Metalloinvest, controlled by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has agreed to sponsor Dynamo Moscow, the football club announced Tuesday.

Kommersant owner and Gazprominvestholding chairman Usmanov will team up with the club, whose advisory board is headed by Audit Chamber chief Sergei Stepashin. Usmanov and Stepashin were to appear at a news conference Wednesday, Dynamo said. Metalloinvest declined to comment Tuesday.

The move is not Usmanov's first foray into football. In August, Usmanov followed in Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's footsteps when Red and White Holdings, a company he jointly owns, bought into London club Arsenal.

Last week, Red and White Holdings became the biggest single Arsenal shareholder, with several purchases giving it just shy of a 25 percent blocking stake.

The Dynamo deal echoes an earlier sponsorship agreement between army team CSKA Moscow and Abramovich's Sibneft. The move allowed Abramovich to pump millions of dollars into CSKA while avoiding a conflict of interest because of his ownership of Chelsea.

Emerging from a team founded by an Englishman in the late 1880s, Dynamo fell under the Interior Ministry's control after the revolution, becoming known as the secret services' club.

Stepashin, who headed the St. Petersburg branch of a KGB successor organization in the early '90s, went on to lead the Federal Security Service and briefly served as prime minister.