One day after Arsenal’s opening day loss to Aston Villa, a former majority shareholder took to Twitter to express her regret at having made Stan Kroenke the team’s majority shareholder. She also called for a popular former executive to return to the club and a place on Arsenal’s board for Kroenke’s chief rival.
So yes, Arsenal’s weekend actually managed to get worse.
Nina Bracewell-Smith, a former Arsenal investor whose sale of shares to Kroenke in 2011 helped make the American businessman the club’s owner, posted the following three tweets to her Twitter account (@NinaBracewell) on Sunday night, just over 24 hours after Arsenal lost their Premier League home opener to Aston Villa, 3-1:
On Apr. 11, 2011, Bracewell-Smith sold her 15.9 percent share in Arsenal F.C. to Kroenke, who paid £11,750 per share. Combined with his purchase of 16.11 percent of the club from Danny Fiszman, Kroenke became Arsenal’s majority shareholder, marginalizing the influence Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, who owns 29 percent of the club.
Usmanov bought his initial share of the team from Dein, who went on to work for Usmanov’s holding company, Red and White Holdings. Before the move, Dein had served as vice chairman of Arsenal from 1983 to 2007, a time that saw the club win five first division titles and five FA Cups.
Usmanov has been critical of Arsenal’s strict financial model, often equating it with a lack of ambition. It’s a criticism that’s been echoed among many Arsenal fans, with complaints reaching new levels as Arsenal, with a rumored £70 million to spend, has failed to make a significant signing this summer.
Bracewell, who still serves as an honorary vice president of the club, will only intensify such critiques with her tweets, with her knowledge of the boardroom’s dynamics sure to fuel suspicions about Arsenal’s transfer policies.
In the wake of Saturday’s loss, manager Arsène Wenger has insisted the club are still working on adding to the player squad in the summer window, which closes on Sept. 2.