The loss to Aston Villa in Arsenal’s season opener has caused more finger-pointing towards majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger. Kroenke is also the owner of teams such as the Denver Nuggets in the NBA and Colorado Rapids in MLS, and is referred to by Arsenal fans as ‘Silent Stan’. This is because of the shareholder’s lack of involvement in the club, barely showing up for matches at the Emirates whilst remaining very silent despite Arsenal’s continuous failings in recent seasons. Lady Bracewell-Smith helped in making Kroenke majority shareholder in 2011, as her selling of shares to the American businessman gave him a controlling stake in the club.
Things have not worked out well since then and Arsenal have dropped from title challengers to a team barely getting into the Champions League. Many fans have voiced their displeasure and asked for Alisher Usmanov to get a controlling stake in the expense of the American, as the Russian has repeatedly said that he will provide capital to get Arsenal back to the glory days. The Daily Mail reports that Bracewell-Smith is sad about the current state of affairs, talking about “how deeply I regret selling to Kroenke”. The Indian-born businesswoman says that the club need to “bring David Dein and give Usmanov representation on the board if we are to have success going forward”.
Wenger believes that making Usmanov gain more importance in the club will make Arsenal an “oligarch club”. That is not necessary a bad thing. It would’ve been unfathomable to think that Chelsea would be the first London club to win the Champions League two decades or so back. A big reason regarding why they achieved this feat is because of Abramovich’s capital. In these times of inflated prices, Wenger and Arsenal have failed to adapt to the market demands. The Gunners desperately need to get their act together, as failure to lure talent in the next few weeks could put the club in a full-blown crisis.