The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has said manager Arsene Wenger should not be offered a new contract by the club, BBC
Arsenal were beaten at home by Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League despite taking an early lead through Olivier Giroud. A Christian Benteke double and a late goal from Antonio Luna gave Villa the victory and led to stinging criticism of Wenger, who has not spent any money in the transfer market this summer.
The Gunners’ only signing has been Yaya Sanogo, a 20-year-old forward picked up on a free transfer from Auxerre, and the manager’s perceived reticence, coming after chief executive Ivan Gazidis claimed the club was to invest heavily, has led to the trust insisting plans to offer Wenger a new contract must be shelved.
“Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has spoken of the intent to offer Wenger a new contract. We believe this is inappropriate. The entire focus must be on using the remaining days of the transfer window to strengthen the team significantly,” an AST statement read.
The group added: “Ambitious football clubs invest the money they receive from their fans, and sometimes their owners, to make themselves stronger,” while the BBC notes Arsenal have a cash balance of £154m – almost as much as the combined total of the 19 other Premier League clubs.
“Stan Kroenke does not attend many Arsenal matches nor seem to have the time to devote to the affairs of Arsenal,” the statement continued. “But it is clear to all that the football personnel he is ultimately responsible for are failing. The AST calls on him to appoint an independent expert to conduct a review of all football functions at Arsenal.
“A decision on whether to offer an extension to the manager’s contract, which ends in May 2014, should only be taken following the closing of the transfer window and assessment of the team’s performances. Considerable improvement must be shown for us to be convinced this should happen.”
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