Arsenal fans hoping for Arsene Wenger to leave the Emirates this season will have to wait a little longer as major shareholder Alisher Usmanov has offered under-fire manager his unequivocal support.
The Gunners are yet to win the premier league for 12 years but won the FA Cup back-to-back. However, this season they crashed out of the Champions League and FA Cup in the space of four days and are currently 11 points behind leaders Leicester City in the title race.
Nevertheless, billionaire businessman Usmanov, who is the club’s second-largest shareholder behind owner Stan Kroenke, insists Wenger must stay.
‘Arsenal’s results are stable. They are always among the leaders of the English Premier League,’ he said. ‘This is a good and large sports business project and I am pleased with it.
‘The only thing is that today such a situation has occurred, but, like in any sport, there are ups and downs. The club must retain its major symbol and main asset — manager Arsene Wenger.
‘Failures have been haunting Arsenal for many years now, they cannot become the Premier League champions. This has led to some discontent with Wenger’s position as a manager.
‘I believe that Arsene Wenger is a great coach, and Arsenal has to give him the opportunity to plan the succession process and leave his legacy when he deems it necessary.
‘It is very important for the football club to maintain the principles that were established by those people who created its victories. Arsenal needs Arsene Wenger.’
Arsenal are currently third on the premier league log with 55 points with eight matches left to play this season.