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Supporters sound death knell for Wenger

Overwhelming number of Arsenal Supporters Trust members say it’s time for the beleaguered manager to step down

13 April, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Arsene Wenger: ‘Deserves huge respect and admiration’

A LARGE majority of Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) members have called for the Arsenal board to withdraw any offers of a new contract for Arsene Wenger.

The AST, which has 1,000 supporters, surveyed all members on Friday, including shareholders, season ticket holders, home, away and overseas fans.

Even before the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night, the results overwhelmingly showed that 78 per cent of those who completed the survey believe that it is time for Wenger to step down as Arsenal manager.

Reflecting on the findings, a statement on their website read: “The AST will be writing to and meeting with members of the Arsenal board to convey these results and our position that they should now withdraw the offer of a new contract. We believe the board’s role now is to successfully manage the transition to a new manager, an eventuality for which they have had plenty of time to prepare.

“In adding our voice to calls for Wenger to leave Arsenal after 21 years we would like to reiterate the importance of this debate taking place in a civil and responsible way. We respect the right of every fan to have a view and to be heard. For this reason we have reported every opinion our members offered, but we are compelled to go with the majority.

“We also recognise and pay tribute to the tremendous contribution that Wenger has made to Arsenal. Regardless of the current debate around his contract we believe that he deserves huge respect and admiration for his long-term contribution, including delivering some of the best football ever witnessed by all of those who follow the English game.”

AST board member Akhil Vyas reiterated the need for change on Sky Sports News after the defeat against Palace.

“The away end at Selhurst Park was very hostile. That was probably the first time I’ve seen fans go for the players. It’s usually been the manager that’s taken the brunt, but the players really got it.

“Some sort of announcement could really add clarity, and if they announced that this was Wenger’s last season, then suddenly that hostility might go and people would get behind the team a lot more.

“The last eight games, regardless of results, would just be a celebration for a fantastic career to this football club, but not knowing is causing problems for fans, and maybe for players.”

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