Friday 26 December 2014

Fans want board-level changes at Arsenal

Published 21/02/2013 | 13:41

Arsenal fans want fresh blood on the club's board
Arsenal fans want fresh blood on the club's board

The Arsenal board need to look at themselves rather than just the narrower issue of Arsene Wenger's future at the club when they meet on Thursday, according to a supporters' group.

Arsenal appear on course for an eighth trophyless season in a row, but despite that Wenger's job does not appear to be under threat as he still has the support of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. However, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) has called for the board to reassess their own role in the team's success and create a more challenging environment.

"At the meeting the board must review its approach to much more than just the position of Arsene Wenger," an AST spokesperson told Press Association Sport.

"The board needs to consider recruiting new members with exposure to the football world who can support and challenge Wenger to be a better manager.

"It's wrong to focus on just him at the moment. Every single non-executive director of the club is over 70 years old and it is time for some fresh blood. We would call for Stan Kroenke to meet with (second-largest shareholder) Alisher Usmanov to work out how to make it stronger."

The Gunners' trophy cabinet has been empty since 2005 when they lifted their last piece of silverware, the FA Cup, and this season looks set to end without success.

Arsenal were knocked out of the Capital One Cup in a penalty shoot-out by npower League Two side Bradford in December, were beaten by Championship side Blackburn at home in the FA Cup last weekend, and their Champions League campaign has been left in tatters following a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Wenger's side also face an uphill struggle to secure a Champions League place for next season as they are currently in fifth place, four points behind great north London rivals Tottenham. However, AST insisted now is not the time to assess Wenger's performance, but plans must be put in place to improve the structure of the club for the coming season.

"Our position is that we review the manager at the end of the season," the AST spokesperson said. "The board must ask hard questions about itself and not just the manager.

"AST members are not happy with the current situation. We think the club needs to review how they scout, recruit and pay players as the current approach is creating a depreciation in competitiveness. It is time for Kroenke to show to Arsenal fans some of his vision, to end his silence and to engage properly with them."

Press Association

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