Arsenal Supporters Trust call for fans to celebrate Arsene Wenger legacy - but only if he announces plans to step down

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
The AST remain overwhemingly in favour of Wenger stepping down as manager: Getty
The AST remain overwhemingly in favour of Wenger stepping down as manager: Getty

Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) has said the side’s remaining eight games of the current campaign could be used to ‘celebrate’ Arsene Wenger’s time at the club – but only if he announces his planned departure for the end of the season.

After Arsenal’s humiliating 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night, AST board member Akhil Vyas confirmed that an overwhelming majority of the trust remain in favour of Wenger stepping down as manager.

This follows the AST’s announcement last month that 78 per cent of the 1,000-strong trust want to see the Frenchman leave at the end of the season.

Although anti-Wenger sentiment continues to reach new heights among the Arsenal fan base, following the club’s worse run of results in more than 20 years, Vyas suggested that the trust would be happy for Wenger to see out the Gunner's last eight games of the term.

Vyas argued that if the 67-year-old confirmed that he would be leaving the Emirates, the fans could come together in the coming weeks to celebrate all that he had achieved at the club.

“Well going back two days to the away end at Selhurst Park, it was very hostile," Vyas told Sky Sports. "That was probably the first time I've seen the fans go for the players. It's usually been the manager that's taken the brunt, sometimes the owner and the board, but the players really got it.

"Some sort of announcement could really add clarity, and if they announced that this was Arsene 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 and issues for fans, as it is maybe for players.

"We've recently announced our results from an Arsenal Supporters Trust survey from all our members on the future of Arsene Wenger, and 78 per cent have decided that it is time for Arsene to leave the football club in the summer.

"Only about three per cent called for him to leave right now, so 78 per cent think it's time. We had comments as well and we did get it independently looked at by a company who identified respect for Arsene Wenger.

Wenger faces mounting pressure to step down (Getty)
Wenger faces mounting pressure to step down (Getty)

"So from the 78 per cent a lot of them think it's time but a lot are very grateful for what he's done and I think that's the feeling around the fan-base from what I've seen home and away."

Arsenal have recorded just one league win across the past two months and now face the possibility of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time in more than 20 years.

Despite mounting calls for him to step down, Wenger has refused to indicate whether or not he will be staying at the club.

Reports suggest Arsenal are now putting off a decision on the Frenchman's future until the end of the season when they will reassess the situation.

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