Arsene Wenger must become 'catalyst for change' if he stays, warns Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis

Miguel Delaney
The Independent
Arsene Wenger's current Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season: Getty
Arsene Wenger's current Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season: Getty

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis told a supporters’ meeting on Sunday afternoon that Arsene Wenger has not yet signed a contract extension, and that any decision will be “mutual", while stating that the manager must become a “catalyst for change” for the club if he does stay.

Amid a backdrop of protest and angry feelings at the Emirates on Sunday, the CEO met with a fans’ forum before Arsenal’s 2-2 home draw with Manchester City in order to address recent concerns in a question and answer session, but also stress that the club are being proactive about the future beyond the manager.

Gazidis described how they are making a series of changes and updates, with the ideal scenario evidently the team ending the season well, and allowing Wenger to oversee the beginnings of a transformation.

The 67-year-old has told the board how he is willing to “reinvent” himself but the likelihood is that he will stay. There is an understanding for fan unrest, as well as an acknowledgement that mutual agreement will be more difficult if the current poor run continues.

The Arsenal hierarchy are known to balk at the idea they have not been proactive or that there has been an inertia around the club, and would point to the number of changes already made, as well as a detailed plan for the future.

Gazidis pointed to the willingness to spend £110m in the summer to improve the team as well as the work done on the academy, and it is understood they also want to bring in a director of football, amid a number of enhancements like improving the scouting system and the sports science departments.

What to read next