Seventy-eight per cent of Arsenal fans call for Arsene Wenger to step down as manager

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
Arsenal fans call for Wenger to step down during the side's recent defeat by West Brom: Getty
Arsenal fans call for Wenger to step down during the side's recent defeat by West Brom: Getty

Arsene Wenger faces mounting pressure to step down as Arsenal manager following an overwhelming vote of no confidence from the club’s Supporters’ Trust.

As the Frenchman prepares for what could be the most crucial month of his career, a survey carried out by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) has revealed that 78 per cent of their members do not want Wenger to sign a new contract.

A further 86 per cent believe the Arsenal board are not acting in the best interests of the club.

The results highlight the growing discontent which threatens to further divide the Arsenal faithful ahead of a challenging month in which Wenger’s men take on Manchester City, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

In spite of such widespread discontent, it's believed that Wenger will pen a new two-year deal at the Emirates.

A statement from the AST, which has a membership of just under 1000, said: “In light of these survey results the AST now calls on Arsenal’s board not to renew Arsène Wenger’s contract at the end of the 2016-17 season.

"A substantial majority of our members believe he is no longer the right person to take the club forward. We are confident this is an accurate reflection of the wider fanbase.

“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 warning and time to prepare.

“The AST has long believed that change is needed in the Arsenal boardroom. The fact that only nine per cent of our members believe the Arsenal board have handled this issue well reinforces our view that a fresh approach is urgently needed.

"The board needs more dynamic and independent members with skillsets that reflect the challenges Arsenal face, including the need to grow commercial revenues and to rebuild a football management structure that increasingly looks out of date.

“In adding our voice to calls for Arsène 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 for that view to be respected and 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 Arsène 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 to our club, including delivering some of the best football ever witnessed not just by Arsenal fans but all of those who follow the English game.”

The AST have conducted surveys over Wenger’s place at the club before. In the summer of 2015, 84 per cent of members agreed that he was “the right person to manager Arsenal”. Only 10 per cent disagreed at the time compared to the 78 per cent of members now calling for his resignation.

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