Wenger should help pick Arsenal successor, says shareholder Usmanov

Sporting News

Alisher Usmanov has urged Arsenal to seek “continuity” when seeking a successor to Arsene Wenger, suggesting that the Frenchman should be part of the process.

The Russian billionaire owns a 30 per cent stake in the Gunners and admits to being concerned at the manner in which an unsettling saga at Emirates Stadium has been handled.

Wenger continues to face protests against his 20-year reign with the club, with no public announcement made regarding his role past the end of a contract due to expire in the summer.

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It has been widely reported that the Frenchman will be kept on, despite the unrest among certain groups of supporters, and Usmanov believes long-term plans should be put in place if that is the case.

He told Bloomberg: “Some continuity is needed.

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“This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare asuccessor."

Usmanov has pointed the finger of blame at the Arsenal board and owner Stan Kroenke for allowing uncertainty to hang heavy over the Emirates, saying they must “bear huge responsibility”.

The woeful Arsenal's run of form that has Arsene Wenger on the brink
The woeful Arsenal's run of form that has Arsene Wenger on the brink

He added: "I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening.”

Unfortunately for the frustrated Usmanov, there is little that he can do to influence proceedings, havingbeen cast adrift by the decision-making committee in north London.

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"I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision-making in the club," he said.

"All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder."

Arsenal are back in Premier League action on Monday evening when they take in a London derby date with Crystal Palace.

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