Arsenal’s second-largest stakeholder, Alisher Usmanov has defended under-fire manager, Arsene Wenger while placing the blame for the club’s disappointing season at the feet of Stan Kroenke, as reported by Bloomberg.
Wenger’s contract runs out this summer which has led to many fans calling for the Frenchman to finally leave the club. Arsenal have not won a league title since 2004 and currently sit outside the Champions League places.
Although Arsenal look set to underachieve once again, Usmanov has defended Wenger and his importance to the club.
“I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening. Some continuity is needed”
“This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.”
It remains unsure whether Wenger will sign a new deal but regardless of that eventual decision, Arsenal must strengthen in the summer. Arsenal need additions come the transfer window and will also need to replace Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, if both depart the club.
Usmanov has pledged in the past to give the club a financial boost in order to compete for star players but due to his poor relationship with many on the board at Arsenal, he has little say in what happens at the club.
“I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision making in the club. All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder.”