Fans could end Wenger’s reign warns Arsenal chief
‘Arsene is accountable to the fans’ Gazidis tells supporters after six years without a trophy
Arsene Wenger's fate lies in the hands of the increasingly disgruntled Arsenal supporters according to the club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who says that even though he has complete faith in the manager it is up the the fans how long the Frenchman survives.
The Emirates faithful have become more and more frustrated by what they see as Wenger's stubborness during their six-year trophy drought, and his refusal to spend big money on established players rather than relying on youngsters.
Although he is still popular with the bulk of the fans, a growing minority have begun calling for his head in recent seasons - something that was unthinkable just a few years ago.
Worryingly the fans booed the team at the final whistle of their last home game of the season, and Wenger and his players were forced to perform their customary lap of honour in front of a half empty and unusually hostile stadium.
Wenger's reputation has been tarnished not only because of Arsenal's lack of success on the pitch, but also his inability to adequately replace outgoing stars.
During the early part of his reign in north London Wenger was seen as a visionary who was able to spot young talents like Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka. But in recent years his transfer dealings have been rather less successful and he has failed to rebuild the team after the departure of the Invincibles, who won the league without losing a game in 2004.
Last summer he brought in the likes of Marouane Chamakh, Sebastian Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny - none of whom have proved to be a success so far.
Gazidis indicated that if the relationship between Wenger and the fans breaks down any further then then it could spell the end for the manager.
He told a meeting of the Arsenal Supporters Trust: "Arsene is accountable to the fans - they ultimately make judgment. If you see the relationship between the fans and the manager break down over time then that is unsustainable." But he added: "I don't think we are anywhere near that."
Gazidis also lent his support to the manager, and told the fans: "We 100 per cent support Arsene. I 100 per cent support him and feel he has done a fantastic job in a difficult period for this club. You have to remember that we have been up against clubs with unlimited spending power and others such as Manchester United who generate far greater revenue than we do." ·
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