Ivan Gazidis to face Arsenal fans over Wenger future ahead of City clash
The Gunners chief executive is set to hold a stormy meeting with supporters, who are planning another protest ahead of Sunday’s encounter at the Emirates.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis will face the wrath of fed-up fans over Arsene Wenger’s new contract.
Gazidis is meeting with representatives of 16 different groups at a Supporters’ Forum on Sunday lunchtime before Arsenal face Manchester City.
It is likely to be a stormy meeting as there is a major fan backlash against Wenger being given a new two year contract with another protest being planned outside the Emirates before kick-off.
One of the biggest groups, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, yesterday released a survey which revealed 78 per cent wanted Wenger to go when his contract expires this summer.
Mirror Sport understands that Wenger has been offered a new two year deal, he wants to stay and it seems certain that the Frenchman will commit himself to the club until 2019.
The club normally holds four of these meetings every season and this one – with Gazidis and five other members of Arsenal hierarchy due to attend – is designed to allow the supporters to have their say.
Arsenal are unlikely to give any solid indication on Wenger’s future but plans are underway on a major restructure of the club.
There will be a huge overhaul of the squad, a director of football will be phased in over the next two years and a new Academy chief to oversee a new-look academy while there have been major improvements at the training ground.
The board will not withdraw the contract offer to Wenger and unless the Frenchman changes his mind amid the resentment among the fans then he will definitely stay.
The AST survey – which prompted 424 written replies from their 1,000 members – revealed an incredible swing in opinion from 84 per cent being in favour of Wenger in the summer of 2015 to now 78 per cent against him staying as manager.
An AST statement 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.”
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