The Arsenal Supporters Trust has told the club’s board to delay the talks which could lead to underfire manager Arsene Wenger being offered a new contract at the club.
The group says it would be ‘inappropriate’ to extend the manager’s time at the club as he has gone eight seasons without winning a trophy and is being strongly criticised for his current recruitment policy having brought in only French forward Yaya Sanogo so far this transfer window despite public proclamations that there is money to spend on first team players.
“In recent weeks (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis has spoken of the club’s intent to offer Arsène Wenger a new contract. The AST believes this is inappropriate,” the group’s statement said yesterday following the team’s 3-1 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.
“There remain important questions about the way player identification, recruitment and remuneration processes are managed at Arsenal.
“The failings we highlighted in Arsène Wenger holding too much power have only been amplified in recent weeks. These must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
Wenger has said that he is working ’24 hours a day’ to identify players but so far this summer he has failed to land Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and most recently Luis Gustavo.
“The fact that there is money available for squad strengthening is not disputed. The AST’s independent analysis suggests that the amount is somewhere between £70million to £100million,” the statement continued.
“For several transfer windows now, Arsenal have not used all the resources available to strengthen the team.
“A decision on whether to offer an extension to the manager’s contract which ends in May 2014 should only be taken following the closing of the transfer window and assessment of the team’s performance in the weeks ahead.
“Considerable improvement must be shown for us to be convinced this should happen.”
Wenger’s contract expires at the end of this season and with arch-rivals Tottenham having broken their own club record transfer fee twice so far this window the Frenchman could be under significant pressure from his own fans when the two sides meet on September 2nd, the day before the transfer window closes.
Before that Wenger must qualify for the Champions League group stages by beating Turkish side Fernabache which begins with the away leg this Wednesday before they return to North London next Tuesday.