Arsene Wenger should have his say on the person who will replace him as Arsenal manager, according to the club’s second-largest shareholder.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has hit out at owner Stan Kroenke in mounting a defence of manager Arsene Wenger, with Arsenal slipping to sixth in the Premier League.
Usmanov – who does not hold a seat on Arsenal’s board – insists current boss Wenger should help hand-pick the Gunners’ next manager.
Wenger’s contract expires this summer and the veteran French boss has remained coy on his future, while sections of Arsenal’s fans want him replaced.
“I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening,” Usmanov told Bloomberg.
“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.”
Despite Usmanov’s comments, the Russian billionaire admitted Arsenal’s chief shareholder Kroenke will have the ultimate say on Wenger and the club’s future.
Usmanov insisted the board and owner must ‘bear huge responsibility’ for Arsenal’s on-field troubles, then admitted he has little influence behind the scenes.
“I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision making in the club,” said Usmanov.
“All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder.”
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