Usmanov happy at Wenger renewal, but says he needs support

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Alisher Usmanov says he’s happy that Arsene Wenger has signed a two year contract extension with the club, but has urged Stan Kroenke and the board to fully back the manager over the coming seasons.

The club’s second largest shareholder, who had a bid turned down for Kroenke’s shares earlier this month, appears to be putting some pressure on the American to dip into his own pockets to help fund summer purchases of star players.

He also reiterated his desire to contribute to the club from which, at the moment, he remains frozen out of despite his 30.04% shareholding.

In a statement he said:

“I am pleased that Arsene Wenger will continue to manage Arsenal for the next two years as he is one of the very best coaches in Europe.

“What is now of paramount importance is that he receives the full support of the board and majority shareholder.

“He has a great opportunity to deliver the success that the fans deserve and the legacy that his long contribution merits.

“However without the right support there remains a real risk that his legacy will be tarnished.

“If the support is not forthcoming, we stand ready to step in and do everything we can to deliver success on and off the field.”

Earlier, Stan Kroenke said, “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved.

“Arsene is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”

While Wenger spoke about the need to trim his squad and add ‘top top quality’ to it. It’s stuff we’ve heard before, so let’s see if there’s more to all this than talking a good game.

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