Arsenal legendary goalkeeper Bob Wilson, who made over 300 club appearances in eleven years with the Gunners during the 1960s and 70s, has said that the club’s board meeting next week should include a discussion about the possibilities that have been offered by Alisher Usmanov.
Stan Kroenke is expected to make the trip to London later this week, with Arsenal set to play Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup Final. Kroenke has already rejected Usmanov’s £1billion takeover bid and it’s likely the Uzbek-born Russian could make another high offer to try and persuade the billionaire to sell his 67% stake in the club.
Despite already having a 30% stake in the club, Usmanov is currently not on the board and cannot help make significant decisions regarding the club’s plans to move forward for instance.
Kroenke is expected to attend a board meeting following this weekend’s Cup final, where they will decide Arsene Wenger’s future at the club and whether to offer a new contract or let his existing one run out.
“It should have been out in the open,” Wilson said about Wenger’s plans for next season and where he’ll be managing. “The board should have told Arsene ‘you must declare this’.
“The two priorities right now, with five days to a Cup Final, are to get a squad together to give the champions Chelsea a tough FA Cup Final and then the most important board meeting for many years.
“It should include the involvement of the major shareholder. That abuse was awful to hear. And [they should discuss] the possibilities offered by Alisher Usmanov, who like [Roman] Abramovich loves his football team and is prepared to invest hugely in Arsenal Football Club.”
Arsenal’s struggles have been well-documented this season, but a spirited display during their 3-1 win over Everton has already raised questions about the credibility of Wenger’s comments post-match.
“It’s something that I was totally unaware of and it didn’t show at all yesterday,” Wilson revealed.
“I was so proud of the team’s performance yesterday against a very good Everton team. They played for 75 minutes of the 90 down to 10 men. It was a truly outstanding effort. Not much wrong with a side who can do that.”
Arsenal have been heavily criticised for performing well when the pressure is off them, which has been proven correct on a number of occasions in recent seasons. Wenger’s comments were clearly made to protect his players after an underwhelming season but the fact that he’s been so heavily criticised highlights the overall feeling that wholesale changes are needed at the club in order to progress further in future.