Jack Pitt-Brooke: Oh no, it's Groundhog Day at Arsenal following Robin van Persie statement

A year ago the Trust said 'Arsenal face the risk of serious decline if action isn't taken'

This was not meant to happen again. One year on from the most traumatic summer of Arsène Wenger's tenure, there are signs of a repeat. A departing captain, no longer confident that the Emirates is the best stage for him, is the main story.

But with that exit comes a debate about the future. How can a club with no trophies in seven years, and which sheds its best players with seasonal regularity, possibly be said to be moving in the right direction?

Two statements in two days raised this question. First, Robin van Persie said on Wednesday that "in many aspects" he disagreed with Wenger on the direction of the club. He made his position at the club untenable, with a form of words unprecedented from any club captain anywhere.

The 29 per cent shareholder Alisher Usmanov released a statement yesterday underlining the message. "The real conflict is between the supporters' expectations and your visions for the club," he told the current board, in his clearest statement yet of his belief that his vision is right and theirs is wrong.

The real frustration is that this is nothing new. Little that has been raised this week was not raised last summer. These are not fresh problems, but unaddressed sores.

Last year's difficult summer culminated in the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford in August. Tim Payton of the Arsenal Supporters Trust wrote in The Independent that "while Arsenal aren't in danger of dying, they do face the risk of serious decline on and off the pitch if urgent action isn't taken."

Arsenal had just lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, and an underfunded team had been humiliated. The Trust suggested paying down the remaining debt or undertaking a rights issue to help make up the gap with their better-funded opponents.

So the issues are depressingly familiar. When Usmanov writes that the self-sustaining model puts the onus on Wenger to sell his best players, demands more investment and calls for a rights issue, he is only echoing those Trust concerns. As Usmanov writes: "Where are the safeguards to ensure this doesn't happen again?"

 



Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable