Stand behind the team: Arsene Wenger confirms he will leave Arsenal this summer
Arsène Wenger will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.
The 68 year-old has been in charge at the club for 22 years but will bring that time to an end this summer. The club have confirmed they will appoint his successor 'as soon as possible'.
“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season," he said in a statement on the club's website.
“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.
“I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special. I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high.
“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields during his time in charge at Arsenal, also keeping the club in the Champions League for 20 successive seasons. He shepherded the 'Invincibles' to their unbeaten 03/04 Premier League campaign for what would prove his final league title in charge of the club.
Arsenal's largest shareholder Stan Kroenke said: “This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.
“Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude. He has transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played.
“We have high ambitions to build on Arsène’s remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.
“We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal’s history and one of the greats of the game.”
Wenger will finish five years behind Manchester United'd legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who served 27 years in the role, and eight behind former Portadown manager Ronnie McFall, who held his position for almost 30 years.
Belfast Telegraph Digital