Arsene Wenger 'pulled the rug from under Ivan Gazids and his plans' by announcing his own departure after club wanted summer change
PUBLISHED: 11:37 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 22 April 2018
Danny Loo Photography 2018
The Islington Gazette can reveal why Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was insistent the search for the club’s next manager only began officially on Friday - because Arsene Wenger turned the tables on the top brass.
According to a well-placed source inside the club, Gazidis informed Wenger on Thursday ‘the club wanted change in the summer but didn’t want to announce it yet’.
Wenger, who has always insisted he would never walk out of a contract, reluctantly agreed, insisting all his staff would be fully compensated - to which Gazidis agreed.
However, after sleeping on it Wenger decided he wanted to leave on his terms, and informed the staff and players at London Colney on Friday morning.
The news stunned the staff, leaving many visibly shocked.
The source said: “Arsene pulled the rug from underneath Ivan and his plans by announcing his own departure”.
Panicked, Gazidis then organised a press conference for 5pm on Friday to praise Wenger.
The Arsenal bigwig gave a moving speech praising Wenger but refused to be drawn on the details on the parting, raising eyebrows when he explained the search for a new manager would only begin on Friday evening ‘out of respect for Arsene.’
The source added: “The staff all love him but they also all knew that it was time for him to go.
“They know it had become stale and that he had too much control – but as a human being they loved him.”
Wenger won three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups, including the Double in 1998 and 2002.