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Arsenal fans want 'fresh blood' on board

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013 « Wozniacki wins through in serving nightmare | Chartbeat test »

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) has called for "fresh blood" on the club's board and said it is imperative that more money is spent on improving the squad rather than boosting profits.

The Arsenal board will meet on Thursday and it has been made clear that majority shareholder Stan Kroenke remains fully behind Arsene Wenger despite the club appearing set for an eighth successive season without silverware.

The AST said it is too early for it to draw its own conclusions on Wenger's performance this season but believes the board is not doing enough to create the conditions for success.

"At the meeting today the board must review its approach to much more than just the position of Arsene Wenger," an AST spokesperson told Press Association Sport. "The board needs to consider recruiting new members with exposure to the football world who can support and challenge Wenger to be a better manager.

"It's wrong to focus on just him at the moment. Every single non-executive director of the club is over 70 years old and it is time for some fresh blood. We would call for Stan Kroenke to meet with (second-largest shareholder) Alisher Usmanov to work out how to make it stronger.

"Our position is that we review the manager at the end of the season. The board must ask hard questions about itself and not just the manager."

There have been concerns that the club has failed to find adequate replacements for the key players who have departed Emirates Stadium in recent seasons despite the club raising significant funds through ticket prices, television revenue and sponsorship deals.

The spokesperson added: "AST members are not happy with the current situation. We think the club needs to review how they scout, recruit and pay players as the current approach is creating a depreciation in competitiveness. It is time for Kroenke to show to Arsenal fans some of his vision, to end his silence and to engage properly with them.

"We would also like the board to be more accountable for the transfer budget available to the manager and make sure it is spent on players and not just used as profit." Reports in several newspapers in recent days have indicated that Wenger is to be given £70 million to spend on the squad in the summer should he lead the club back into the Champions League next season.

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