Arsenal fans poised to stage biggest protest of Wenger era

Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger has not won a trophy for Arsenal in seven years.

But the fed-up Gooners behind the biggest fan protest of Wenger’s 16-year reign insist their organised ‘walk’ is nothing to do with the club’s under-pressure manager.

Supporters’ group Black Scarf Movement are hoping the demo before Saturday’s home match against Swansea will number more than 1,000 people.

It would be easy to confuse the BSM’s unhappiness with a protest against Wenger but they claim they are making a stand against the way the club is run.

They are trying to protest against escalating ticket prices, the make-up of the club’s board, to get blundering chairman Peter Hill-Wood removed and consultation on things like where away fans should be seated.

Kelvin Meadows, a spokesman for the Black Scarf Movement, said: “Most Arsenal fans realise that there’s something wrong at the club. What divides opinion is who is responsible.

“We are doing this walk to highlight a few concerns, but when we reach the end at the stadium we will all get our flags out to show we are 100 per cent behind the team.

“But we want to know a few things with regard to what’s going on at the club:

“If there is money for the manager to spend why isn’t he spending it or why isn’t anyone telling him to spend it?

“If there’s not money to spend then where on earth has our money gone?

“We’ve got some of the most expensive ticket prices, yet where is the expenditure on the players?

“My personal point of view is that I think Wenger is partly responsible. But I think to a degree he has been left working with his hands tied behind his back.

“But the one thing we are trying to make clear is that it’s not about Wenger, but about the way the club is run. That’s what we have to stay focused on.”

Ironically, the BSM will be making their protest ahead of one of Arsenal‘s category C games with cheapest seats priced at £25 – a policy brought in after consultation with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association.

The policy means the cheapest seats on category A games – including the visits of Chelsea and Manchester United – are priced at £64 for general admission as they always sell out, while the stadium was not always full for lesser games last season.

There have only been two price-rises in seven years and Arsenal say they have tried to keep an open dialogue with all fans’ groups.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour insists Wenger is still a managerial genius – but no longer has the quality of players at his disposal that were present during the golden era.

Parlour said: “I see Wenger at the training ground a lot and he’s still doing the same things, still as enthusiastic and still wants to win.

“But it’s getting harder each year, especially when you don’t have the Bergkamps or Henrys. Everyone’s entitled to a view. But I think the fans see and appreciate what he does for the club.”

Arsenal go into the Swansea game without half of their first-choice back four – Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny are injured, so Carl Jenkinson comes in and Per Mertesacker keeps his place.

Germany international Metesacker made his Arsenal debut against Swansea last season – on an equally tense occasion after the Gunners had made a poor start and were in need of a win.

Mertesacker stresses the need for three points to kick-start a winning sequence and added: “My first game last year was against Swansea, so it’s always something special to face them.

“We want to get the three points – the league is getting harder every year and every opponent is getting better, so we need to keep concentrating and show exactly what we can do.

“We have to look at our game first and improve on the Everton performance. We have to respect our game as well as that of the opponent.

“December is here, and it’s a very important month for us – let’s start it as we mean to go on.”

Mirror

  1. Clement michael Inobeme Reply

    Wengans method is old fashion, try and be pudated

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