Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has announced that he will resign as the club manager at the end of the season.
The 68-year-old took charge of the club in 1996 and guided them to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
He has been under intense pressure after the club finished outside the league’s top four last season for the first time since Wenger arrived at the club in 1996, and are now 14 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with five matches remaining.
Wenger in a statement posted on Arsenal website, said it was time for him to step down.
“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.
“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.”
Arsenal Majority owner Stan Kroenke said Wenger had an exceptional record that will never be matched at the club.
“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” he said.
“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. Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also 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.”
Arsène will lead the team to the end of the season and we will make an appointment as soon as possible. The club will not be making any further comment on the selection process until an appointment is made.
Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final with the first leg to come on April 26