Arsene Wenger may be the lightning rod for criticism at Arsenal but the club’s second biggest shareholder believes Stan Kroenke and the board must share the blame for recent issues.
Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov owns 30.04 per cent of Arsenal but has never been allowed a place on the board by majority shareholder Kroenke.
The duo have repeatedly disagreed over how the club should be run and Usmanov believes the board are hiding their failures behind the manager.
“I do not think that the coach alone is to be blamed for what is happening,” Usmanov told Bloomberg, adding that the board “bears huge responsibility”.
Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League and are in danger of missing out on the Champions League places for the first time under Wenger, whose contract expires this summer.
A new two-year deal is, however, on the table and MirrorSport understands he intends to sign.
Usmanov suggested Wenger should continue for now, but that he should also start preparing a successor.
“Some continuity is needed,” said Usmanov. “This includes the need to prepare a successor for Wenger, but in a very respectful way. I can suggest that Wenger himself can prepare a successor.”
He added: “I personally, unfortunately, am fully isolated from decision making in the club. All the responsibility for the fate of the club rests with the main shareholder.”