Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke has issued his own statement, saying the decision for Arsene Wenger to step down as Arsenal manager after 22 years was one of his most difficult days in sport.
“One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene 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.”
The early favourite to succeed Wenger is the former Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel, although with the German understood to be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain to replace Unai Emery, the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Patrick Vieira are being touted as Wenger’s potential successor.