Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes the time has come for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners board to come clean on how the club is being run.
In the wake of Robin van Persie’s explanation as to why he would not be renewing his Arsenal contract, Wright feels that there can be no more excuses for the club allowing their best players to leave each year.
And, he believes they must now tell the fans exactly what is going on behind the scenes.
Van Persie’s message has left a bitter taste in the mouth of Arsenal fans after he criticised the hierarchy’s vision for the club and made it clear he was unimpressed by the lack of top signings required for the Gunners to compete for trophies.
Despite the additions of Germany international Lukas Podolski and the top-scoring striker in Ligue 1 last season, Olivier Giroud, van Persie has seemingly decided he cannot stay at the club he has been with since 2004.
Wright, though, feels his decision is justified, whether Gunners fans like it or not.
“I don’t blame him for his decision,” Wright told The Sun.
“In fact, I don’t think he even has a choice anymore because he’s an ambitious, world-class player who can’t achieve his targets with the club.”
The 48-year-old also feels strongly that devoted fans, who have seen the club through thick and thin, deserve the opportunity to find out once and for all whether Arsenal do have the money to compete financially, or not.
“So now it’s time for Arsene Wenger and the directors to come clean because the supporters — who have stuck by their team for seven long years without a trophy — deserve to know just what is going on.
“How the hell did a club of Arsenal’s standing and resources get to the point where they are forced to wave goodbye to at least one top star every year?”
Wright sympathises with van Persie and feels the mass exodus from the club in recent summers shows that Arsenal haven’t moved with the times, citing trophies and not money as the reason players head for the exit door.
“Since Thierry Henry decided in 2007 he had to leave in order to win the Champions League there has been a steady stream of players through the exit door at The Emirates,” he said.
“Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor have all gone on to bigger and better things since leaving.
“And it’s nothing to do with money. It’s about joining a club with the ambition to win major titles rather than one happy just to drift along in the top four.”
With Theo Walcott also being linked with a possible departure, Wright feels that the only way Arsenal can arrest the slide is by investing heavily in the team to assure those in it of the club’s intentions.
“The problem with Arsenal is they will pay big wages but won’t pay a big transfer fee.
“Last year they gave up on Juan Mata without even putting up a fight and the year before it was the same with David Silva. These guys are up for grabs. But Arsenal never grab them.
“This is why the club needs to tell the fans the truth about the financial situation. Do they have money to spend — or not?”