The escalating conflict within the Arsenal boardroom over the Robin van Persie saga has left a sour taste in the mouth and Chairman Peter Hill-Wood has moved to calm the situation. The 76 year old chairman was unhappy with the Alisher Usmanov’s public criticism of the Arsenal board over the handling of the Van Persie contract situation, stating that the 2nd largest shareholder’s comments were ‘not at all helpful’.
Hill-Wood also told the Guardian that he still believed that the club was being run in the correct way, especially with respect to financial matters: “We don’t have the same oil wealth that [City's owner] Sheikh Mansour has. He is prepared to pay astronomical figures for players; we cannot pay that sort of money, and we can’t compete.” He also called for a sense of reality to be restored as he added: “We give the manager as much money as we possibly can, and all we can do is continue. We have run the club sensibly, and we haven’t done badly; it’s not as if we have been relegated.”
Van Persie’s imminent departure is just one in the long list of high-profile exits from the club in recent years and coupled with the fact that they haven’t collected a trophy in 7 years, Arsene Wenger and the board will only be under further scrutiny in the months to come.