Arsenal Manager Wenger Signs Contract Extension to 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signed a three-year extension to his contract, taking him to May 2017 at the English Premier League soccer club.

The 64-year-old Frenchman has led Arsenal to three league titles and five F.A. Cups since joining the north London team in 1996 from Japan’s Grampus Eight. Previously he won the French league title with Monaco.

The terms weren’t revealed today, although the contract is worth 8 million pounds ($13.4 million) a year, the Daily Mail reported.

Earlier this month Arsenal won the F.A. Cup by beating Hull City 3-2 in the final, giving the Gunners’ their first major trophy since winning the same competition in 2005. The team, which finished fourth in the top division, has qualified for the Champions League for 17 straight years. Wenger, the longest-serving manager in England’s top four divisions, has overseen 1,010 matches with the club.

“I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club. We are entering a very exciting period,” Wenger said in a team statement announcing the contract extension. “We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.”

He added that Arsenal “has always shown faith in me and I’m very grateful for that.”

‘Fantastic Periods’

“We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together,” he said. “Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and hopefully we can make some more history. I am sure we can.”

Majority owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, praised Wenger’s “outstanding record.”

“Sustained excellence is the hardest thing to achieve in sport,” Kroenke said, “and the fact Arsenal has competed at the top of the game in England and Europe throughout the time Arsene has been manager is the ultimate testimony to his consistency of performance, talent and ambition.”

Wenger guided Arsenal to league and F.A. Cup “doubles” in 1998 and 2002, and in 2004 led the Gunners through an undefeated league campaign to win the title and earn the nickname “Invincibles.”

He’s also had to deal with financial constraints on team spending as a result of the club’s move from Highbury to the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium.

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