Published: 5 July, 2012
by STEVE BARNETT
ARSENAL fans’ worst fears were realised yesterday (Wednesday) when striker Robin van Persie finally announced that he has no intentions of signing a new contract at the club.
The Gunners’ captain (pictured) sparked a chase for his signature after citing a disagreement about how the club “should move forward” that had left him with no other choice but to leave.
The 28-year-old, who has a year left on his current contract, confirmed he had met manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, and made it clear that he was not impressed with what he heard.
“I have kept quiet all this time out of respect and loyalty for the club and, as agreed with Mr Gazidis and Mr Wenger, but since there is so much speculation in the media, I think it is fair for you guys to know what’s really going on at the moment,” the Dutchman wrote on his official website.
“As announced earlier this year I had a meeting with the boss and Mr Gazidis after the season.
“This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy.
Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.
“Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but, unfortunately, in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.”
Van Persie scored 41 goals in 53 games for club and country last season, a feat that saw him named both the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ player of the year.
In an emotional statement, the forward, who joined from Feyenoord for £2.75million eight years ago, said: “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.
“You guys, the fans, have of course the right to disagree with my view and decision and I will always respect your opinions.
“I love the club and the fans, no matter what happens. I have grown up and became a man during my time with Arsenal FC.
“Everybody at the club and the fans have always supported me over the years and I have always given my all [and more] on and off the pitch.
“I am very proud of being part of this fantastic club for the last eight years.”
Arsenal Football Club issued a simple statement stressing that, “We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfil his commitments to the club.
“We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.”