The leader of what was once considered one of the best-managed soccer clubs in the world stepped down Friday and the Twittersphere erupted in two opposite directions: jubilation and sadness. Half of English football fans seem to regard the departure from the Arsenal Football Club of 68-year-old Arsene Wenger as coming years too late. The other half rues the brutality of a changing industry that turned his virtues into handicaps. Wenger was enormously successful and his club was nicely profitable, but his fall is a reminder of how quickly industries can change — and how even a great leader's fortunes can turn if he doesn't change with them. The French-born coach had spent 22 years at the helm. An economist by education, he looked more like his nickname, "the professor," than a hardscrabble soccer coach. Fans made parlor games out of reading emphasis into his monotonous interview responses and searching his pleasantly lined face for a flicker of expression. Wenger wasn't always the co...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.