Arsene Wenger has brought the curtain down on his 22-year Arsenal reign after the club’s powerbrokers won their battle to dethrone the Frenchman.
The manager confirmed on Friday he will walk away at the end of season after weeks of speculation about his future.
But Sportsmail understands Wenger was pushed into the decision after it was made clear to him that he would not be in charge next season.
The club’s board have grown increasingly dissatisfied with Wenger’s performance over the past two years and especially given this season’s poor Premier League campaign.
Even the side’s successful run to the Europa League semi-final has failed to quell the belief that Wenger’s time is up.
One senior Arsenal source said ahead of last week’s 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow that the run was all ‘too little, too late’.
Wenger has been well aware of the lack of support from the club’s hierarchy in recent weeks but held on to the hope that winning the Europa League would enable him at least to see out the final 12 months of his contract.
It became clear this week he was fighting a losing battle. To all intents and purposes, Wenger has been dismissed rather than walked of his own accord.