By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger says the sale of David Dein's shares will not effect his work, his new contract or their friendship.

On Thursday it was announced that the former vice-chairman had been installed as chairman of the Red & White group after trading his 14.86 per cent stake to joint owners Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri. The news dominated his pre-match press conference on Friday. But Wenger's stance was clear - the deal changed nothing.

"David decided to sell his shares because he was outside the Club now and everybody can understand that," said the Frenchman. "He got rewarded with a good deal for the quality of his work because the shares have gone up. For the rest nothing has changed [because] the structure of the shares is the same.

"At the moment we have 50 per cent shares inside the board and 50 per cent outside, which are very much shared. Who will go with who I don't know and basically it's not my problem.

"Personally I cannot sell one share because I have none and don't want to help anybody. I don't want to be involved in a strategic struggle for shares because I consider myself an employee who wants to do well for the Club.

"Yes I've retained my friendship with David, which is important. Whether he's inside or outside the Club he's my friend. I have a big responsibility inside the Club to do my best for them. Whether David's inside or outside that is exactly the same. I just want to do well for the Club."

The manager also indicated that a decision over his future would be announced next week.


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Richard Clarke 31 Aug 2007