Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has split from his wife after months of speculation about the state of his marriage, it has been claimed. The Gunners chief and long term lover Annie, 59, are said to have agreed a financial package and divided up their assets.
The couple, who have an 18-year-old daughter have not been pictured together since 2013. He has previously admitted that his high pressured job with the London club had put pressure on his relationship. It is understood court papers filed in Wenger’s hometown of Strasbourg, France, show they have not been together since June of this year.
The document - known as a “séparé du corps” in French - is not a full divorce but is a legal separation which means that the couple are not legally obliged to live together. A source said Wenger, 65, and Annie, who married in December 2010 after a long term relationship, had “not been happy for a while”.
“They have divided up their assets and agreed a financial package to separate.
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“They decided this was the best course of action to take.”
Wenger received an OBE with his wife by his side at the Foreign and Commonwealth office from Jack Straw in 2003 but they have not been seen with each other publicly since October 2013.
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In an interview in 2008 he revealed how he promised to quit football for his wife. He said: "Ten years ago I said to my wife [Annie], ‘Five more years and that’s all’, and I am still here. “It is difficult to find time to see them but there are jobs [which are worse]. You have guys who leave for work on Monday and come back on Friday.
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“In my job I travel, but the problem is not so much the quantity of time you spend with your family, it is the quality". “That is where this job is more damaging. You do not always give them the quality they deserve when you are at home because you are thinking of the next game.”
He added: “My wife likes watching football, she watches all the games of Arsenal at home. She is not a fanatic but she likes watching sports. No, she does not have much choice.”
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A spokesman for Arsenal where Wenger has been manager for 19 years said: “He is an employee and we do not talk about emloyees’ personal issues.” Wenger’s people were unavailable for comment.
- Mirror, UK