sport news Arsenal left red-faced as Rob Holding signs alone without Arsene Wenger

Arsenal's official picture of defender Rob Holding signing a new four-year contract this week sums up the difficulties of announcing a month in advance that manager Arsene Wenger would be leaving at the end of the season.

The Holding snapshot was highly unusual in that there was no one else in the picture when almost every other signing moment coming out of Arsenal or any other major club has the manager or a senior official alongside the player. 

Arsenal say there was no one else around when Holding signed, although they admit there was also some sensitivity about including the manager in the picture when he's leaving in a few weeks. 

Rob Holding was all alone in his snapshot as he signed his new Arsenal deal on Tuesday

Rob Holding was all alone in his snapshot as he signed his new Arsenal deal on Tuesday

And an Emirates insider revealed that Wenger would have received a battering on social media if he had been pictured.

However it still seems very strange that chief executive Ivan Gazidis, or another member of the management team, couldn't provide moral support for Holding. 

Mark Lawrenson was in the Liverpool team who won the European Cup at the Stadio Olimpico in in 1984, yet the BBC Radio 5 Live football pundit was refused entry on Wednesday night before Liverpool's semi-final second leg because he didn't have any ID. Lawro was eventually allowed in — but it took some time.

Only the MCC management and membership could spend three hours at their annual general meeting on Wednesday discussing numerous mundane issues, but devote less than two minutes to property developer Charles Rifkind's offer for members and cricket fans to buy into ownership of the tunnels under the Nursery End that has attracted global interest. The meeting was even being held above those very tunnels.

MCC chief executive Guy Lavender said the Rifkind initiative didn't impact on

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