ARSENAL HAVE CONFIRMED that assistant manager Pat Rice will leave the club at the end of the season.
The 63-year-old joined the Gunners as a youngster in 1964 and won a number of major honours with the team, including one league title and two FA Cups.
As a member of the backroom staff, Rice has aided manager Arsene Wenger as he guided the club to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.
Youth team coach Steve Bould has been named as Rice’s successor, while reserve team coach Neil Banfield will also be promoted, with Boro Primorac remaining among the youth set-up.
In a statement on the club’s website, Wenger said: “Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.
“Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.
“I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.
“Thank you Pat, we’ll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we’ll still see Pat a lot, as I know he’s planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!”
There have been calls for a change of backroom staff at the Emirates for some time with a section of fans calling for Bould to replace Rice due to the former’s reputation for voicing his opinion, a trait not associated with the outgoing assistant as the Gunners near seven years without silverware.