Arsenal guard of honour for Manchester United and Robin van Persie

Arsenal players OBJECT to giving old boy Van Persie and champions United guard of honour

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

11:35 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 April 2013

Reluctant Arsenal players are
privately unhappy about giving newly crowned champions Manchester United — and their
former captain, Robin van Persie — a guard of honour when they meet at
the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – but they are still expected to perform the honour.

A
guard of honour is a tradition in games involving teams who have just
won the title. Privately, a number of Arsenal players have expressed
objections towards the gesture, particularly in front of their own
supporters, but it is understood it will still go ahead.

Arsenal’s
pain will be offset by a 1.5million bonus they will receive due to a
clause inserted in Van Persie’s contract when he signed last summer. The
clause was activated when United won the title.

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

NOW READ ASH WEDNESDAY…

CLICK HERE: As much as it will hurt Wenger, Arsenal should give United a guard of honour… just as Ferguson did in 1991

Meanwhile, David
Gill has promised the champions will invest in new players this summer, though he expects Manchester City to be active, also.

He said: 'I’m sure they will come back. They’ve got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy. But that’s what the excitement of the Premier League is. I’m sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer – as we will be – with a view to come back all guns blazing next year.'

The out-going chief executive has also praised the work of the American owners. Gill claims United's success proves the determination of the Glazers to keep things progressing on and off the pitch, and that some of the criticism they get is unfair.

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

He
added: 'The Glazers have definitely demonstrated that since they have
taken over they have shown that what happens on the pitch is crucial to
the club’s ambitions off it.

'There
are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there
and they have had long held views which they are not going to change. We
respect those, but ultimately, someone has to own the club.

'They
[Glazers] get the personal enjoyment and the important thing is that
there is really no ego about them. They operate behind the scenes here,
they don’t walk around saying “we own the club”, and they are very
mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people.

'Clearly, if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 20th title, it’s unbelievable.'