English Premiership

TV money lures Henry away from beloved Gunners

2016-07-12 19:49
Thierry Henry (File)

London - France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry ended his association with the English Premier League club on Tuesday preferring to focus on his burgeoning media career.

The 38-year-old former striker - part of the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning teams - could have coached the Gunners' Under-18 side, but declined the offer when Arsene Wenger told him he would have to give up his lucrative Sky Sports TV contract for which he is reportedly paid £4 million (R75 million) a year.

Henry, Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 174 goals in 254 appearances from 1999 to 2007, had been working with Arsenal youth players as part of his UEFA A Licence course.

Another former Arsenal legend, Tony Adams, 49, will take the role with the Under-18s.

Adams's former central-defensive partner Steve Bould is Wenger's assistant manager while another ex-player, Freddie Ljungberg, will work with the Under-16s.

Henry must now find a team to coach to complete his Pro Licence.

Reviews of Henry's performances as a pundit for Sky have been largely critical, but critics agreed that he was far better on the BBC during Euro 2016.

Noted sports TV critic Giles Smith said in The Times newspaper on Tuesday: "One puzzle we're nowhere nearer solving: how can the same Thierry Henry who is so open and engaging on the BBC be such a lump of wet wool on Sky Sports?"

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