Gazidis: Gunners are financial force

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis claims Arsenal can compete in the transfer market after the club announced a £150million extension of their sponsorship deal with Emirates.

Football News: Arsene Wenger, Ivan Gazidis

The airline will continue their shirt partnership until the end of the 2018/19 season, while also holding naming rights on the Gunners' 60,000-seater stadium at Ashburton Grove until 2028.

The £30million-a-year contract represents a significant increase in additional revenue for Arsenal, who have not won a trophy since 2005 and have seen several leading players sold.

Most recently last season's captain Robin van Persie joined rivals Manchester United for £24million instead of agreeing a new deal and England forward Theo Walcott is the latest Arsenal player to stall over a contract extension.

Part of Arsenal's new deal will see a significant portion of cash paid within the current financial year, increasing manager Arsene Wenger's transfer warchest.

Many of Arsenal's commercial deals tied with helping the club's move from Highbury in 2005 are close to their renewal date - including the current shirt manufacturer contract with Nike, which is up in 2014.

While Arsenal may be committed to planning for life within the new Financial Fair Play regulations, Gazidis insists the club can hold their own in the market.

He said: "What we can do is to develop a really strong financial platform for the club which give us the ability to compete for top players, both that we want to bring in and whom we want to keep.

"We will be able to be more financially competitive, which will enable us to push forwards on the field.

"We can pay bigger salaries and I think we can invest more in transfer fees.

"How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgement over the years has been shown to be absolutely outstanding.

"There is nobody else I would want to be thinking about those types of decisions on behalf of this football club."

Gazidis, though, maintains just simply ploughing money into the team for the sake of it is not the way to go.

"It is very easy to spend a lot of money and not get a lot of benefit from that on the pitch," he said.

"We have had a manager who has done an outstanding job through a difficult period and he will do an outstanding job investing this money, I have no doubt about that."

Gazidis added: "We do have cash coming in from this Emirates deal, because we wanted to start to invest in the team a little more now, so we will have that capability by the summer.

"But we also kept some powder dry, so we have got the ability to invest if the manager finds the right opportunities in January."

Gazidis has found himself the target of fans frustrations this season, as the chief executive with a salary of £2.1m, and was given a frosty reception at the annual general meeting as well as being barracked by away support at Manchester United.

However, the 48-year-old former Major League Soccer deputy commissioner insisted he did not take any of that criticism to heart.

"I don't take those criticisms personally. We know what path we are on and I am convinced we will be able to deliver on that," said Gazidis.

"There are a lot of people who work passionately for this club who care about this club just as much as the fans do.

"We are not satisfied where we are, Arsene is not satisfied, and nor are the players.

"We trying to push forwards, but the strategy is we try to stand on our own two feet.

"I don't pretend it is not without challenges. We are competing against clubs who seem to have unlimited budgets.

"It would not be a succesful strategy to try to outspend them, so we have adopted a different path.

"Success on the pitch drive commercial revenues, and commercial revenues enhance our ability to compete on the pitch.

"We are developing the right strategic plan for our club which gives us the foundation to compete - whether we can deliver on that will depend on how well we execute it."



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