Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis has been in the news lately for declaring his love for Arsene Wenger, as he is getting ready to be offered a new contract. Gazidis has now come out and said that Arsenal are able to compete to sign the best players available. Gazidis claims that Arsenal will also be able to rival Bayern Munich financially in two years time. These are exciting quotes coming out of someone who has been cautious with money in his time at Arsenal. One player in particular who Arsenal have been linked with is Wayne Rooney. Without mentioning Rooney, Gazidis answered the question if the club can afford a £25 player and £250,000 per week wages like this:
“Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.
“We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. What excites Arsène isn’t necessarily what excites you.”
“There is no ideological narrative at stake here,” said Gazidis. “The ideological narrative is we want to have the best possible players, the best possible team and compete for trophies and Arsène will do what he thinks is right to do that. There is no philosophical line in the sand and I suspect that he would pay £25m for Lionel Messi.”
I am one who trusts Wenger with an empty chequebook, as I believe that he can spot top class players and not pay an unreasonable fee for them.
“This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower,” Gazidis said. “That’s going to happen partly into next season. It’s part way available now in the summer but the following season as well. It’s a progression over the next two seasons. It’s quite significant for the club.
“My own view is we are moving into a new phase where if we make our decisions well, if we get the right chemistry, and if we do a variety of other things as well, not just the new players that come in but the right kind of things on the football side, that we can compete with any club in the world.
“We’ve seen two clubs this year in the Champions League final [Bayern and Borussia Dortmund] both of whom run responsible financial models and they’re pretty fantastic teams and exciting to watch. There’s no reason why we can’t do that.”
Gazidis was also quick to point out that the wage bill at Arsenal is currently their biggest expense. We are going through a process of letting players that don’t play leave: Denilson, Arshavin, and Squillaci to name a few.
“Our biggest expense is our wage bill,” said Gazidis. “There is a massive amount of thought that goes into it. It will continue to evolve with a new financial capability behind it, which means we can do some things perhaps that we haven’t been able to do while we have had one hand tied behind our back.”
The words that Gazidis speaks are filling me with hope that the club can finally compete in the market, without going into debt by spending money we don’t have. Hopefully, Wenger can add some new additions as quickly as possible in order to be fully prepared for the upcoming season.