Ivan Gazidis interview with Fox Sports

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Ivan Gazidis interview

After yesterday’s game with Aston Villa, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was interviewed on Fox Sports show, Goals on Sunday. He spoke about the team, the January transfer window, Arsenal’s business model and more.

Arseblog News has the full transcript below.

Christian Miles: Right now, joining us on the phone is Chief Executive – AND former MLS Deputy Commissioner – Ivan Gazidis. Ivan, thanks for taking the time here … let’s get your thoughts, I mean, what a great comeback from your boys.

IG: Yeah, it was a great, great show of character, I thought, tonight. Two-nil down at half time, and our backs were against the wall but I thought we came out in the second half and  really played the way we can play and got the wide players involved and managed to get the opportunities and a little bit of luck as well and it all came together, so fantastic atmosphere in the stadium as well, pushing the boys on.

CM: Ivan, a tough week in the lead up here, three consecutive losses in the Barclay’s Premier League but: The transfer window is closing on Tuesday Night. Any new faces on the way?

IG:  Well, We always keep that news very close to our chest that, you know, the last transfer window a lot of things happened on the deadline day. I think what we’re seeing in this window generally is a little bit less activity. It’s difficult to find really top quality in the January window.  You’re half way through the season, so clubs are very reluctant to let their best players go at this time of year. And I think you’re seeing, around the league, that to be the case. So, um, we’ll see how the next 48 hours plays out, but in general there hasn’t been a lot of movement.

Warren Barton:  And you’re also keeping a lot of things close to your chest. With Arsene Wenger, has he got a budget? Has he got money to spend, or is he going to work under a budget you’ve given him?

IG:  [big breath intake]  You know, it’s interesting – there seems to be some mystery about this, but we’re about the least mysterious club in the world [Warren laughs], we’re a public company. We publish our accounts. Anybody can have a look at them, they’re publicly available, you can look at them, and you can pretty much work out what our monetary situation is.

All of the money we make is available to us, and to spend, and you know, we don’t pay dividends to our owners. All the money stays in the club, and is reinvested and after – and over – time has done a superb job. We one of only two clubs that has been in Champion’s League consistently in the past decade and a half, and  we continue to do well, we continue to aim to stay right at the top of the game. And all of the money the club generates is available for Arsene.

WB: So he obviously doesn’t spend it then!
[Warren and Kyle Martino laugh to each other]

Keith Costigan: Well, Ivan —

IG: [Cuts in] He … he spends it. But he spends it with a view not just to the short term, but also to the long term, so uh, you know, people don’t think about Oxlade-Chamberlain, but we spent a lot of money on Oxlade-Chamberlain. We believe that this is a young player who is an exciting prospect, and there are a lot of clubs in the Premier League that would love to have him, believe me. Laurent Koscielny, who I believe is turning into one of the best defenders in League. Thomas Vermaelen. These are all players that have been signed in the last couple of years and people just tend to forget about that and all of them required significant investment.

Keith Costigan: Well, Ivan, we seem to always, to continuously hear about this business model that Arsenal run on. You talked about some of the signings they made over the few (two?) years. But does this business model stop you competing for the very elite players and spending astronomical amounts on one or two players?

IG: It does mean we can’t afford to compete with oil money, and we can’t afford to compete with from, you know, super-wealthy individuals from Russia. But I think the more important thing that our model is that it’s sustainable. So, if we’ve learned anything from the world’s economic crisis, it has to be that football clubs need to have responsibility – not just for today, but for their own futures. And,  you know, our business model means that we can continue to do what we’re doing forever.

Our focus is *always* on young players, we’ve got fantastic development system and still there are young players coming through consistently from our youth ranks and that’ll continue to be the way Arsenal do things. We play football in a certain way, a little bit different to everyone else. We develop our team that’s a little bit different to everybody else. And, yes. We can’t afford to spend 50, 60, 70 million pounds on an individual player. But, we’re proud of the way we do things, and we’re proud of the results that we’re able to produce from that.

Kyle Martino: Now, Ivan. SIX years without a trophy. The fans are anxious, and there’s no doubt Arsene Wenger’s had a legendary career. But does he need to get a trophy and is it time to say that maybe he doesn’t have a job for life?
[gives really odd, knowing, smug look to the camera. Sorry, for editorializing, but it’s really smug – sort of a nudge nudge, wink wink sort of look.]

IG: Well, nobody has a job for life! And of course our objective is always to win trophies, and it is this year as it has been before. We’re in three competitions this year. You know, Manchester City would *love* to be in three competitions. They’re not. [Warren laughs] You know, so, money is not, is not everything in this game. I don’t disagree that it’s important. But we do things based on a value system. We’re about creating star players, not about buying them. We’re about what happens in a team, between players, not individual superstars. And I think that’s an inspiration to people around the world.

People I meet from all around the world, when they think about Arsenal Football Club, think about the style with which we play the game. And our fans have tremendous pride in that. Now of course there’s anxiety when the clubs are spending the kind of money they’re spending. We don’t believe that’s sustainable for the long term. We think that has to come to an end. UEFA agrees with us and is bringing limits on spending in, and we’ll continue to do things the way we do them. And as I say, we’re proud of that. And we’re happy we’ve got one of the greatest managers that the world’s ever seen at the helm of that.

Christian Miles; Hey, Ivan, we want to thank you for joining us. Best of luck for the rest of the season.

IG: Great. Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate it

Transcript provided by James and Betty – many thanks guys!

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ETaner92

Maybe it’s just because i’m a bit slow, but the ‘um’s and ‘ah’s make this quite difficult to read. It’s probably cos i’m a bit slow.

Ebouefan

Um..uh…..errr.
fart,

ThaatArsenalGuy

Totally Agree

paddymac

This is going to enfuriate a lot of fans. Notice how he didn’t actually answer the budget question. Very predictable answers, but then I’m sure no one expected any revelations.

Jack Straw

Would it help anyone for him to say we have 50m (or whatever number it is) available to spend? It would only weaken our bargaining position in any potential transfer. I think anyone who expected that is kind of silly.

Nick

Exactly! If we put it out there that we have XXXXXXXX to spend and we want a player all their club is gonna do is stall and ask for more. Especially since Wenger has such a habit of lowballing offers then finding out later another club bought the player for only a million more than we offered.

paddymac

That wasn’t what I was inferring – I do agree that we have to play our cards close to our chest during a transfer window, otherwise we run the risk of the Man Cities of this world snatching players from under our noses. However it doesn’t give any answers to the failures in previous transfer windows and what seems to be a lack of ambition in the transfer market.

My main point was that it would be nice to get some straight answers rather than the usual politician-esque rhetoric. Seemed like an utterly pointless interview to me.

CAGooner

Perhaps it was a pointless interview, but the only other card FOX seems to have would be to trot Piers Morgan out again.

Goonermonkey

All predictable answers, but then we already know the answers and all the questions. He’s right, the accounts are published and there have been some interesting links to articles I’ve read from the Arseblog site that explains it all. We know we can’t spend £50,000,000 on Torres like Chelski, or even £35,000,000 on Carroll like Liverpool, but then look at how that’s turned out for them.

Unfortunately it’s a scratched record that I think will continue until we shut some of the nay-sayers up and win some shiny things.

UP THE ARSENAL!

Shaun Murphy

Gazidis: And, you know, our business model means that we can continue to do what we’re doing forever. – Goody gumdrops. I bet that’s as much of a relief to everyone else as it is to me.

Cygan's Left Foot

LOL, I was thinking the same, but he really meant it by following it up with this; “Our focus is *always* on young players, we’ve got fantastic development system and still there are young players coming through consistently from our youth ranks and that’ll continue to be the way Arsenal do things. We play football in a certain way, a little bit different to everyone else. We develop our team that’s a little bit different to everybody else. And, yes. We can’t afford to spend 50, 60, 70 million pounds on an individual player. But, we’re proud of the way… Read more »

simms21

Kyle Martino is a clown, he’s wasn’t even good enough to be a bench player for the LA Galaxy so he retired, now he thinks he has the nous to talk about running a club.

Nick

“We’re about creating star players, not about buying them. We’re about what happens in a team, between players, not individual superstars. And I think that’s an inspiration to people around the world.” We may be about creating them but it doesn’t seem we’re about keeping them! There aren’t many true Arsenal fans out there who want us to buy a individual player valued at the heights of Messi or Ronaldo. What we want are true quality players that fit into our style of play and would be vast improvements at certain areas. I also think it’s a little cheeky to… Read more »

Sabrina

I don’t think he’s anticipating that we lose in the next round. The longer we’re in it the better chance we have to win it which is what no doubt City would like to do also the same with the Champions League. We can win the FA Cup without losing out on the CL spaces.

Van Ali

I am with developing young talents and making stars. However, the most important thing is to keep your best players, and we have been failing big time doing that. What’s the point then from all the hard work? Just making mone to add to that saved money in the start?

Zack

I agree, I wish instead of all the focus on transfer fees there was at least one question about the wage structure and how it relates to being able to keep our guys.

Jay gooner

good to see ivan standing up for arsene, maybe its how I read it but he came across quite well. to be fair im a very staunch AKB member so agreeing with someone defending the gaffer is always going to be my reaction

Darren

‘And all of the money the club generates is available for Arsene.’

^That, along with the ‘we can’t compete with oil money/Russian billionaire’ line effectively shows the transfer bracket we’re in right now. About 15-25 million in my eyes. Any players valued by the market (even if it isn’t necessarily there real value) above that we’ll struggle to get.

Darren

Also, what really gets me about the youth players development bit is not the policy – its fine to have a policy which doesn’t go out and buy star players and focuses on developing them. A youth policy is actually very good. Its the lack of filling up the so very obvious holes in the squad (get a decent youth prospect to back-up RVP for example!) and the persistence with those who have failed in this policy (Diaby especially) that really, really gets to me. And I think that is down to just plain old stubbornness, primarily Wenger. He’s the… Read more »

Witoldo

Well, Bendtner was supposed to be the replacement. Or Vela. Didn’t work it, but nothing is fool proof in life. We brought in Chamakh to cover RVP and he did admirably at the beginning of 2010-2011.

As far as long-term replacement go, we bought Joel Campbell this summer. We have Benik Afobe. Maybe one of those two develops into a force.

Darren

I agree nobody could have possible factored in Chamakh’s abysmal loss of form, but I still think Arsene never errs on the side of caution. We could have really done with an injection of quality any where in the forward line (I’m not convinced by Gervinho at all). Take the midfield too. After losing one of the top 3 players in the world in that position in Fabregas, we went into the new season depending on Wilshere/Ramsey/Diaby/Arteta (to a lesser extent because he was never going to be the creative one) to fill that hole. We haven’t looked the same… Read more »

Rob'67

All predictable dross from our ‘beloved’ CE. We’ve heard it all before, as tractor production in North Korea is always 4000% up on last year. It’s just a pity half the population are starving. If Gazedis and Hill-Wood are so obsessed with organic growth they should bring in Felicity Kendall and Richard Briars. This club needs big changes in it’s key personnel and he’s one of them. The alternative is ‘steady as she goes’ so within three years Arsenal will be a real ‘tea pot team’. Stuck in mid table and going no where. We are well on the way… Read more »

KnysnaGunner

Anyone who manages to find fault with IG’s answers obviously has no financial or business management sense. We have the best managed club in the world, unfortunately not a god-given right to win silverware every year. ManU, Chelsea, ManCiteh, Spuds all went through much longer periods without silverware. Stop criticizing the club – either support AFC 100% or go and find yourself another (better) club to support. I for one am sick and tired of numpties who think they know better than the professionals running our great club.

Rob'67

” I for one am sick and tired of numpties who think they know better than the professionals ruining our great club.”

There you are ! Fixed it for you !

KnysnaGunner

Then you know what to do – go and support another club. We do not need your sort.

Cygan's Left Foot

News Flash,

If you didn’t agree with KnysnaGunner and his blind sheep mentality go and support another club.

GREAT.

Tuesdayclubber

He has got a point though Rob’67. i’ve always believed that all you can ask of your team is to compete to the best of their ability which i believe as a club we always do. I’m an Economics teacher and always use Arsenal as a case study of how a business model or brand should be run. Of course trophies are important but we do not have a god given right to win them and i’m not prepared to have the board run my club into administration trying. Look at Leeds!

the only sam is nelson

“We’re about creating star players, not about buying them” <— this bit would be fine *if* it weren't for the unspoken "… and then selling them to Barca or Citeh" bit that Ivan forgot. Don't mind the occasional dose of realism in terms of where Arsenal sit in relation to clubs with bottomless wells of money to spend. I wonder if AW's reputation for player development helps us in the transfer market? I mean agents must hate us but the players must be interested. At least if they value becoming better at their trade, that is. Although defenders might think… Read more »

goonerbegood

Am glad IG has made some comments , yes we don’t want Mighty Arsenal FC run like others or spending money on over priced players, however what is the point then in bringing in players whom are not good enough to wear our shirt. Or pLayers whom are always injured when we need them the most and then come back when the season is almost over . We are not asking for 35 million players but players whom can add grit and work rate to our team. Players whom won’t be bullied . Another Point is buying the players on… Read more »

Cygan's Left Foot

Oh no, don’t say that you hurt the Arsene knows blind followers feelings.

What is more disturbing, we give a profile making manager pay rise and bounces and not a pay cut or pay freeze for winning NOTHING.

You just couldn’t make it up.

paddymac

That wasn’t what I was inferring – I do agree that we have to play our cards close to our chest during a transfer window, otherwise we run the risk of the Man Cities of this world snatching players from under our noses. However it doesn’t give any answers to the failures in previous transfer windows and what seems to be a lack of ambition in the transfer market.

My main point was that it would be nice to get some straight answers rather than the usual politician-esque rhetoric. Seemed like an utterly pointless interview to me.

paddymac

woops, sorry this was meant to be a reply to an earlier post.

Please ignore, or maybe the moderator could delete 🙂

Louie

“We can’t afford to spend 50, 60, 70 million pounds on an individual player.”

Nobody is asking for this. Same old BS rhetoric from Gazidis and the club which further alienates fans.

How about you sell the deadwood who are stealing a living and buy 2-3 players for £50 million in key areas whilst keeping our better players. Instead of selling our best players and buying inferior replacements.

paddymac

Hear hear.

OPS

Exactly it’s not like the club goes out to buy those super quality players they keep talking about.
There is quality out their that would improve the first team squad more than some of the overpaid players that hardly contribute enough, that cost maybe £15m, £20m+ or so which hardly prices us out.

[…] sagt, er würde gerne weiter für die Reds spielen. Arsenal-Boss Ivan Gazidis hat den Arsenal-Fans in einem Interview mit Fox Sports keine große Hoffnungen gemacht, dass morgen noch neue Spieler verpflichtet werden. Geld sei für […]

Swerve_222

This shows that they quite clearly think everything is rosy, on target and in upward motion. It also shows they really couldn’t give a flying f*ck what anyone else (read fans and cash cow) thinks. They know, you don’t, hush and pay for your tickets. Walcott today has stated he doesn’t care what people think about his form, this attitude runs through the club and that is the greatest tragedy of all, and also the reason this era is doomed to fail. Yesterday showed how easy it is to get the supporters back on side, but I bet the little… Read more »

AGunner

“Yesterday showed how easy it is to get the supporters back on side, but I bet the little darlings and their leader didn’t learn the full lesson of why that occurred.” If the players get booed for not playing well, only right the fans should celebrate their success when they do. from all the quotes bloggs has provided us over the last year or so, its clear to me that the players do care. rvp, verm, kos, sagna, theo, jack, ramsey, and many more have publicly said (interviews & tweets) many a time that they want to succeed at arsenal,… Read more »

Swerve_222

Does anyone really believe that we would need to spend ourselves into bankruptcy or even threaten our current financial footing to bridge the gap to have a potentially successful squad (nothing else can be guaranteed)? The club have asked the fans to go above and beyond the call of duty financially time and time again, what irks is that as the years go by our players and management seem less and less capable or willing to match that commitment. Yesterday showed how supporters react to that kind of determination. Please dont tell me that twittering or paper interview are the… Read more »

Lawrence

Ivan Gazidis has to go and he can take Stan Kroenke with him. Arsenal need to invest and get rid of the blood suckers within the club i.e Diaby and free up some wage budget.

northerngoon

I really do try and be decent on these boards but today that goes out the window for a one night only kind of thing.

JayGooner, will you fuck off with that AKB shit? I find the sycophancy nauseating.

As for Gazidis, nothing in the transcript surprised me. The man’s a minge.

We’re not quite falling into the bracket of ‘isn’t that the team that used to be great?’ Yet but I’d rather not have this guy round to guide us there.

AGunner

looking as this from a business stand point, the interview is pretty solid. its the board’s job to ensure the smooth running of Arsenal, its the managements job to get results on the pitch, so cant say why people are hating on IG so much. all our earnings are re-invested, our wage structure matches most of our competitors – to an extent, so i cant see much wrong with the way things are run at arsenal. the board got a bit unlucky as the highbury property development was completed as property prices plummeted, otherwise we wouldve had some decent cash… Read more »

Voldermort

Trouble with buying young all the time is that when they mature we will sell them. Because at some stage they will want to win things. Arteta isn’t young but that was pure panic buying be it a good one. We will not win anything keeping to this consistently buying young policy at they mature at different stages. Some will leave some will not come good anyway and around and around in circles we go.

Tola

Am amazed at people calling themselves fans and booing the team Ig interview is very intriguing and he right to say arsenal prefer to develop than spend 35 or 50m on a player ,we as arsenals fan don’t need to told by IG, we should know this ! It can’t be ethically right for the spirit of football cos most team do that does not justify it, an example is , like we know already Torres , carrole, even am sure true man united fan would accept the wasted mOney in the summer, cos the expensive buys have not delivered,… Read more »

Frog

Hey Ivan, here’s an idea, shut the fuck up and buy us a decent number two striker and a central midfielder.

Frog

Ya, in retrospect, I don’t see that comment getting many thumbs up.

Frog

Ha. Guess I was wrong.

James

What a load of horseshit. Perhaps one day Ivan would like to explain why we can’t compete with “oil money” when we have stinking rich Alisher Usmanov as a 30% shareholder and one of the richest men in America, Stan Kroenke owning the club?

CAGooner

I can’t answer for Usmanov, but Koenke’s in it strictly for the money. Check out the other members of his sports stable, most of which are mediocre teams. He is presently in the bidding war for the LA Dodgers, which gives you an idea of how much he’s concerned about Arsenal’s fortunes on the pitch.

Zack

Kroenke currently owns teams in the NBA and the NFL. Both leagues enforce salary caps, so that’s not a fair assessment here. It will be interesting to see what he does with the Dodgers.

AGunner

I think I remember Usmanov wanted to put some money in a couple seasons ago, but the rest of the shareholders were being greedy shits so it didn’t happen. Fair enough the shareholders haven’t taken out any funds for 40 years, but sometimes you have to reinvest (like a property refurbishment), after all the shares they hold have probably gone up 30-40% over the last 5-10 years anyway.

VictoryFrewHarmony

I was watching Fox Soccer here in the U.S. and saw the interview live. It was just great to hear a defense of Arsenal’s methods straight from the CEOs mouth. The commentators, like Kyle Martino, on that show often just repeat the usual meme’s about Arsenal, except Warren Barton. I was just happy that Arsenal’s PR dept had finally placed an official interview on Fox Soccer. I hope they continue getting Ivan and others on the few, but avidly followed, football shows in this country. Someone please stop them from putting on Piers Morgan again, though. It was mortifying to… Read more »

Jake

I’m so sick of hearing about the ‘self sustaining model’.. The club haven’t taken into consideration, or their arrogantly assuming, or ignoring, the fans interests.. as soon as fans do stop attending, stop buying merchandise.. the club will notice.. and that ‘self sustaining model’ won’t work so well.. @ozzygoon

man.t

What in the name of blue fuck does AKB mean?

Voldermort

I think it’s arsene knows brigade. Whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean. It’s a bit like dumbledores army but without Harry.
Not sure mi5 will be alerted though.

[…] Ivan Gazidis spoke with Fox News, stood tall, looked Warren Barton foresquare in the eye and made their ridicule look as puerile as it was. Barton – those of us of a certain age will recall was constantly lined up for an Arsenal move on the basis of being a supporter – tried to ingratiate himself with a section of the support by trotting out hackneyed half-wits about transfer spending. It brought a robust defence of the manager but the problem is he does not spend it on those whom his critics desire. […]

IvorBigBotty

do you people not get it ?

publicly stating interest in any player by a manager/club like arsene/arsenal is going to lure all the mancitis, chavskis, etc and theyre likely to splash twice our initial bid and steal at the last second.

Whose to tell Arteta and Gervinho couldnt have joined other teams ?

Jekyll

Ivan is a businessman seeking to position the brand. That’s what the ‘do things a bit differently, play a bit differently’ comments are about. He’s trying to sell the brand on that basis, rather than based on on the pitch success – come and be part of the feel-good, self-sustaining model, never mind the trophies. It’s certainly a first in football.

[…] financial meltdown along with the rest of the world. But Arsenal aren’t. Just the other day Ivan Gazidis spoke to Fox Sports about how well run we are. And while nobody expects us to go out and blow £50m on a player you […]

Dong-Paul Harvey

Looks a bit of a mong to be fair!

[…] comments from Arsene with the ones we hear from Ivan Gazidis who spoke to Fox Sports recenltly? He said: All of the money we make is available to us, and to […]