Ivan Gazidis Q&A: full transcript

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Another summer is here and that means another Ivan Gazidis Q & A was upon us –  Tim Stillman was there for Arseblog News.

These events have become notably larger over the last few years. Both in terms of attendees inside the plush Club Level Woolwich Suite and of course, with social media running over the event with a digital comb, you get the sense that all Arsenal eyes are on this high ceilinged room in North London.

Upon entry, attendees are given a voucher for a free drink and 30 minutes to quaff it whilst renewing acquaintances. It’s actually a rather short time for a pint and a natter and you suspect that’s intentional. If the club are about to throw open the floor to supporters intent on grilling the CEO, they probably want those in charge of the microphone to be judiciously sober whilst doing so.

The account below isn’t quite verbatim because, well, there are only so many muscles in the human hand and I went into battle wielding only a ballpoint and a bound notebook. So the answers are a tad (but not enormously) paraphrased and slightly shortened. I’m confident that I haven’t compromised any of the meanings of Ivan Gazidis’ answers; however, I’ve just tried to transmit the key messages, clarify what the questions were and thrown some of my own opinion in for good measure. Think of it like a set of minutes at one of your work meetings. Only with greater emphasis on multi-million pound transactions and less on the contents of your canteen’s vending machine.

As you’d expect from Gazidis, it was a polished performance, every word was deliberated and measured and the answers tended to have a thread running through them. He continued to clarify that the manager had resources available to him and that his job was to make sure those resources were as considerable as possible. He was consistent with the message that he was responsible for off the pitch matters and supporting  Arsene Wenger as much as possible, but that Wenger makes the football decisions and is trusted to do so.

Gazidis is savvy enough to know what the most commonly aired criticisms of the club are. Arsenal consider the criticisms made of them on the net and in the media and social networking and you can see that they move to address some of those in their messaging. For instance, there’s a common perception that the club and the CEO have thrown all of their eggs into the Financial Fair Play basket. Whereas, at this event last year, Gazidis extolled the virtues of FFP and hailed the fact that “Football is moving towards us, not vice versa” this year he was much more circumspect, this time saying that, whilst Arsenal have pushed for and encouraged FFP, that “It will depend on the will of UEFA and the Premier League, we can’t control that.”

This tweet from @Detective82 sums up Gazidis’s quandary quite nicely, he’s caught between respecting the manager’s autonomy in the transfer market and pressuring Arsene Wenger to spend the money the club has generated. I detect the sense that Gazidis wants to make it clear that the cash has never been held back from Arsene Wenger, but he wants to stop short of looking as though he is pointing the finger. It’s interesting that the question about the manager’s contract came from the compeer Dan Roebuck, it didn’t come from any of the supporters’ clubs present. At least not in the way it was phrased. Gazidis was rather emphatic in his assertion that the club wanted to renew Wenger’s contract. One can infer that that was a message Gazidis wanted in the public domain and it came right at the start of the meeting.

He also reiterated that the “flat” or “socialist” wage structure was no more. He confirmed exactly the same last summer but was perhaps less assertive in his language. Last June, he spoke cautiously (and reasonably) about the flat wage structure gradually being in the process of phasing out with unwanted players. This time, he switched the focus and talked about paying top money for top players, he referred more to incomings than outgoings, which always fires the fan’s imagination and tickles the fancy of memory a little more.

Anyway, here is largely how the evening went down. As usual, proceedings began with the slow-mo highlights reel from the 2012-13 season. (Gazidis was still self aware enough to be sardonic about that later in the evening, remarking, “It’s all very well us watching a video of us finishing 4th in the last moments of the season again.”) Once the collages (which mainly featured Cazorla and Wilshere) with their militaristic Terminator-esque music had elapsed, there was a disarming “thank you” message for the supporters from Arsene Wenger.

Looking at the season past, Gazidis was a touch lugubrious, describing the season as, “Not a classic. We were disappointed that we weren’t competing for trophies and we were deeply disappointed with the domestic cup competitions. As for the league, we never really got into it, we had a poor start but finished strongly that retrieved our position and it ended satisfactorily, nothing more. I don’t think anybody is celebrating or considering the season a massive achievement, we’re pleased we got over the line into the Champions League, but nothing more. That’s not all we’re trying to do.”

He went onto point out that, “It’s a big summer. We’ve been working very, very hard to gain the kind of financial capability we need as a football club to be at the very top end of the game. The ambition that me, Stan Kroenke, Arsene Wenger, the players, our staff and I know all of the fans have is to be competing to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we’re at that level, the trophies will come. Those long term commercial deals have come up for renewal. You know about the Emirates deal, I can’t talk about the kit deal yet but we’re confident of a good result there too. It’s all about giving us the capability to go to the manager and to say ‘here is the money for you to compete. That’s why we’re in this stadium and that’s what we want to do.”

At this point, Dan Roebuck interjected and asked about the manager’s contract situation, which Gazidis gave a rather emphatic answer, “It’s no secret that we think he has done a fantastic job and we think we can give him the tools he needs. We want to extend his deal, but I don’t want to do that via the media, we’ll do it in private. He’s fit, he’s healthy, he’s driven and he still wants to be at the top of the game. When we’re thinking about trusting someone with the type of money we will have, we can think of nobody better than Arsene. It’ll be done quietly and announced at the right time, like it always has been.”

There followed some questions from the floor, submitted in advance to Ivan Gazidis.

Q: Since you’ve (Gazidis) been at the club, I think we’ve descended into a second rate team. I don’t think we can attract top class players like we did when we signed Sol Campbell and Dennis Bergkamp. What evidence can you give us that we can sign that class of player?

IG, once again showing a cute self awareness; started by acknowledging that “I know my answers are usually too long so I’ll try to shorten them this time! The landscape has changed significantly in the last decade and again in the last few years, but we have a vision not to put our football club into the pockets of a wealthy owner. The key for us is to be able to generate enough resources to be able to compete. We think we can extend our revenues to around the £300m mark in the next couple of years, which is about what Bayern Munich make and they have a similar philosophy to us, they rely on their own resources. Nobody would suggest that Bayern Munich aren’t able to compete for the top talent in the transfer market.

If we make the right decisions, there is no reason why we can’t compete at the same level as them. We will continue to trust the judgement of the manager on our talent and the decisions he makes. It’s impossible to predict the future, we wouldn’t have predicted 5 years ago that Abu Dhabi would pump the money in that they have, we haven’t seen yet quite how FFP will work out. But with that £300m turnover, we will be able to compete with other top clubs and the way that other top clubs do.”

Q: Why did we give Manchester United the title by selling them Robin van Persie?

IG: It’s one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make. I understand the people that say we should have let his contract run down and I accept that what happened is difficult to agree with. Our motivation was not to pocket £24m, it was a decision about how best to develop our team’s potential with the choices that we had- all of which were bad. It hurts me to see him score goals and win the league with Manchester United, of course I don’t feel happy or good about myself seeing that.

Retaining players in the current environment has been one of our biggest challenges. I don’t want to say it would have been impossible to keep him for the last year of his deal. I’ve been involved in player contracts for over 20 years and I’ve seen that work and I’ve seen it not work. So I don’t want to lie and say it would have been impossible. But none of our choices with Robin were good ones.

Q: Yes, but why didn’t the club incentivise him to stay? Whether it be through goal bonuses or bonuses for winning trophies?

IG: Financial incentives are not always the issue. Robin van Persie is a guy who always gave his best, both for Arsenal and now for Manchester United. Financial incentives weren’t all that was important to him.

Q: Arsene Wenger says, in his words, that he’s only interested in super quality players. Yet we’ve seen some far from super quality players arrive. You’ve spoken about the money available to him. Is Arsene Wenger committed to spending it and spending it on more expensive, better quality players?

IG: Arsene is committed to top class that he believes in. That’s not always necessarily the most expensive. Santi Cazorla wasn’t that expensive but he is top class. Now I’m not sending a message that all deals will be like Cazorla so everything will be alright. But any deal starts with the talent with the manager believes in. We believe in his judgement, if we didn’t, we’d have the wrong man. We think he has done an outstanding job in this environment.

We have always made the money we generate available to him to spend, it’s a very simple philosophy. That hasn’t been enough to compete with a club like Manchester United and Chelsea and Manchester City. Where Arsene has done an outstanding job is to stay in the mix of the top teams, not where we want to be, but in the mix, on a relatively limited budget. He is not scared to spend money but he has to believe he is getting a top class player. The parameters in which he has to operate is to spend what the club can afford and my job is to make that as big as possible and Arsene’s job is to think about which talent he wants to spend that on in the best way possible.

It’s absolutely a joint mission between myself, Arsene and Stan Kroenke to put Arsenal at the top of world football. We haven’t gone forwards, but we haven’t gone backwards either. Now we have to go forwards. You’re asking me to guarantee that money will all be spent. But it also depends on what talent is available. If we only find one player that we like, we won’t spend twice as much on him just so we can say we spent all of the money. That doesn’t make any sense to me. The key will be to buy the players Arsene Wenger believes in.

Q: You’ve been quoted as saying that the club has to reconsider the flat wage structure in order to pay the best players the best salaries. Yet just a few weeks ago Arsene Wenger said he decides what players are paid and that he prefers a ‘socialist’ wage structure.  Can you confirm that player salaries are your responsibility?

IG: Where we start is assessment of talent before we even think about the wages. Arsene assesses the talent. Once he makes that assessment we look at how to fit it in. We’re going to have to pay market rates and we’re going to have to evolve. I think the situation will evolve so that top players will earn more and players in the middle will stay about the same. So our structure will have to evolve.

Arsene is completely on board with that. He is not afraid to pay world class money for world class talent. We have never said that there was an absolute structure and I’m not sure I know which comments from Arsene you were referring to. We’ve competed against clubs that have spent much more than us and overall- I know that’s a word Arsene likes to use a lot- we think he has done a good job.

Q: Why do Arsenal labour in the process of buying players? We don’t seem to ever get business done early or quickly?

IG: The last couple of windows haven’t been easy. We’ve lost players which has made planning difficult. If you have an unlimited budget, it’s easier to do. I wouldn’t choose to go through what happened two summers ago again when we bought a lot of players towards the end of the window, some of whom didn’t work out, some of whom did work out. Last summer we did most of our business early, we knew we wanted Cazorla but had to wait for the situation at Malaga to ripen.

For this window, we don’t have the same uncertainty as the last few. Though it’s another strange window this year with a lot of managers changing, the influence of financial restrictions are being seen now. But there has to be agreement with his player and his club. Obviously our aim is to do business as early as possible. The Champions League qualifier in August won’t affect our plans. It’s never been an issue when we’ve discussed with players before and it doesn’t affect our planning.”

Q: How long before the Financial Fair Play regulations take effect and do you think they will make any difference?

IG: UEFA have set out to assess the last two seasons, this being the last season before decisions are made and the first round of enforcements. Most financial results aren’t published until October, so next summer we’ll begin to see that. The wage cap is already in where clubs cannot raise their salary spend compared to the previous summer, unless they have significant commercial money coming through. We’re well placed for that, but nobody really knows how this will play out yet. It will depend on the will of UEFA and the Premier League and we don’t control that.

Q: What are the specific roles of yourself, Dick Law and Stan Kroenke and what would you say are your successes on the playing side?

IG: I have been asked what it is I do before but much less politely than that, so thank you! We have an owner that hasn’t put any debt on the club, who hasn’t taken any management fees, he doesn’t treat the club as his own personal fiefdom or as his plaything. He’s respectful of the club’s freedom. We’re lucky to have an owner with a vast experience in sports and sports ownership, with significant contacts and he’s supported the club very tangibly. A lot of our commercial successes are down to his knowledge.

My job is off the field, to represent the club and supporting the manager and his footballing conditions. Dick Law works with me and Arsene in negotiation of player deals, he has vast experience in that, he speaks 5 different languages and flies all around the world to negotiate deals. Arsene is in charge of the talent and myself and Dick Law give him support.

Q: Many have turned against you and the manager this season, inside and outside the ground. How does that reverberate around the club? How does it influence you and your planning? Does it make you doubt yourself?

IG: Many work around the club and I don’t just see myself as an individual here, and we give everything we have got every day. We are all motivated by elevating this club to the top of world football. This is not a job or club you come into without a passion for it. Everybody here has a passion, they give their lives and live for our results. It saddens me that people don’t understand that and it’s my failing that I haven’t communicated that well enough.

We are weaker when we are not united as a club with the fans. The criticism hurts us and it doesn’t do the players any good. But I don’t criticise it, I understand it because we are all frustrated. If you think I come away from a game like Bradford or Blackburn and feel good about myself I can tell you I don’t. We all care about the same things. We are building the football club, we’re doing it the hard way but believe me, we are making progress. But I think over the last couple of years, in the really difficult moments, the fans have come together. I think of the 8-2 against United which was a horrible day and I think of the second half of the last two seasons and I think the fans have really pulled together for us. That unity can push us over the line.

Q: I’m sure you’d agree, Ivan, that Arsenal have some of the most loyal and passionate away support in the country. We routinely sell out our away allocations domestically and in Europe. Yet in the Premier League, away support is continually taken for granted. Arsenal fans are charged category A prices everywhere we go and often face poor conditions. The AST have talked with fans from other supporters’ trusts about pressuring the Premier League to deal with this centrally. Can you and the club throw your weight behind this?

IG: I think you’re right. The fans are brilliant, everywhere we go. Home and away as you say, we always have huge numbers. We have been encouraging and pushing the Premier League to look at the issue of away tickets and we’re supportive of finding a solution. It’s complex, not least because of the sensitivities of how you treat home fans versus how you treat away fans. But we’re fully supportive of the process of reviewing this and of any recommendations that come from that review.

Q: Has the club reviewed the situation in the boardroom in terms of succession planning?

IG: I have seen the AST suggestion and spoken with the AST about the report they commissioned into the boardroom which we are grateful for. We are in the process of reviewing that. It’s no secret that we have an ageing board, they understand and acknowledge that too. But this is something that we are currently reviewing.

Q: Clubs such as Aston Villa, Sunderland and West Ham United have publicly supported safe standing. Is there any chance that you and Arsenal will do too?

IG: Both myself and Arsene have gone on record as being open to the idea. There’s a lot of work to be done in the area and there are a lot of complex issues and emotional issues around it too. If the government shows a willingness to open that door, we’d definitely look at that. We’re open minded about it. But I have to be candid and say that, at the moment, there’s no suggestion that the government will open that door.

At this stage, unvetted questions were invited from the floor.

Q: I’m surprised that there has been no reference to Red & White Holdings tonight, everybody’s been very quiet about it. If they’re talking about putting money in, why don’t we take it?

IG: We’ve supported financial restrictions and they would prohibit the sort of cash injection you suggest. So it wouldn’t do us much good. Not sure an explosion of spending on salaries and transfer fees is healthy for the game overall. Arsenal Football Club will always do well, but it’s bigger than just Arsenal, it’s about the whole of football too. It saddens me to see great clubs having to compete for outside investment, we want to broaden good ownership in the game. If that doesn’t happen, Arsenal will still go on and do well.

Q: You’ve spoken a lot about Bayern this evening. Is there any chance we’ll ever hear you say what Uli Hoeness said recently about ticket pricing?

IG: They are in a different environment in the Bundesliga. You look at this year’s Champions League final between two great clubs and two great teams. I think there’s a lot we can learn from the Bundesliga. I’ve been a big fan for more than a decade. Their model on ticket pricing is very different and the way they make their money is very different. They have relatively low ticket pricing and very high commercial revenues.

One of things coming into Arsenal that was very clear to me was that we were too dependent on local revenue streams and now we’re moving towards ‘spreading the burden’ if you like and diversifying those revenue streams. We hadn’t really grasped the international value of our brand and commercialised that. We’ve relied hugely on our ticket revenue streams, but as our commercial revenues grow and actually, as our broadcast revenues grow, it balances our revenue in a better way and it takes some of the pressure off. I cannot tell you that we’re going to go the whole way of the Bundesliga, because their model is very different, but if we develop our commercial revenue streams, it takes the pressure off of local revenues.

Q: What does the club do if the financial restrictions aren’t applied?

IG: We’re in favour of it, but it doesn’t mean it’s part of our strategy. We don’t control it so we can’t rely on it. What would we do differently? Nothing. We’d do the same things in both worlds, just like Bayern are doing. They have revenues of around £300m and we’re nearly there. We’ve every chance of competing in an unregulated world like they do.

Q: Since 2005, the defensive side of the squad hasn’t been good enough. It seemed to take the manager until around March this year to put his mind to it and it showed he can do it when he tries. Do other coaches have enough influence?

IG: We had the second best defence in the league this season, now that may be down to personnel and form. I think certainly having players in the midfield that helped protect their defence helped. Players grew into their roles and became more confident as a unit. We had a lot of new players, there’s been a lot of change at the club over the last few summers. If you want my opinion, I think we looked more cohesive as the season went on.

Of course Arsene listens to his staff and they are not shy about coming forward, believe me. They have added their own dynamic to the set up. Arsene takes overall responsibility, but yes they contribute and he listens.

Q: A few years ago, you spoke about applying your ‘laser focus’ to some of the players in the squad that weren’t contributing. The club have released three players this week that weren’t contributing. Will you be applying your ‘laser focus’ to the remaining deadwood?

IG: This is the sort of question that terrifies me! I don’t want to get into a discussion on individuals, some players haven’t been able to contribute as we would have liked, we all know that. We need to make sure we address that as an absolute priority. Overall, our spend is very strong and much better than other clubs. That’s not to say we can’t improve, we need to get better.

Q: The underlying atmosphere of these questions tonight has been that the transfer deals and the performances haven’t been good enough, which is why the questions have been phrased as they have. Have we already missed a trick this summer by not getting deals done quickly and catching Mourinho, Pellegrini and Moyes with their pants down?

IG: No, I don’t think we’ve missed a trick. We need the agreements of clubs and players to do deals. We deal in a relatively small group of players at the top level of the game. We’re working very hard but in every case, I know the reasons why the deals for players we’re talking to haven’t happened yet.

Q: Is there any prospect of a stadium capacity increase and what are the club doing to encourage a better atmosphere in the ground?

IG: We’re in a good place with capacity and due to the stadium design, it’s not easy to extend anyway. We think 60,000 is about right for us. With regards to atmosphere, we’ve looked at things inside the stadium and made some changes to make it more welcoming. It’s been challenging to get like minded fans together, which certainly contributes to a better atmosphere inside. I know there’s a long tradition of fans going to the pub before games and we don’t want to stop that, that’s how I went to football before I worked here. But we have worked to make the place more welcoming. If we can get food at the right prices- and I think I’m right in saying we have some of the cheapest pies in the league here now (said with wry smile), then we hope we can help create a more welcoming environment.

We were thanked for attending but told in no uncertain terms that the bar was now shit shut. Welcoming indeed! Anyway, those were the words. Let’s see what action the summer brings. LD.

Follow me on Twitter @LittleDutchVA

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Seb
Seb

The line about the changing of managers at other clubs is interesting, gives an indication of who are targets are *cough* madrid, everton

neutral
neutral

don’t forget United, we could be lucky enough to land nani and/or rooney (turns and vomits on the floor)

heh
heh

I like how people pretend on this site. yeah like im sure you’d turn and vomit if rooney were to be paraded right now at the emirates.

Holloway2Holland

I wouldn’t have time to turn.

neutral
neutral

seriously, I know Rooney would improve our squad, regardless it would be spraying through my fingers as I ran for the bathroom. I don’t care how good he is, he’s an idiot, a clown, a loose cannon (at least for England), and a ManU poster boy. Furthermore, he is a United cast off -I don’t think we’ll compete with United by taking the players they don’t want anymore, nevermind selling them you know who. We should have held the skunk another season and hoped he got a good injury, I don’t find Gazidis’ answer to that one very satisfactory either…

Hurensohn
Hurensohn

I think the kind of player Rooney is and how he’s trying to play, he’s only going to get worse with age. He should have had a look at how Shearer changed his game as he got older, he has the ability to do that but trying to turn him into Scholes isn’t the way to go… However, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at that Mexican Legume United have on their books. Perfect kind of player for us, running the line and getting in the box to score the tap-ins.

Red Cannon
Red Cannon

Agreed. I’d take the little pea in a hot second.

Cyril Washbrook
Cyril Washbrook

I hear that Hartlepool and Accrington Stanley hired new managers recently.

Harsh
Harsh

i think this is bit off topic, but what the hell: i am not much of a believer in the tranfer rumours, but i am having a feeling (gut intsiinct) that higuain might be coming…………

Little Swede In The No14 Shirt`
Little Swede In The No14 Shirt`

tbh i think he’s probably referring to the fact that the clubs without managers are unable to buy currently. so… selling clubs are holding out until managers are in place to maximise fees. 🙁

Jammathon
Jammathon

The bar was shit? Harsh.

prolix
prolix

The bar was shit? He’s not wrong I suppose. ..

Weng(unn)er
Weng(unn)er

He doesn’t give away anything. What a shrewd guy! We need such sharp people to look after the commercial aspects of the club, and we’ll definitely reach where we want to be – at the top of world football.

indrossi
indrossi

To be fair though, he’s right about the pies. In fact, I’d say the quality of food at the Grove has improved in the last few years.

neutral
neutral

This is killing me, I google “arsenal transfer” at least 5 times a day. sign some players!!!

As for the AST meeting, same old, same old.
It is up to Wenger now, he has to do better in the transfer market.

The fact is, it will not be as easy as it was 10 years ago. Liverpool may be a lot weaker, but chelsea, city and sp*rs are much stronger.

neutral
neutral

The question is whose pockets are those transfer fees filling?

Sadly, the answer is Squillachi, Santos, Park, Bendtner, Arshavin, Djourou.

I did not get the feeling Gazidis was backing down very much from the socialist wages, sounds like entry-level squad players will still get substantial (40-60k) salaries, they are just considering paying some top salaries in addition. The salary structure is not a problem, until you start collecting deadwood that you cannot sell, then it becomes a burden and you need to sell your best players just to balance the books.

neutral
neutral

Was meant to reply to the post below….

progman07
progman07

Arshavin is not even an Arshavin player anymore. Gazidis stated we are trying to flog off the ‘dead-wood’. Wenger has made horrible decisions on some of the players during the years, and it has cost us, but come on, the club has realised that and is trying to improve on it.

progman07
progman07

LOL I mean Arsenal player. Wonderful slip of the tongue.

tomdotcom
tomdotcom

All clubs make transfer mistakes. I’m not sure that we have had more than other clubs.

Remember such superb ManUre signings as Kleberson, Belion, Djemba-Djemba…

Chelsea paying £50M for Torres, Mutu, Shevchenko…

Those are right up there with the deals we did for Jeffers, Cygan, Arshavin, Squilachi and Park (who?).

Gunner86
Gunner86

40-60K for entry level squad players is well inflated considering Oxlade Chamberlain and Jenkinson are below 50K and Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs are all in between 60-80K. That said I will say Arshavin was on 90 and the Squid was on 60 as was Denilson, but all of them are no more now. If I read correctly entry level squad players are on 20-30K a week.

trackback

[…] If you want to read a much more in-depth transcript of the evening, Tim Stillman was there for Arseblog News and his piece can be found right here. […]

Vineet
Vineet

All you get is diplomatic answers. Hear these at every Q&A, but the Big players continue to leave. Now we hardly have big players left. All the money from sales of TH14, Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor, Toure, RVP, Hleb are filling their pockets

We can compete with Bayern Munich but we spend like we are smaller than Sunderland. I don’t want them to spend like Bayern. I want them to go and get a player when he’s available and a signing is required. But all we get are cheap replacements like Chamakh, Squillaci & Santos.

mike
mike

judiciously sober, lol reminds me of the phrase drunk as a judge

glory hunter
glory hunter

Honestly dont think i learned anything new or insightful from this meeting!
Are you sure this wasn’t copied and pasted from last years Q&A?!?!

davonz
davonz

From my read Ivan Gazidis said that if Arsene Wenger believes in a player the funds are there to buy and pay those players. I hope Arsene Wenger believes in Casillas, Alaba, Ramos, Thiago, Pepe, Ronaldo, Messi, Xavi, Yaya Toure, Ibrahimovic and Cavani.

Dude
Dude

Oh yeah, then there is that whole “free will” of the players to decide if they “want” to play at Arsenal or in the BPL for that matter. Let’s not twist the words and situation to imply that just because we dont sign each and every world class player that the club and Gazidis is feeding us a bunch of lies. I’d like to think we are intelligent enough to understand what they are conveying is that if Arsenal are interested in a player, and that player is open to playing at Arsenal as well as leavining their current club, then Arsenal can now compete with the majority of the top clubs. I don’t think they have ever conveyed that we can or want to try to compete with the endless pockets however. This is perfectly understandable and honorable. At least I know I have little desire to support the next petrol funded club. I feel the heart and soul of Arsenal is that we try to do business the honorable and respectful way even when presented with seemingly unfair competition. This is what makes Arsenal so unique amongst the top clubs in my opinion, and why im proud to support them even during the “difficult” times… if that is what you would call finishing 3rd or 4th.

neutral
neutral

I think he was joking….

Dude
Dude

Perhaps. Guess i failed to catch the sarcasm. Too many people on the web who seem to think transferring players in at Arsenal is as easy as going to the supermarket and picking your preferred box of cereal and ignore the other parties involved. I’ll try better to read between the lines next time.

progman07
progman07

I like his attitude, to be honest, I know some people are too bitter to accept Gazidis, but he is talking sense. It seems to me as most issues are Wenger-related, it worries me that he picked too many Chamakhs in recent years – hopefully with this new ability to spend money he will do more Cazorlas and less Gervinhos.

I believe Gazidis has already walked the walk, his team made money available for Wenger, now it’s his turn to pick the right players and spend it on them.

Rezatron
Rezatron

Less talk more action!

Les Crang

Tim,

I was there last night, and Gazidis went on that we can compete with Bayern as we have £300m in the bank. He seemed to think we had similarities with Bayern.
Bayern though make money via there sponsorship deals and winning trophies to keep there fan base happy.
Arsenal’s money since 2006 has come via property [note the plush flats going up next to the stadium….Queensbury road is it?] and selling our best players.
We’ve now sold our properties and all our best players. So my question is ‘how do we turn a profit like bayern in the future?’
Gazidis is just to slick

Little Dutch
Little Dutch

He didn’t say we have £300m. He said our revenues will soon be close to the £300m Bayern take in. Bayern operate in a bit of a vacuum in Germany, which is why they aren’t well liked outside of their own fans. It’s true that they spend their cash and win cups, but they’ve been in a position of financial dominance in Germany snce time immemorial. We’re not in that situation, we’ll soon be able to match their revenues, but our domestic situation is very different. We turn a profit with the commercials, secondary partnerships. The Emirates deal and the TV deal brings us in more than selling players has in any other summer. The Puma deal will really kick in next summer too. Bayern have been doing that for a long, long time but we’re getting there in terms of what we generate. How the manager uses that is now the big question.

Les Crang

thanks tim. But I just feel that our financial windfall is a bit like our transfer policy. Poorly done and very last minute [As in the naming rights of the stadium and poor nike deals we sign in ’04). But I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Alf
Alf

I think I read somewhere that Arsenal agreed to lower deals as they wanted a large chunk of it up front to make a downpayment on the stadium?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Exactly Alf, it was a decision that had to be made in order to get the deal going, and it didn’t seem that low at the time because sponsorship hadn’t yet gone ballistic. Those who want to moan tend to ignore the details that don’t help their moaning, or perhaps some of them simply don’t understand them.

neutral
neutral

part 1 is new commercial deals, emirates and shirt sponsors being the biggest but also more small deals.

part 2 has to be improved football performance (trophies, or at least challenging) to build the fan base and get some prize money. Also need star players to sell jerseys.

Gazidis claims part1 is here and growing
Wenger needs to get part 2 in order, but I don’t think it will be as easy as spending 70M

Shubham
Shubham

IG said nothing that we hadn’t heard before. The stage has now come for Arsenal to put words to action. I feel optimistic that there will be at least a couple of good signings. World class players or not will be a function of how ambitious the club is. Overall, my sense is, Arsene realizes that this is his final chance to get supporters back on his side. If things don’t improve in the coming season, swords will be drawn out…

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

World class players or not will be a function of the overall market.

If world class players all wanted to go to a club that does things properly they would all be queueing to join Arsenal, but some of them have the temerity to have personal preferences. It doesn’t matter how much money you flash at a guy who only has eyes for another club, or a particular league or country. Ultimately the players choose the club they want to go to. If they didn’t then RVP would be at Santos now, where he couldn’t do us any harm.

We can ask people to join us, and we can offer them as much money as they could ever wish for, but if they don’t want to come to us then they won’t. If that happens with your (or the fans) preferred choices then you have to go to second choices, and so on, until you find somebody willing to come to your club.

You may believe Arsenal to be the greatest place a player could ever come to, but it’s what the players think that decides the issue. Most want a combination of good wages and as many trophies as possible. There are obvious choices if that is a world class player’s requirements, and all the money in the world cannot change that if our club has no recent trophies in our cabinet.

And no amount of complaining will change the unfortunate sequence of events that led us to this position. The economy, the British weather, the constant rise of United’s commercial revenue, poor “Socialist” pay schemes, the unfair way Barcelona and Real Madrid make money in Spain, Lehmann’s harsh sending off in the CL Final, the rise of the billionaire football fuckers, the rise of the professional bench warmers who chose money of playing time, Bayern Munich’s dodgy dealings and dominance of a strange German league setup, Squillaci turning out not to be as good for Arsenal as he was before he joined us, some horrendously damaging own goals, the finding out of the falsely prophesied TGSTEL, Fabregas being homesick for his home club, and that club being serial cunts, Nasri being a lazy, greedy cunt, RVP feeling no loyalty to a club that stood by him through his injury years, Song wanting to spend more time on a bench, Eduardo having his foot almost severed, Diaby having his leg destroyed by a cunt, Sagna getting two broken ankles in a season, Gallas being mentally fragile, Henry getting sent off because the refs whistle was drowned out by the crowd, Cole choosing to go behind our backs illegally, Adebayor turning out to be an utter wanker, Wenger being hoodwinked by Fergie into taking the crappiest defender we ever saw, Yaya Toure not wanting to play alongside his brother until three years too late, Park being, um, who knows, and Stewart Robson poisoning minds against us.

All these things have held us back or screwed our plans. It isn’t just “Wenger and the Board are to blame”.

Lastly, any fan who says “If you don’t buy the players I consider World Class then you have failed the fans and should be sacked” are, frankly, fuckwits.

Rad Carrot
Rad Carrot

I’d agree to a point, but to blame everybody BUT the board and Wenger is horrendously naive. They HAVE fucked up, and have admitted it themselves.

I’m annoyed with Wenger for not taking the initiative and not getting the best out of the team. To say it’s solely the fault of a few players we bought and a few more who didn’t want to play for us is wrong; success brings success, it’s Wenger’s responsibility to get the most out of the team and the budget, and he hasn’t done that, plain and simple. We haven’t been able to move deadwood players on because the wage structure he set, we haven’t been able to attract world class players because he has not shown any ambition in building the team effectively.

Yes, the climate is harder, yes, not every Messi will want to sign for us, yes, some players will not always perform. But the fact is we went out to Bradford and Blackburn last season, playing an almost full-strength first XI. That’s not right, and that falls directly on Wenger’s shoulders.

If we reach August and we’ve spent £15m on three average players at best, that will also be Wenger’s fault, and his responsibility if and when we fuck up. Just as it’s his responsibility when he gets it right and uncovers a diamond for a few million. See, that’s what I don’t get – fans who say that Wenger is amazing when he does well and uncovers a gem, but when he blows millions on Arshavin, Park, Santos, Gervinho, he’s beyond reproach and it somehow isn’t his fault. It IS his fault. Plain and simple.

Phew. Ranty rant over. You are correct that the climate has screwed us over, though 😀

Steve
Steve

Well said!

Steve
Steve

Well said…Gutbukkit Defrolla, I meant.

Bendtner's ego
Bendtner's ego

“who hasn’t taken any management fees,”

Regarding Kroenke, I’ve been waiting for a stated confirmation on this for a while.

I guarantee that if a certain fat, bloated sausage were to take control of the club, the first thing he would do would be to declare a management fee for himself like the dividend he declared for the MegaFon communications company he bought.

Dr Baptiste
Dr Baptiste

“if a certain fat, bloated sausage were to take control of the club” Fatgooner could afford the club right now….

trackback

[…] in fact, however I would like to address a few stand out quotes. If you’d like, you can read the entire transcript here at my favourite blogging site […]

CarlZA
CarlZA

On the one hand, I’m feeling optimistic about the new season in light of us being stronger financially. Compared to previous seasons, we do have some added funds coming in that won’t hurt us spending. But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel that we are still too cautious in spending.

To me a corner has been turned, but I think we won’t go in and utilize the money to its full extent for the pure reason of having a knee jerk reaction to better revenues streams, one of which won’t happen till 2014.

I’d like to believe that the overall plan of changing stadiums and running out old, underpaid sponsorships has come close to fruition – but it’s been so long since we were in this position and acted with good purchases one can’t help but treat current affairs and comments with a grain of salt.

Time, and more important Wenger’s action, will tell.

DavetheGooner
DavetheGooner

This is really is a superb website and a brilliant summary of last night’s events. I would quite happily exist on a strict diet of only Arseblog and Le Grove!! Well done.

Jordan
Jordan

Anyone ask him if ticket prices were to be reduced next once the new sponsorship is realised to reduce the burden on loyal fans?

Thought not.

JustAnotherMong
JustAnotherMong

Didn’t you read the article? He did address that point, but i’m not going to tell you what he said,

amadi
amadi

the sugar coated tongue of a sly at work. You and arsene shud go do some spending and stop deceiving us arsenal fans with well planned out oratory.

JustAnotherMong
JustAnotherMong

I don’t know why he seems to think we can compete with Bayern Munich in attracting players. Unfortunately they have the ‘man united’ factor… They’ve won everything including the CL many times, and usually win something every year easily. We don’t.

Dr Baptiste
Dr Baptiste

Didn’t they go through a period where they won nothing despite their far superior spending power? The only cup they bewteen 2010 and 2013 was theDFL-Supercup.

Yes they have won the CL 5 times but it took them 12 years to win it again this year.

My point is that all clubs go through periods of not winning stuff.

Bodom After Midnight
Bodom After Midnight

Three years of not winning? It is a bit harder to attract players when you haven’t won anything in 8, 9 10 or whatever it is years. Bayern are a bigger club then us and that is why they attract better players. Nothing strange about that.

_
_

More importantly, bayern competes in a worse league. Stay with me here – while the german clubs perform superbly in the europe, can you imagine bayern would concede only 1 (or how many they did) away goals in the whole season playing bpl? And being conveniently in the domestic cup finals, still in the champions league, and having won the league many rounds before the end of the season? Chelsea won the cl last year, but struggled as hell in bpl, manu won conveniently the league this year, but they paid with the express exit from all cups.

BringBackSeaman
BringBackSeaman

Also, I believe that tha Allianz Arena was paid for by the state in some respects, and there is a massive corruption case surrounding how contracts where awarded and people responsible profitted from tax evasion.

Maybe being like Bayern Munich isn’t the false trophy people claim. Perhaps clubs should follow Arsenals Business Model.

Beautiful stadium from the outside, rotten to the core from within.

Jojoafc
Jojoafc

More spin than a washing machine, on a spin cycle, whilst spinning on a spinning top at a spin class!!!

i want to boff giroud and im not even gay
i want to boff giroud and im not even gay

Whether you like gazidis or not isn’t the issue. What they do with all this money is.

Bodom After Midnight
Bodom After Midnight

Our money.

Steve
Steve

Don’t talk wet. How can Arsenal’s money possibly be “our money”?

Brady7
Brady7

Gazidis looks like Norman Tebbit’s spitting image puppet.

DarthRhyder
DarthRhyder

I think he’s Lex Luthor

BringBackSeaman
BringBackSeaman

Here is a terrifying thought, everyone seems to have forgotten that the Arsenal board has repeatidly targeted 2014 as the year we come to the big boys table with our self sustaining modle (which I am proud of)

however, with the new funds available this transfer window, supposdily even more next summer, do Arsenal finacially speaking actually need to buy a player this year.

If we don’t strength (god forbid) and as a result fail to qualify for CL next season, we have tied up a nice increase in commerical revenue for next season and so missing on CL football wont hurt as much as years gone bye might have…

So from a cynical and terrifying point of view we could fail to buy anyone, and still go mental next summar in the transfer market when we struggle AGAIN next season…. ugh feel sick at the thought…

hmm.. Margaret Thatcher is dead, Alex Ferguson has retired… I wonder if that scouser with a magic lamp is willing to give a poor Gooner his last wish.

eleanor
eleanor

Ooo … Ooo … Ooo … I got one.

Ask him if he’s covering his arse in case deals fall through and (owing to Dick Law being a Grade I slash Class A bona fide Dick) we don’t get the players we want thereby not being able to spend all the money he says we have (but actually don’t) …

… ask him that.

Three players dickhead … Higuain, Cesc, and Pogba or Fellaini. Williams (or another non_Squillaci-like CB) if there’s any loose change.

Do you think you can manage that? Mr Smirky Suit?

(Never trust a suit with a tan. And I do mean never.)

jason
jason

Hes being modest at best.

Arsenal should be well over 300m revenue.

about 340m i estimate.

Anyway it seems to me that he wants Wenger to spend tho nobody knows what goes on behind the scenes.

You never kno with the additional 95m i estimate he might want to cash that in and ad to the clubs cash reserves.

Time to play the waiting game.

Rad Carrot
Rad Carrot

My time machine works! It’s the Summer of 2012 all over again! Gosh that all sounds so positive! I’m sure we’ll keep hold of van persie, and if not, at least we’ll sell him abroad. Heard rumours that he’s going to salford, but we wouldn’t sell him to a major rival, I’m sure! Now we just need to clear the deadwood and I’m sure we’ll be competitive in 2013! Right?

Oh.

Transfer window opens 1st July. If we don’t have a few significant signings in place by August, then that’s another season of hardship and bullshit. Talk is cheap – let’s see them actually do something next month. Until then, I don’t believe a word of it.

Max
Max

Really hope Arsenal get Higuain! Come on Arsene, enlist him for the Gunners!!!!!!

trackback

[…] 如果你想知道关于今天晚上问答的更多深入细节,周记君Tim Stillman已经在阿丝博客上恭候大家了,这里可以找到他虐阿丝翻译小组的加齐迪斯问答全文(中文版稍后献上)。 […]

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[…] Here’s the full transcript of the Gazidis Q&A session […]

Sproing
Sproing

Have to say, on first reading of the 24mill from RvP was not about money, I’m surprised/disappointed no one asked why we were in a position for the entire season with just one recognised centre forward on the books – one that didn’t even have premier league experience. Certainly wasn’t made for footballing reasons.

Bodom After Midnight
Bodom After Midnight

If it’s not about pocketing the money, then why sell the best striker in the world? Gazidis is a lying b*****.

Aaron
Aaron

You are right, it had nothing to do with the best striker in the world being a c***…

Bodom After Midnight
Bodom After Midnight

I’m a bit surprised that it would be hard to increase the stadium capacity. Not saying we need a bigger but if you spend everything you got on something you would like to be able to make modifications on the structure. The future should be about increasing the audinces, not restrict them to a set limit.

Grimandi's Trip
Grimandi's Trip

Great article. I couldn’t help but think of this scene from Indiana Jones when reading Ivan’s comments about Dick Law…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgfpIV29Ccc

trackback

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] […]

Geoff Goold
Geoff Goold

The stadium increase is not difficult. The stadium was built to house 80000 but Arsenal chose to have larger seats. If they changed the size to that of man utd the capacity would be 80000.

edwardgibbon
edwardgibbon

My stumbling block with Wenger is his willingness to maintain faith in flawed players that damage the club & this is componded by a disproportionate quota of sub standard buys. Is it possible that he himself is the root cause of some players failing at the club? With the EPL managerial environment now in a state of change a new manager would be the right direction to take. I think the Arsenal board are reactionaries . It’s now time to change. All they are doing is putting new wine into old bottles. In extremis, EG.

_
_

It’s not disproportionate, you just don’t care about flops in other teams which are buying carrolls, songs, and adebayors.

hmmmdoughnuts
hmmmdoughnuts

Never mind all this flannel.

What’s with the ads all over Arseblog this morning! Bad enough at first that the Qatar foundation and Barcelona had banners plastered all over the site, now I’m getting fucking BT Sport with images of the combined cunterage of RVP and Bale burning my eyes.

Where’s the booby t-shirt lady gone?!

War Chest
War Chest

Ya’ll think ill be spent this summer? *Guffaw*
Im nicely tucked under Arsene’s pillow, never to see the light of day!