Thursday, November 15, 2012

Arsenal can compete with world's best - Gazidis

The Gunners chief executive has moved to reassure worried and disillusioned fans by insisting the club has "an outstanding platform" to compete at the highest level

 Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists the club are well-placed to compete at the highest level of the European game in the coming years despite a torrent of fan criticism.

The Gunners have made their worst start to a campaign in the Premier League era and their last piece of silverware was an FA Cup triumph back in 2005.

But Gazidis has urged fans to be patient, revealing the club's hierarachy has plans in place which will catapult Arsenal back to the top table of domestic and continental competition.

He told BBC Sport: "As we look to the next two, three years we will have an outstanding platform on which to compete with any club in the world."

Since moving from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006, Arsenal have increased their turnover by £65 million to £243m and are hoping to pull off major commerical deals that will strengthen their finances.

The Gunners' shirt sponsorship and manufacturer deals are up for renewal next season - something Gazidis believes will help further improve their financial standing.
"Now we are in that stadium, the first part of our vision has been realised," he added.
"Now we are at the stage where some of the commercial deals that were tied into the construction of the stadium, and enabled us to take that first big step, will be renegotiated.
"When that happens, we will take the second big step forward and that will be comparable in magnitude to moving to the stadium itself.
"At times it's been a challenging project, but we will have catapulted ourselves into the elite clubs on the European scale and that, for us, has been what the last 10 years has been about.
"Very clearly, it will push the club forward and put us into the top five clubs in the world in revenue terms, which will be a fantastic position to be in."
Gazidis also feels Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations - which will come into play next season - can only improve Arsenal's ability to compete with Europe's best on a financial level.

"As our financial capability develops, as economic rationality enters the world of football, our ability to compete at salary levels for the very best talent will be enhanced," he continued.

"Uefa are under tremendous scrutiny and pressure. Every indication we have ever had from Uefa is that they are very serious about this. "Michel Platini has created this as his platform and if they don't enforce FFP well and strictly, their credibility will be shot and they are very well aware of that."



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