Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has lauded the work of Arsene Wenger and broadly hinted that the manager will be offered a new contract to take him beyond his current deal, which expires in 2014. In an interview with the Telegraph, Gazidis was effusive in his appraisal of Wenger and of the future for Arsenal.
"It`s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for services, it`s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward," Gazidis said.
"We`re really confident about the direction that the club is heading. I feel he can keep going for a long time. He`s in fantastic shape and he`s as driven as he`s ever been and excited as ever.
"He played in some staff games recently. When you put him out on the football field, he is still fit, quick and a good footballer. It`s fantastic to see his endless enthusiasm. I really have learnt from Arsène and the players learn from him as well."
When pressed on an eventual successor, Gazidis was expansive, "As a club, we have to make sure that all of the things that Arsène has brought to the club are enshrined in our DNA to make sure that, when Arsène decides it`s time, we are in a position to take his ideas and work forward.
"The values that Arsène has brought to the club together with the values that the club had before Arsène are what will inform us and give us the framework as to who might take over from him in the longer term. He is written into our DNA."
The Gunners Chief Executive also hit back at critics of Arsenal who suggest they are happy to tread water in the top 4 money pool, 'We get accused of a lack of ambition or complacency because apparently the board are only interested in the top four. That is absolute rubbish. To me this is the most ambitious football club I know."
As is pretty much on par with the club line these days, Ivan was also quick to point out the positive effects of Financial Fair Play and the upcoming renewal of sponsorship deals which, he thinks, will propel the club further, 'In terms of the financial impact, it will be as significant a step forward as the stadium was in 2005," Gazidis said. "It does kick us into the top five clubs in the world with separation from the rest. The overall journey that the club embarked on was to make it one of the leading clubs in the world and to do it in a way that would be sustainable.'
"I think there is a perception that Michel Platini devised an evil plan in his bath to go after English football," Gazidis said.
"That`s just simply not the case. They are not rules coming down on high, they are actually rules the clubs themselves developed in conjunction with Uefa. We are seeing very serious discussions within the Premier League about introducing these regulations. It`s going to happen and it is happening faster than people realise."
All well and good, but the additional income is only good to us if we use it effectively. This October, Arsenal are going to announce their half yearly profits and a cash reserve of roughly £70m is going to show in the accounts.
Date:Thursday September 13 2012
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