Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has admitted that Arsenal are not where they want to be, but insisted they are not standing still.
The club’s chief executive was questioned on a number of topics at the club’s Annual General Meeting. Unsurprisingly, Gazidis was quizzed on transfers and how the club go about buying players.
“When it comes to a assessing and choosing players, all successful teams have a final decision maker. In our case we rely on Arsene’s judgement but he is increasingly supported by a number of experts,” he said, as reported by Football.London.
He went on to defend Arsenal’s transfer business and cited “unprecedented investment” as the reason why Arsenal can compete for the Premier League.
“There’s been an unprecedented investment in the squad in recent years as our revenues have grown. We’ve broken the club transfer records multiple times & did it again this summer. This increased transfer spending has accompanied massive spending in facilities.
“If we want to compete we need to invest on the field and off it. We are not where we want to be yet but we’re certainly not standing still.”
He was then asked about his past comments about aspiring to be like Bayern Munich and if he and the Arsenal board had examined the Bundesliga’s model at all. He responded that Arsenal look at several clubs, but was keen to point out people look at them as well.
“We are regarded as leaders in many aspects of the game. Many clubs come to us for advice.”
Gazidis was asked about what steps the club were taking to win the Premier League title again, 13 years after their last crown.
“To win the Premier League we need to do things better than our competitors in every field without putting the club in financial jeopardy. That’s not easy but it’s our target.”
He spoke out about the possibility of Arsene Wenger getting a new contract when his current two-year deal comes to an end.
“It wouldn’t be sensible to set any fixed future date for negotiations. Arsene has a new 2-year deal in the belief that he has the experience, values and quality.”
The chief executive said very little about the ticket pricing, despite ongoing fury from supporters over the lofty prices.
“We are always trying to strike the right balance. Haven’t yet made a decision for 2018/19.”
And the biggest issue, deciding not to sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, was answered by Gazidis who cited the quest for success this season being more important than making money.
“Decisions on Alexis and Ozil do not fit the narrative that we put money first. Taken stance as best chance to compete for trophies.”
Much like the manager and the rest of the Arsenal board, Gazidis has come in for heavy criticism for his role in Arsenal’s current lack of major honours.
His responses, though, at least match up with reports that he was trying to instil a Director of Football at Arsenal and give Arsene Wenger more support off the pitch.