Arsenal chief warns: We can’t compete with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea
But have patience in the Arsene Wenger way, Ivan Gazidis tells supporters
Ivan Gazidis has told Arsenal fans that the club cannot compete with the financial resources of their Premier League title rivals, and that they should be glad to be doing things the Arsene Wenger way’.
Arsenal’s chief executive also reiterated that there was substantial cash available for the Gunners’ boss to spend this summer, and that more arrivals would follow the purchase of Ivory Coast striker Gervinho, whose �10.6m switch from French champions Lille was rubber-stamped this week.
However, with Manchester City preparing to spend another �40m to sign the Argentina international Sergio Aguero, and Manchester United having already broken the �50m spending barrier this summer, Gazidis called for fans to be realistic about calling for Arsenal to replicate such huge levels of spending.
“We have to deal with some realities in the game,” said the 46-year-old Gazidis. “Domestically, the league has been dominated by Chelsea and Manchester United in recent years.
“They’ve been the biggest spenders and, although they’ve done a fantastic job, it’s probably not a coincidence and now you see Manchester City and what they are spending and they are going to be in that bracket as well.
“We have to challenge for trophies in that environment and we will. But we’ve got to do things differently because we don’t have those kind of resources. Our approach is partly driven by vision; it’s partly driven by necessary strategy.
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“The reality is that most fans love this club and think what we’re trying to do is fantastic. It’s easy to lose perspective on what Arsene is trying to do, which I think is an extraordinary vision.
“But if you look around, the fans we have around the world, that vision is very, very attractive and very, very powerful. We should be proud of that.
“People should want that in the game. It’s a fantastic thing for the game, I really believe that. It is one of the points of difference for Arsenal and something that drives admiration around the world.”
Gazidis also made it clear that despite Wenger’s philosophy of discovering and developing young and talented players, the club were all too aware of the six-year trophy drought and that there was no danger of the manager’s ideology ruling out signing big-name stars.
If we found an established, world-class player and we thought the economics made sense and he would add to what we could do on the pitch, then there’s no philosophical objection to that,” Gazidis said.
“Arsene has no point of principle to show the world that he can build his own team of young players. That’s just not the way it is.
“Our fans have the right to be excited, to look forward to the season with anticipation and to expect to see top-class players and exciting things happening on the pitch. It’s our goal and target to deliver all of that.”