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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Gazidis: Arsenal will be on par with best

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis claims the Gunners will soon boast "an outstanding platform to compete with any club in the world", in response to criticism from the club's supporters.

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Gazidis has come under fire from the Gunners faithful as he has taken the bulk of the blame for the club's modest transfer spending and failure to win trophies in recent years, but he has hit back and claimed the future will be brighter for Arsenal thanks to his shrewd management of the North Londoners' finances.

Increased revenue from renewing sponsorship deals is likely to bolster the Arsenal coffers in the coming months, with Gazidis convinced his club are primed to emerge as one of the most powerful in the world game.

"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," Gazidis told the BBC.

"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 has echoed the hope of manager Wenger that a tightening of finances at clubs across Europe in a bid to meet UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules will move Arsenal into a prominent position in the coming years.

"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," Gazidis continued. "Michel Platini (UEFA president) 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."

Gazidis has insisted the introduction of FFP will not affect the quality of players coming into England's top flight, as he is convinced there is a united push to tighten the purse strings and run top clubs within a more stable financial structure.

"There is a growing consensus among owners across the Premier League that we need tighter fiscal regulation," he said. "That will be good for the Premier League, clubs, owners and fans. We are seeing Premier League revenues growing and growing, and in spending-power terms we have separated ourselves from the other leagues.

"In general terms, the talent flow of players is going to be towards the Premier League, with or without FFP. In fact, over a longer period the increased stability will attract better owners and actually lead to further growth and an even more exciting future."




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