Thursday, 15th November, 2012
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes that the Gunners are heading towards a bright future in which they will be able to compete financially with any side in world football.
The London giants have been criticised for consistently selling their best players over a sustained period of years, from Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit joining Barcelona in 2000, to Robin van Persie signing for bitter rivals Manchester United this summer.
The Gunners have seemed unable to keep hold of their top players, while manager Arsene Wenger has not delivered a trophy since 2005.
However, Arsenal have built a new ground, the Emirates Stadium, and have been carefully paying off the debt incurred from doing so.
And Gazidis now thinks the Gunners will, in the next two or three years, enter a period where they are cash rich, are established as within the top five clubs in the world in terms of revenue, and are able to compete with any side for players.
"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", Gazidis told the BBC.
The American had recently stated at Arsenal’s annual general meeting last month that the Gunners are entering a bright period financially.
relatedNewsStory"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", he said.
"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.
However, the Arsenal CEO did admit that he is counting on the football world becoming financially rational which, with the spending which has taken place at Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Chelsea, and even Real Madrid, is not guaranteed to be forthcoming.
"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."
And, as Gazidis also admits, UEFA implementing their financial fair play rules has also entered his thinking.
"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."