The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, yesterday resolutely defended the club's direction, claiming that most clubs would "absolutely die" to be in their position, and that they were a "role model" for others, before confirming that manager Arsène Wenger was still secure in his job.
Having delivered no trophies since 2005, Arsenal's self-sustaining model is under more criticism than ever before, but Gazidis spoke both of its success and also Stan Kroenke's commitment to it. The last few months at Arsenal, losing important players and matches, have been so difficult that Wenger said earlier this month that it would prepare him for "going to hell".
These setbacks have led to discontent among Arsenal fans unprecedented during Wenger's reign, but Gazidis said yesterday that other clubs would envy Arsenal's state. "Most football clubs would absolutely die to be in our position. Almost every club would."
Gazidis made sure to emphasise the security of Wenger's position at the club. "There's absolutely no issue about Arsene leaving the club, or the club pushing him out," confirmed Gazidis. When questioned why the club was so loyal, he said it was to do with their future stability, rather than merely a reward for years of success.
"It's not a sentimental thing," Gazidis explained. "One of the most damaging things that clubs to do themselves is the constant turnover that we see in managers. Somehow the belief that the manager is the root of all issues, and that good managers can become bad managers, that leads to a lot of instability, and to clubs not being able to achieve the kind of success that Arsenal has had. You don't throw something like that away easily, and if you do you're a fool."Reuse content