Gazidis says he is 'upset and angry' after cup debacle

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The Independent Online

The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, apologised to fans' groups at a meeting last night for the club's elimination at the hands of League Two side Bradford City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, a result which he said left him "upset and angry".

The meeting was arranged before the shock defeat on penalties at Valley Parade, and Gazidis said the result was "not good enough" in spite of Arsène Wenger's claims that the players "gave everything".

"I think I am frankly tired of getting up here and delivering the same message," said Gazidis. "Last night was not good enough and it made us all upset and angry. I would like to apologise to all of you, especially the fans who travelled up there. It was unbelievable support as ever and you deserved better.

"That is something we will work hard to put right," he added. "We all work here and are desperate to deliver the success and trophies we all want. Look into the eyes of the staff, look at the way they talk. We will get this right. I initially thought this would be a great opportunity to spread Christmas cheer. I don't think it will be but I hope to speak to all of you."

Despite the defeat, Wenger's position seems safe. He has 18 months on his contract and the backing of the board. The 63-year-old has no intention of walking away and there is no appetite to force him out.

There seems to be increasing hope that Theo Walcott's new contract can be resolved and he will stay. Although there has been a stand-off over Walcott's new salary, it is looking increasingly likely that he will not leave on a free transfer next summer.

In an interview before Tuesday's tie, Gazidis conceded that the club must try to do better. He told the magazine Four Four Two: "Let's be clear – we don't see Champions League qualification as enough, we are proud of our record, but we want to do more, and we will.

"Irrespective of Financial Fair Play's impact, we will be among the top five most financially powerful clubs in the world by 2014, that is when we will really start competing."

The first monitoring period for FFP ends in May and clubs will find out at the start of the 2014-15 season what penalties they will face from Uefa for failure to comply.