Arshavin deal ignored at Premier League meeting

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Andrei Arshavin saga finally looks to be at an end after today's Premier League board meeting passed without discussion of the transfer.

Arshavin's move from Zenit St Petersburg to the Emirates dragged on for the majority of the January transfer window and Monday's 5pm deadline came and went without formal confirmation of the deal.

The Premier League eventually ratified the transfer - almost 24 hours later - insisting that the relevant paperwork and formalities had been "substantively" completed prior to the closing of the window.

There were reports that the Arshavin deal could be probed this morning at the quarterly meeting of the 20 top-flight clubs.

But it is understood that the issue - which also encompasses Stephen Kelly's late switch from Birmingham to Stoke - was not on the agenda for the meeting and was not brought up by any of the member clubs.

Aston Villa chief operating officer Paul Faulkner had been mooted as the member most likely to ask questions over Arshavin's transfer.

It is Villa whose prospects of finishing in the top four appear most obviously threatened the Russian playmaker's arrival in north London but Villa this morning categorically denied that Faulkner would be asking questions about the transfer window - something which appeared to be borne out by events at London's Churchill Hotel today.

Asked whether the Arshavin deal had been discussed, Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards said: "No. It was a great meeting, but no."

Paul Duffen, Hull's chairman, told PA Sport: "It was not on the agenda; we didn't discuss it.

"It was a very positive, very focused meeting. It's a good body of people and we are there to manage the business of the Premier League."

He added on Sky Sports News: "There was statement made saying everything with the transaction was done within the regulations.

"Certainly the Premier League are comfortable with the way it was processed."

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who formally took up his new position earlier this month following a successful stint as the deputy commissioner of Major League Soccer in the United States, said earlier that the complications in pushing through the Arshavin move had been overly "dramatised".

"We probably bored everybody, and I think everyone got a bit tired of the on-going story," Gazidis told Arsenal TV Online.

"It took longer than anybody would have wanted to get to a conclusion, but we got there in the end.

"People dramatise these things a little bit.

"It was never on until it finally got done, but it was not on and off through the day either.

"Certainly it went closer to the deadline than I would have liked, but sometimes you have to do that to finally push it over the finish line."

Despite having finally added the creative force he has been searching for to compensate for the injury absences of Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is unlikely to hand the 27-year-old playmaker a debut against rivals Tottenham on Sunday as he continues to build his match fitness.