Gazidis predicts 'bright' Arsenal future

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis maintains the board will continue to back manager Arsene Wenger in the transfer market.

And Gazidis believes Arsenal are well positioned to ride out the current uncertain financial climate.

The Barclays Premier League club today announced pre-tax profits for the six months ended November 30 2008 were £24.5m, up from £20m, with increased contributions from both the football and property aspects of the Gunners' parent holding company.

However, the redevelopment of the club's old Highbury stadium could present some challenges ahead given the economic downturn, as Arsenal look to re-finance the terms of their loan for the project.

Nevertheless, Gazidis insists the Gunners remain on a solid footing, with an increase of match-day turnover up £3.3m to £44.4m, while broadcasting revenues increased to £28.9million and overall pre-tax profit was up £600,000 from 2007.

Arsenal - who funded the move to the Emirates Stadium with a 23-year loan at a fixed interest rate - have always sought to keep their property and football businesses separate.

Gazidis is confident matters on the field should not be adversely affected by any outside influences as Wenger, who brought in Russia international Andrei Arshavin on deadline day for a reported £15m fee, looks to continue his team building plans in the summer.

"If Arsene believes that there are players out there who can help the squad, the board is always behind him, but don't forget we believe in the young players we have," he said.

"When you look at the ages of the players we are putting out on the field and their level of performance, the next two or three years will look very bright indeed."

Off the field, Gazidis maintains Arsenal's self-sustaining model is robust.

"We have achieved a half-year pre-tax profit of £24.5m, which in this environment is very solid," he said.

"I think the industry as a whole will be affected in the medium to long term. Fortunately at Arsenal, we are very well positioned and our key sponsorship contracts are long-term agreements which fix our revenue there."

Gazidis stressed the plans to refinance the development loan for Highbury Square - the apartments and penthouses being built at the club's former stadium - should not be seen as a major concern.

"The key thing to remind ourselves about Highbury Square is that it is ring-fenced from the football club," he said.

"We still believe we will be able to generate a profit on the development that will be ultimately available to the football club.

"The question is the timing of that profit, when it will be realised and how much it will be.

"In the current downturn, it makes sense for us to look at options to extend that out a little bit so that we can maximise results at Highbury Square."

Arsenal are currently outside the top four of the Premier League, and so face a battle to secure Champions League football again next season.

Gazidis, though, maintained failure to do so would not prove a fatal blow to the club's long-term financial outlook.

"While we would rather be in the Champions League for a wide variety of reasons, if we were to miss out we will be very solidly positioned to invest prudently to come back the following years," he said.

"Because of the way the club is positioned, particularly with Emirates Stadium, and our other long-term contracted revenue streams, the impact is not dramatic."

Gazidis, however, declared: "We are still aiming for a place in the top four, and we think we are going to surprise a lot of pundits out there who are writing off our chances."

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own