Ivan Gazidis: Arsenal were not good enough... but Arsene Wenger's job is safe
Arsene Wenger's position is not under threat in wake of Bradford defeat but Arsenal chief executive apologises to fans
The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, apologised to fans' groups at a meeting tonight 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 had left him "upset and angry".
The meeting with supporters had been arranged before the shock defeat on penalties at Valley Parade but Gazidis recognised he had to address the issue with feelings running high among fans. He said the result was "not good enough" in spite of Arsène Wenger's claims on Tuesday that the players "gave everything".
"I think I am frankly tired of getting up here and delivering the same message," said Gazidis. "Tuesday 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 here, 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."
Even after the defeat to Bradford, there is no suggestion of any threat to Wenger's position. He has 18 months on his contract and the full backing of the club's board. The 63-year-old has no intention himself of walking away from the club and there is no appetite within the club to force him out.
There does now seem to be increasing hope that the club will come to some agreement with Theo Walcott over a new contract and the player will stay at the club. Although there has been a stand-off between the two sides over Walcott's new salary, it is looking increasingly likely that he will not leave on a free transfer next summer.
In an interview given 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 comes to an end 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.
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Manuel Pellegrini must deliver five trophies in five years at Manchester City says chief executive Ferran Soriano
Major refinancing sees Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Twitter comments about Woolwich murder
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.