Ivan Gazidis defends Arsenal's recruitment policy


Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis admits his club will never be able to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer market but believes Arsene Wenger's focus on developing young players is the correct way to run a football club.

The Gunners are enduring arguably their worst season under Wenger since he took over as manager 16 years ago. They are fifth in the Barclays Premier League and look set to miss out on Champions League football next term unless their form improves in the rest of the season.

Wenger infuriated sections of the Arsenal support by refusing to bring in a marquee signing last summer despite selling Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas for a combined fee of over £50million and the Gunners boss has had a quiet January transfer window so far ahead of tonight's 11pm deadline.

City and Chelsea seem ready to spend the vast amounts of money provided by their respective billionaire owners at the drop of a hat, but Gazidis is not a fan of how they conduct their financial affairs.

"It (our model) does mean we can't afford to compete with oil money, and we can't afford to compete with super-wealthy individuals from Russia," he told Fox.

"But I think the more important thing about our model is that it's sustainable.

"If we've learned anything from the world's economic crisis, it has to be that football clubs need to have responsibility - not just for today, but for their own futures.

"And our business model means that we can continue to do what we're doing forever.

"Our focus is always on young players, we've got a fantastic development system and still there are young players coming through consistently from our youth ranks and that'll continue to be the way Arsenal do things.

"We play football in a certain way, a little bit different to everyone else and we develop our team (in a way) that's a little bit different to everybody else.

"Yes, we can't afford to spend £50-70million on an individual player. But, we're proud of the way we do things, and we're proud of the results that we're able to produce from that.

"Of course there's anxiety when clubs are spending the kind of money they're spending. We don't believe that's sustainable for the long term. We think that has to come to an end. UEFA agrees with us and is bringing limits on spending in (the Financial Fair Play initiative), and we'll continue to do things the way we do them."

Gazidis points to the success of teenage winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a case in point of how he thinks transfer matters should be concluded.

Arsenal signed the 18-year-old from Southampton this summer and he has gone on to impress to such an extent that he is rumoured to have an outside chance of representing England at Euro 2012.

"Arsene spends money with a view not just to the short term, but also to the long term," Gazidis added.

"People don't think about Oxlade-Chamberlain, but we spent a lot of money on Oxlade-Chamberlain. We believe that this is a young player who is an exciting prospect, and there are a lot of clubs in the Premier League that would love to have him, believe me."

Wenger came under fire from sections of the Arsenal support for substituting Oxlade-Chamberlain during the club's defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United two weeks ago.

Gazidis appeared to give his backing to the Frenchman, however, saying: "We're proud of the model we have and we're happy we've got one of the greatest managers that the world has ever seen at the helm of that.

"Nobody has a job for life," he added.

"And of course our objective is always to win trophies. We're in three competitions this year. Manchester City would love to be in three competitions. They're not."


Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk