Winning is not everything to Arsenal, claims commercial chief

Commercial officer's comments likely to infuriate fans

According to Arsenal's chief commercial officer, winning is not everything to the Gunners, comments that are sure to infuriate fed-up supporters.

Arsenal have gone seven years without any silverware and with the team languishing tenth in the Premier League after their worst start to a season under Arsene Wenger, the prospects of that long trophyless cycle coming to an end any time soon look slim.

The situation has been blamed on Arsene Wenger's apparent unwillingness to splash the cash on transfers and Arsenal's inability to retain their top stars. In recent years Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy have departed, while this summer captain and leading goal scorer Robin van Persie switched to Manchester United.

Some fans have gone as far as to call for the head of the manager who has led the Gunners for the past 16-years, while others want a change in management behind the scenes.

The views of chief commercial officer Tom Fox are only likely to increase support for those demands with his comments appearing to indicate an air of malaise over Arsenal's decreasing competitiveness on the pitch.

"Arsenal Football Club is not only about winning," he is quoted by United Arab Emirates-based Sport 360 as saying.

“We have a large and engaged fan-base around the world who want to feel as if they belong to the club, and want to feel proud to belong to the club. That’s my primary business.”

 “Obviously nothing instills pride in our fan-base more than winning, but there’s many things we do that make our fans feel proud.

“Developing young talent and finding those players in the marketplace make our fans feel proud.

“Whether it’s Serge Gnabry, who is a 17-year-old player in our reserve squad, whether it’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whether it’s Theo Walcott, we look at these young players and have faith in our manager to develop them as the players for the future."

Fox, who has worked for Nike, Gatorade, and the NBA in the past, insists there is much for Arsenal fans to be proud of, including the 60,000-seat stadium that was filled with boos at the weekend after a 2-0 defeat to Swansea.

“The fans come to a stadium that the club built really at a time 10 years ago when the board decided to build that stadium.

“Everything was going our way, it was Manchester United and Arsenal.

“But we made a very bold decision and we built that stadium on time and on budget — that makes our fans very proud.

The commercial officer also pointed to the recent £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates, of which it is understood £70m has been earmarked for Wenger to spend in the transfer market.

“When they see that we can attract — even though we haven’t won a trophy in seven years — one of the top global brands in the world for the type of money and financial commitment they’re making, that makes our fans feel proud.

“So our brand is defined by more than winning.

“Football can be a fairly mercenary commercial environment.

“Football clubs go into the market and they really do business with whoever wants to pay them the most money.

“By the time this current shirt deal expires with Emirates, they would have been on our shirt for 13 years.

“That says a lot about how we run the football club and what’s important to us as a football club."

Arsenal play West Brom at the Emirates this weekend where anything but a win is sure to produce a reaction from fans expressing what they think is important to the football club.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin