Arsenal 'will not be panicked into spending'

 

Arsenal will not spend heavily in the January transfer window even if they continue to endure their worst start to a season in half-a-century. Ivan Gazidis, the chief executive, said yesterday that the club was "always under pressure to spend" but would resist that pressure even if they were in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the first time under Arsène Wenger.

Gazidis said: "Every club has the temptation to think that money is the answer, and if only we spent a little bit more it would push us over the top of a curve. That is what drives spending in the game but it is by no means always successful. It relieves pressure for a while, but it actually builds long-term pressure in other ways. We will continue to act with discipline to make sure we have a good short- and long-term future."

The Champions League is worth £20m-£40m to a club such as Arsenal but Gazidis said at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge: "We would rather qualify for it, but we have got a really stable model that can cope without that money, not just cope but do well and compete. It would be very foolish to build a business model that relies on being in the Champions League in perpetuity. I don't think any clubs do that. If they do, they probably aren't being run as responsibly as they should do.

"Notwithstanding our current league position, I think Arsenal are in a position of strength. We are a self-sustaining club. It gives us the ability to look forward without worrying too much about the up and downs either of the competitive cycle, or the economic cycle. We don't have a salary ceiling. We have a very sophisticated business model that looks at what we need to do to compete today, what we need to do to compete next year, and in five years from now."

In contrast to his manager, who believes the owners' investment in Chelsea and Manchester City is "financial doping", and who awaits a pan-European financial collapse to level the playing field, Gazidis said: "To me there is nothing unfair about owners who put money into their clubs, and for us there is nothing wrong with having to compete with that."

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