David Hytner’s article hints at Ivan Gazidis’s plans to sell the Arsenal brand:
” Gazidis has identified a huge discrepancy between the worldwide reach of the Arsenal brand and the revenue that it generates. He believes that bringing the latter up to speed – the club have sophisticated strategies in place to do so – is the surest way forward. It is simply not possible to play the sheikhs and the oligarchs at their own game.”
The problem is if Arsenal continue to fail then there won’t be a brand to market. This season has seen a number of teams playing attractive, free flowing football, surpassing Arsenal’s increasingly bowdlerized version. Flogging a brand that was at its peak more than half a decade ago by dressing it up is not going to win any new customers. It won’t matter a whit if the fan sits in Kuala Lumpur, Djibouti, or Anchorage, if your own London base is increasingly alienated with the club and the direction its taking. Nostalgia only puts familiar bums on the seats, the rest of the remote world wants new silverware. Falling out of the Champions League is a surefire way to guarantee that this has no hope of success.
Another thing, these “sophisticated strategies” cost money with no guarantee of returns. The monies would be better spent in transfers, uncovering basic truths why Arsenal suffer so many injuries, restructuring wages in tune with actual performances rather than mere experience. The more hardwired aspects of the club need to work before it can go to the made for TV audience.