Ivan Gazidis redefines Arsenal success

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There are many ways one can define success, especially in this football era which clearly divides the haves from the have nots. That is what one gets after reading Ivan Gazidis’s Telegraph interview.
Gazidis is the CEO of Arsenal, and a marketing and PR man by profession who was hired to develop the commercial interests of the club. It is this part, unsurprisingly that comes off strongest in terms of defining success because looming in the horizon, a 2014 deadline which will see existing sponsorships expire and newer, far more lucrative ones negotiated which will increase the financial clout of a self sustaining model.
The present contracts were not the best value for money because Arsenal were desperately preoccupied with funding the move to the Emirates.
“In terms of the financial impact, it will be as significant a step forward as the stadium was in 2005,” Gazidis said. “It does kick us into the top five clubs in the world with separation from the rest. The overall journey that the club embarked on was to make it one of the leading clubs in the world and to do it in a way that would be sustainable.”
The sense one gets from these statements and others is Arsenal better positioned in the long haul to negotiate the bewildering twists and turns of an economic maze as compared to many of its rivals. This dovetails into the overwhelming referencing of DNA which pertains to Wenger and the club’s thinking being inextricably linked and which will pass onto his successor when that time comes. If you look at it very narrowly, Gazidis is once again re-defining success.
“As a club, we have to make sure that all of the things that Arsène has brought to the club are enshrined in our DNA to make sure that, when Arsène decides it’s time, we are in a position to take his ideas and work forward.”
The other metric of success, silverware, which most fans care about, is given a boiler plate response. Gazidis, in a defensive crouch:
“We’re very optimistic about this season. We’re absolutely trying to win silverware and we’re trying desperately hard to do it this year.
Although Gazidis strenuously emphasizes that the board’s ambitions are much higher than fourth position, the arrival of Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, and Oliver Giroud can only be looked through the prism of the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, and Alex Song. This looks more like a holding pattern. A cup half empty but also half full.
One cannot expect Arsenal to score more than they did last season but they can bring down the number of goals conceded. Where they are already showing signs of success. Steve Bould is already having an impact with zonal marking bolstered by the repositioning of Mikel Arteta in the backfield. There is reason for optimism but one really can’t say whether this will be enough to bring back a trophy. But what Gazidis is preparing for us as does Wenger on many an occasion is a season should be examined in many different ways.
“When you look at what Arsene has done, within the overall constraints, he has outperformed our spending every single year he has been manager. It is extraordinary.”
Which does not answer that million dollar question. These “overall constraints” are now written into Arsenal’s DNA. But are they real or self imposed? Arseblog is of the view that there is money sitting around but Arsenal fail to use it to improve the squad or to give better wages to their top players.

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3 comments on “Ivan Gazidis redefines Arsenal success
  1. A club has got three sides,players,board and the fans. With the financial gains of the club,players should be highly paid to win silveware for the fans to feel proud. At Arsenal,its only the board thats happy

  2. Arsenal are a very intriguing club. They finish in the top 4 year after year which allows them to get Champions League money. They do ok in the FA and League Cups and they are developing a world wide following.
    They always do just good enough.
    For the board this is great, since they want to make money.
    For the young players this is great. It gets them experience playing across different tournaments.
    For the fans it’s bittersweet. The team is always involved in Europe as well as going fairly far in the FA and League cups, BUT (and a big BUT), no trophies. So the team gets by doing enough to keep fans wanting to come back and keep hoping for more to come, but it is always just out of reach.
    In some respects I do admire Arsenal. They do play nice football. I also do appreciate their more pragmatic approach to transfers and player development and how they run the club. However, the lack of trophies is the number one thing that fans are looking for and Arsenal has not had one in years.

  3. Yes, the lack of trophies is getting a bit tiresome. Don’t quite know when it will happen but my feeling is that Arsenal are waiting for financial fair play rules to kick in which will force clubs to spend only if they can balance the books. Arsenal could take advantage of their reasonably good financial shape to buy players who could provide an impact. Plus, one good development is that finally appear to be paying attention to defence and are not conceding so many goals. Arsenal won the PL and FA Cups because it had one of the league’s best defenses between 1998 to 2004.

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