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EPL 2016/17: Arsenal hopeful of rivalling Manchester United and Chelsea's record-breaking commercial deals, says chief executive Gazidis

Gazidis offers Arsenal fans reassurances and insists Arsenal can compete with rival clubs.

Arsenal Manager and CEO Attend Emirates Business Breakfast in New York : News Photo
Gazidis has been chief executive of Arsenal since 2009

Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists the North London club can match the record-breaking commercial deals made by other Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea. He remains confident and optimistic that Arsenal can compete with their rivals when their commercial businesses deals up are for renewal. 

Since Arsenal signed their two deals with Emirates and Puma in 2014 for €30m each, other English clubs have raised the standard for commercial contracts.  Arsenal’s shirt deal with Emirates is up for renewal in 2018, while their stadium naming rights deal runs until 2028, with the length of their Puma deal still confidential. 

Also Read: Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis pockets £1m bonus despite no silverware

“When we signed and announced the Emirates and Puma deals they were two of biggest in world football,” Gazidis told the club’s AGM in London on Monday.

“We anticipated a rising market, and as we look at the market we are very comfortable with the length of deals that we agreed. The Emirates deal has two seasons left. Puma, I can’t say, but when renewal time comes I’m confident that we will achieve another excellent result.”

Increase in income

Gazidis has gotten a lot of flack for his ridiculous salary of €2.65m plus a million in bonuses he received last season.

The chief executive issued a strong defence to the shareholders at the recent AGM claiming the ‘club's commercial and retail income had increased more than any other stream’ the past six years, from €46m a year in 2010 to the most recent figure of €107m.

The increase in the number of non-primary commercial partners from 11 to 34 in the last three years has resulted in a significant rise in income, he added.

Chelsea earlier this month announced a huge €60m kit deal with Nike following their new €40m per season deal with tyre makers Yokohama. Manchester United, on the other hand, announced their record-breaking €75m kit deal with Adidas to follow their €47m per season shirt deal with Chevrolet. 

Confident of retaining players, says Gazidis

Gazidis also spoke about the club’s wage bill that has significantly grown since the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, reassuring Arsenal fans about the future of the club’s most prized assets.  

Also Read: Gazidis worth $3.24 million salary, say Arsenal

“We have a good track record in retaining players,” he said. “I can’t get into a discussion on individual players but can assure you that we will apply the same focus and rigour to members of our current squad, and you can see direction of travel.”

Gazidis’ comment about retaining players is a controversial one, as Arsenal have been questioned for letting go of their star players, but the Chief Executive remains upbeat about the club’s structure and the way forward for the club, as they sit joint top of the Premier League and lead their group in the Champions League.  

Arsenal has qualified for every Champions League campaign since Arsene Wenger was appointed in charge of Arsenal back in 1996, and Gazidis believes he still has a huge role at the club.

Arsenal look sharp on the field, and with their finances improving each year, the chief executive is very optimistic about the future. 

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