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Gazidis Says Arsenal Make Stars They Don’t Buy Them

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was interviewed by Fox on Sunday and he said that Arsenal will never be able to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer market but believes Arsene Wenger’s focus on developing young players is the correct way to run a football club.

While City and Chelsea’s billionaire owners seem happy to invest in new players (and Arsenal’s isn’t), Gazidis said he is not a fan of how Chelsea and City conduct their financial affairs.

“It (our model) does mean we can’t afford to compete with oil money, and we can’t afford to compete with super-wealthy individuals from Russia,” he told Fox. “But I think the more important thing about our model is that it’s sustainable.

If we’ve learned anything from the world’s economic crisis, it has to be that football clubs need to have responsibility – not just for today, but for their own futures.

And our business model means that we can continue to do what we’re doing forever.

Our focus is always on young players, we’ve got a fantastic development system and still there are young players coming through consistently from our youth ranks and that’ll continue to be the way Arsenal do things.

We play football in a certain way, a little bit different to everyone else and we develop our team (in a way) that’s a little bit different to everybody else.

Yes, we can’t afford to spend £50-70million on an individual player. But, we’re proud of the way we do things, and we’re proud of the results that we’re able to produce from that.

“Of course there’s anxiety when clubs are spending the kind of money they’re spending. We don’t believe that’s sustainable for the long term. We think that has to come to an end. UEFA agrees with us and is bringing limits on spending in (the Financial Fair Play initiative), and we’ll continue to do things the way we do them.”

Gazidis then backed Arsene Wenger, while taking a cheeky shot at Man City saying:

“We’re proud of the model we have and we’re happy we’ve got one of the greatest managers that the world has ever seen at the helm of that.

“Nobody has a job for life,” he added. “And of course our objective is always to win trophies. We’re in three competitions this year. Manchester City would love to be in three competitions. They’re not.”