Gazidis: Arsenal have ‘over-performed’ in transfer market

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists the club have “over-performed” in the transfer market compared to their Premier League rivals.

Gazidis, who was taking questions at Arsenal’s annual general meeting last night, also said no-one outside the club is aware of the demands made by players approaching the end of their contracts.

He said keeping Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil as their deals run down rather than selling them last summer also shows the club’s board are not simply seeking financial success.

Arsenal announced record turnover of £422 million (€476m) for 2016/17 and a question at the AGM asked why the club had not invested more in buying new players.

But, after the Gunners broke their transfer record to sign Alexandre Lacazette this summer, Gazidis said he had a formula to prove Arsenal were more successful in the transfer market that other clubs.

“Every football club has successes and failures in the transfer market and every club wants to do better, we certainly want to,” he said.

“There is one very accurate, and objective, way to assess how well and how consistently clubs perform in this area over time.

“It is very simply to compare team performance by a series of objective metrics, usually league position or points, against expenditure on transfers.

“No club has a perfect record every year under this scrutiny but Arsenal has probably been, of the big clubs certainly, the most consistently over-performing team over time.”

It was reported last December that both Ozil and Sanchez wanted to be paid the same as the Premier League’s top earners. Neither of the pair are yet to sign new deals and can walk away for free at the end of the season — something manager Arsene Wenger said he is prepared to do. The board have backed that call and Gazidis insists that shows the club are not solely concerned with the bottom line. “The decision on Alexis and Mesut Ozil are certainly not decisions that fit the narrative that we put money first,” he said.

The AGM at Emirates Stadium was attended by around 200 shareholders, the majority of whom voted against re-electing chairman Chips Keswick or director Josh Kroenke in a rare move to show their unhappiness with the set-up.

A poll vote was held even though majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and fellow shareholder Alisher Usmanov had already voted via proxy - with their votes in favour of retaining the pair unbeatable.


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