Arsenal chief missing the point

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Football News

The latest comments from Arsenal chief-executive Ivan Gazidis have added to an increasing air of resignation at the Emirates Stadium.

Following the Gunners enduring their worst start to a season in almost 60 years, Gazidis has calmed fears that failure to qualify for the Champions League would suggest a financial crisis at the club.

"We would rather qualify for it but we have got a really stable model that could not just cope but do well and compete," he said at the Leaders in Football conference.

"It would be very foolish to build a business model that relied on being in the Champions League for perpetuity.

"I don't think any clubs do that, and if they do then they probably aren't being run as responsibly as they should be."

Although Gazidis has every right to field questions regarding the prospect of the north London club missing out on European qualification, his recent quotes can only increase a sense of pessimism amongst Arsenal fans, players and officials.

The losses of Cesc Fabrgeas and Samir Nasri in quick succession during the summer seemed to signal that the Gunners' season was over before it had begun in earnest.

Arsene Wenger did move to reinforce his midfield with the acquisitions of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun, but they are hardly the calibre of signings Arsenal wanted or needed.

However, even without Fabregas, Nasri and the injured Thomas Vermaelen, few would have predicted Arsenal would begin the campaign so desperately.

Seven points from seven games - and a total of 16 goals conceded - sees Arsenal currently sit in the unfamiliar position of 15th in the Barclays Premier League, 12 points behind leaders Manchester Untied and Manchester City.


Wenger has already conceded that the title is out of reach. But, with a decidedly dodgy defence, and reports suggesting Robin van Persie could leave in January, missing out on the Champions League is a serious possibility.

In a world where financial fair play will imminently take on an even greater significance, Arsenal are undoubtedly set fair for the future.

But, qualifying for the Champions League brings things to a football club money can't always buy in terms of pride, respect and reputation. And, although he suggests a top four spot is not the be all and end all, surely Gazidis must realise that.

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