Ivan Gazidis transfer comments from 2013 will infuriate Arsenal fans

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Football News

Rewind to 2013 and times were good for Arsenal fans. Sure, they were still in the midst of a long trophy drought, but the shackles that had impeded Arsene Wenger for so long were about to be lifted.

Their successful move to the Emirates Stadium limited what the Frenchman could do in the transfer window for seven years, forcing him to sell his best players and replace them with cheap yet promising youngsters.

Then, as the summer window opened chief executive Ivan Gazidis dropped a huge gauntlet when he declared Arsenal as one of the foremost financial powerhouses in world football.

You may not remember, but he actually suggested that Arsenal could afford to sign Wayne Rooney. At the time, the Manchester United striker was being linked with a move away from Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho keen to take him to Chelsea.

But Gazidis said Arsenal had the money to throw their hat into the ring, even if it meant a £70m outlay.

The 2013 Gazidis

Questioned about the potential to break a rigid pay structure for big-name deals, Gazidis said: "We could do that, we could do more than that.

"We have a certain amount which we've held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board. All of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. We can think about all kinds of things."

Asked specifically about Rooney, he said: "I don't know what his fee would be. I'm talking about an extra £70m of additional, high-margin revenue - so of course we could do that."

Of course, since those comments Arsenal have blown almost £200m in transfer fees, signing Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka for a combined £100m whilst also completing notable deal for the likes of Calum Chambers (£16m) Danny Welbeck (£16m) and Petr Cech (£10m) but Arsenal fans are concerned with their apparent lack of activity this summer.

Only Xhaka has arrived thus far while interest in Alexandre Lacazette and Riyad Mahrez doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. And now Gazidis, speaking in the New York Times, has suggested why the Gunners can't bring the big names to the Emirates anymore.

The 2016 Gazidis

He said: "We run in a self-sustaining way, and a way that we believe in, because we believe it gives us certainty for the future, and enables us to plan our future with confidence.

"That means we can’t afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market. We can’t afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do. So we have to be very careful, very selective about how we do things."

Not exactly the kind of things Arsenal fans, who pay the most expensive ticket prices in Europe, want to be hearing.

Fan reaction

And inevitably fans have picked up on this fact and have taken aim at their chief executive, who earns £2.2m-a-year himself.

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