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Monday, November 26, 2012

Arsenal bosses must prove true to their word

Upon revealing Arsenal’s eye-watering new £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates airline, the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis has reassured fans they will see investment into the playing squad.

“The deal is all about football,” Gazidis said. “It is all about giving us the resources in what we believe is a responsible and well managed way … so that we will have additional money in this financial year which will be able to invest in the summer.

“[Manager Arsene Wenger] will have more resources available.”

Yet despite the chief exec.’s words that Wenger will be allowed to spend more money on new signings, very few supporters will be taking his words on face value.

For Gooners have for a long time now come to terms with the fact their club is being run by businessmen, not football people. Their new, glossy stadium may be the jewel in north London’s crown but it has come at a major cost, with Arsenal without a trophy to boast of since the FA Cup in 2005.

Indeed, it appears focus at Arsenal is more about securing revenue streams, expanding the brand into global markets and fleecing the fans of every last dime they have. The Emirates already boasts the most expensive season tickets in the country yet does not showcase trophy-winning football.

No, while the Emirates Stadium project has evolved, Wenger has had to keep afloat an inconsistent team continually depreciating in quality; replacing major stars like Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie with Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young.

A fresh link to former terrace hero Thierry Henry in the gossip columns  may be romantic, but in a realists eyes it us yet another example of Wenger’s penny pinching.

The frustration on the terraces is building and has been for years, and while this recent news may just calm the nerves of Arsenal fans in the betting world, if Gazidis does not prove true to his word there will be serious discontent among the most optimistic of supporters.

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