The chief executive at Arsenal, Ivan Gazidis, was very pleased with himself last week when he sealed a new five year sponsorship package with Emirates airlines worth £30 million a year. There should also soon be about the same amount coming in from the Adidas football kits when the club agrees to change shirt manufacturers from Nike. Gooners should not get too excited yet, however, as Gazidis has revealed that none of the new money will be available until next summer.
“We want to be able to invest in the team a little bit more now so we’ll have that capability by the summer. But we also kept some powder dry so we’ve got the ability to invest if our manager finds the right opportunities in January.”
Knowing that there is money to come in summer means that Wenger will be allowed to spend what is in the bank now, thought to be around £40 million from the financial figures released earlier this year. Wenger is not a huge fan of the January transfer window, previously claiming that it smacked of desperation, but he will surely take advantage of the chance to boost an Arsenal squad suffering with injuries and falling off the pace in the Premier league.
There is no specific mention of the contract scenario with Theo Walcott, but recent performances must have convinced Wenger that he is worth a little extra money to keep him at the club. If Arsenal were to let him go, after losing van Persie and Song this summer, it would be going backwards, instead of closing the gap on the big spenders like Gazidis suggests will happen.
“We can now pay bigger salaries and invest more in transfer fees. How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgments have been shown to be outstanding.
“What we can do is develop a really solid financial platform for the club that gives us the ability to compete for top players, both top players that we bring in, and top players that we want to keep.”
It certainly sounds good, so I will expect to hear about Walcott and Sagna signing new deals and expect at least two quality additions in January. Who should we go for Gooners?