Arsene Wenger has developed a reputation of only signing players at the last minute to try and get the price reduced, but according to the Arsenal CEO, Ivan Gazidis, they do usually try to get the signings done early if possible.
Look at Alexis Sanchez last summer, who was signed as soon as the World Cup was over. It can be done, but Ivan thinks that sometimes it works to Arsenal advantage to wait until the last minute…
“We always want to sign players early,” he said at the Supporters Q&A. “Everyone looks at the year where we signed five players on deadline day, but we actually signed players earlier that summer, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of them. Perhaps you’re also referring to Mesut Ozil but I can assure you it’s better to sign Ozil on deadline day than not at all.
“We always try to sign players early but it’s a very complicated chess game, believe me. Pieces need to move around and with certain players, you need the deadline to force a decision, you need something final to push others to make the decisions they have to make. So we’ve always signed players early but sometimes, players just don’t come up till the end of the window.”
Ivan then talked about the new rules on FFP, and how it could actually help to make the smaller Premier League clubs become more competitive in the coming years. “I’ve spoken about Financial Fair Play,” Ivan said. “And I don’t like those words, because I don’t think it’s about fair play. I’ve always been in favour of some kind of financial regulation because I think that’s good for football. I don’t think it dramatically affects Arsenal because our strategy would be the same with FFP or without it. We still have to expand our commercial revenues, we still have to be efficient, we still have to compete against richer clubs.
“Just look at some of the ownerships we have in the game and it’s not healthy. What we want are responsible owners that respect the history and the traditions and that don’t come into it knowing they’re going to get abused if they don’t shovel in hundreds of millions of losses in cash, that’s not healthy because when you have that environment, sensible people stay away from it and questionable people come in. We want sensible people to come in.
“What’s happening with FFP isn’t what’s being reported. There are some amendments. Basically, they’re for clubs that are not in the Champions League, if you’re outside the Champions League and you have a plan for how you want to develop, you are allowed to invest a bit more money, but you have to get yourself back into the confines within three years, so it’s not quite what’s being reported.”
“What’s going to happen in the Premier League is that clubs like Crystal Palace, Newcastle or Norwich City and they are going to have more money than anyone else in Europe, outside of the top ten clubs. They are going to have money to access some of the best players in Europe, which is fantastic for the league. So the Premier League is going to become even more competitive and it’s going to get harder for clubs like us. Two years from now, every game Arsenal play, you’re going to be watching us against teams that have players that can hurt you if you make a mistake.”
So he obviously thinks that this will only be helping the smaller clubs get bigger, but as we discussed in an earlier article, it is going to be a lot easier for big clubs to get around these rules. All classy transfer targets are definitely going to become more expensive as more able bidders are allowed to join the auctions. Ithink it will be interesting, but I am still sure that Wenger will be able to attract more players with the guaranteed success we have at Arsenal.
Things can only get better….
Onwards and Upwards!