Arsenal Keeps Finances Sound, But Still No Title Since '05 FA Cup Victory
EPL Arsenal's billionaire majority shareholder Stan Kroenke "is one of a new generation of foreign owners who have bought into the game in Britain, but while some of them have spent with abandon to get results on the field, Kroenke expects the club to stay true to sound financial principles," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Arsenal, nicknamed "The Gunners" after the munitions factory workers that founded the club in 1886, last won the Premier League in '04 and lifted the FA Cup in '05. They "have won nothing since," and supporters who pack the plush Emirates stadium, the club's home since '06, "want a better return on some of the highest ticket prices" in English football. Frustrated fans said that "the club is the victim of a lack of drive and investment by Kroenke," who took control two years ago in a deal valuing the club at £731M. Those who work for the 65-year-old Kroenke, who owns sports teams on both sides of the Atlantic, "dismiss claims he is out of touch" with English football and its passionate fans. Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis said, "The guy I know is phenomenally ambitious for this football club and has given it support at every possible level." Gazidis, 48, believes that Arsenal "will soon benefit from the completion of a financial transformation that began with the move to the 60,000-seater Emirates stadium." Gazidis said, "We will have a football club that will certainly be one of the leading clubs in financial power in Europe." Gazidis "points to a new" £150M ($227M) sponsorship deal with airline Emirates signed last year, while a new kit supply deal "is also being negotiated." Gazidis said, "We have a vision of a football club which stands on its own two feet, which relies on its own resources. We think that football is about more than simply who is prepared to lose the most money" (REUTERS, 3/27).
|How Arsenal Compares With Rival Clubs*
(Fees Paid And Received)
|*Between seasons '07-08 and '11-12|