Ivan Gazidis has defended Arsenal’s spending policy but insists Arsene Wenger has transfer funds at his disposal.
Wenger was criticised for failing to sign an outfield player during the most recent transfer window as Manchester United and Manchester City led the way in another spate of significant spending in the Premier League.
Arsenal fans were left further incensed last month when it was revealed the club had sanctioned a £3million payment to the company owned by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, leading to one individual to stand up and demand a clear explanation from chairman Sir Chips Keswick at the club’s AGM on Friday.
Chief executive Gazidis pointed to the signings of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech in the last two years as proof of Arsenal’s willingness to spend on elite players but has warned against entering an “arms race” in the market.
“We won’t be successful in a never ending arms race by outspending our opponents,” he said. “We won’t spend money or waste it just to appease commentators.
“Ozil, Sanchez and Cech show how the board will release funds for signings at any point. We want to build them not simply buy them.”
Gazidis was speaking after confirming that Arsenal’s Colney training centre and their Hale End academy are set to receive heavy investment.
A major new player centre, comprising sleeping rooms, altitude chambers and analytics systems will be constructed, with a view to opening in the spring of 2017.
Gazidis also pointed to developments in the training facilities for the youth teams, as well as the ladies’ and men’s first teams, which he maintains keeps Arsenal “ahead of competitors”.