By Chris Harris
Ivan Gazidis believes Arsenal have the potential to establish themselves as one of the world's top five clubs.
The chief executive is approaching his fourth anniversary with the Club having arrived two years after Arsenal completed their historic move from Highbury to Emirates Stadium.
Gazidis says the boldness of that decision to relocate has already given Arsenal the edge on a number of rivals. And with commercial deals tied to the stadium up for renewal soon, the CEO predicts another surge forward for the Club.
"We have got the opportunity as a Club to really catapult our revenues forward again," said Gazidis, who stressed that all profits are available for re-investment in the Club.
"In terms of the financial impact on the Club, although it isn’t represented in concrete, it will be as significant a step forward for the football club from a financial viewpoint as the stadium was in 2005. It’s a significant and dramatic football step.
"Of every major club, we have the most potential for growth in that [commercial] area. Once that kicks in on a really sustainable business, it does kick us into the top five clubs in the world with separation from the rest. That’s a fairly extraordinary thing.
"The overall journey that the Club embarked on was to make it one of the leading clubs in the world and to do it in a way that would be sustainable. Not to do it for a moment in the sun but be able to count ourselves in the ranks of the Manchester Uniteds, Barcelonas and Bayern Munichs of this world over the next generation.
"That’s a tremendously difficult thing to envisage, let alone achieve. Along the way the environment became more difficult and I think Arsène Wenger has done an absolutely masterful job within the constraints he has.
"Our board gets much maligned but what they don’t do is treat the football club as a popularity contest. Everything they do is only for the good of the club. It's not pie in the sky - it is going to happen. We will be separated away as one of the top five clubs in the world in revenue.
"Against that, had we stayed at Highbury and had we stayed with six or seven other clubs in the same ball-park position, we would be in among them scrambling somewhere between mid- to upper-table in financial terms.
"We get accused of a lack of ambition or complacency because apparently the board are only interested in the top four - that is absolute rubbish. To me this is the most ambitious football club I know. To be able to execute the vision is amazing to me."13 Sep 2012