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Arsenal chief Gazidis 'sorry' for cup humbling but insists Gunners can spend big

ARSENAL chief executive Ivan Gazidis has apologised to Gunners fans for the League Cup humiliation by Bradford and promised that Arsene Wenger has significant money to spend, according to the club's supporters trust.

Gazidis met members of the Arsenal Supporters' Trust last night where he was pressed on the deepening crisis at the club.

AST spokesman Tim Payton said: "He said it (the Bradford defeat) wasn't good enough and apologised for the result. He also thanked away fans for their support and said Arsenal will put that right, and confirmed that significant funds are available for transfers."

The AST have long supported the Gunners' prudent financial approach but believe the lack of spending has now gone too far, and that the Bradford result was a symbolic moment.

Members are now calling for changes at board level and Wenger to relinquish some of his duties to others and spend some of the many millions available to him.

Payton added: "This is the most difficult time in Arsene's 16 years and both the club and himself need to change direction quickly if his wonderful era is not to end on a sad note.



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"The Arsenal Supporters' Trust cannot fathom why £70million was left untouched this summer. Arsene needs to get over his distaste for spending and use the resources that after all are provided by the hard-pressed fans who watch the team.

"The AST believe a shake-up is needed. We would like to see new, younger blood added to the board, and they also need to exercise more control and direction over Arsene's football strategy.

"One man cannot direct all transfer targets, wages, coaching methods and manage the team at games. It's too much for one man."

Even if results do not pick up, Wenger's position should be safe, at least until the end of the season, but an increasing worry for club executives is that significant numbers of fans are not turning up to matches at the Emirates having bought tickets.

There is also growing frustration that players brought in since the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie have failed to deliver.

Even Arsenal's honorary vice-president Nina Bracewell-Smith expressed frustration last night, saying on Twitter, though deleting it soon afterwards, that "Gervinho is a FLOP player".

There is also a fear that Theo Walcott may leave the club -- especially with Manchester United now linked with the England forward.

Gazidis, meanwhile, insisted the club's business model would pay off.

"If you do any analysis of performance against spending over the past 15 years, Arsenal is the one club which has outperformed its spend every single year over that period," Gazidis said in a wide-ranging interview with the January edition of Four Four Two magazine.



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"That does not happen by accident; it happens because we have an outstanding manager who is an outstanding judge of talent and very experienced in how to manage a team.

"There are some real fundamentals at this club which I think our fans believe in -- we stand on our own two feet and take pride in our achievements.

"We are not reliant on anyone else for success. That is the model our fans believe in, and for good reason."

Arsenal recently announced an extension to Emirates' sponsorship deal worth around £30m a year.

Gazidis, however, insists simply throwing all of that cash at the team is not the answer.

"I am not sure what the alternative strategy is, it has not really ever been spelt out," he said.


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