Wenger has been under fire this term after a dreadful start to the season and more recently a drumming from AC Milan and FA Cup departure at the hands of Sunderland this month.
But Gazidis has stated that the Arsenal board remains firmly behind their manager, but understands the supporters’ negativity.
Gazidis told Arsenal’s official website:
We hear the noise, we understand the concern of the fans, we know that there are issues, we know we’re not where we want to be.
But I can tell you that this team, our manager, the players, are absolutely united in what we have to do for the rest of the season, which is to finish in the top four. It’s very much in our hands.
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We have had absolutely unbelievable support from our travelling fans. Away to Sunderland, away to Milan, our supporters have put aside the questions, put aside the doubts, put aside the differences of opinion and got behind the team.
If that can happen from now until the end of the season, I know that we can achieve Champions League qualification again for next year, that we can rebuild and regroup in the summer and come back strong.
Victory through harmony. The strength of this club has always been its unity and our fans and our players need to come together in this fight for the rest of the season.
Gazidis also said there would be funds for Wenger to strengthen the team in the summer, but would not put exact figure on the transfer kitty.
He also admitted to faults in the transfer spendings over the years and has outlined that they must spend “efficiently” (which essentially has been Arsenal’s problem):
It’s important to acknowledge that the most important thing for this football club, the most important thing for our fans, and the most important thing for the board and the people that work at the club is how we do on the pitch.
We have a healthy cash balance of £115 million for the half year. But it’s important to understand that not all that money’s available to invest in transfers. We have running costs of the club, player salaries and so on, so that amount goes down during the year.
We also have to keep something in reserve in case things don’t go our way. There is money available, we don’t talk about an exact figure – and there’s a very good reason why we don’t put an exact figure on that – because it would impact on our negotiating position.
We have to invest efficiently, we have to invest sensibly. We do spend all of the money we generate – we do invest it in the squad. That doesn’t mean we get every decision right – we don’t. But we do get the majority of them right and that’s been one of the secrets of Arsenal’s success over a long period of time.
I’m convinced we have the funds to be able to compete at the top of the game. Football clubs are moving towards more sustainable models. UEFA is mandating that they do that and they’re doing it any way. The results when some clubs live outside their means can be disastrous.
We can’t gear our entire financial model around that – that expectation – because that would place the club in jeopardy if we didn’t qualify. So we’ve always got to keep something in reserve in case things don’t go our way.
[On whether finishing outside the top four would make Arsenal a less attractive club to current and potential players] There are very few clubs in the world that you would go to ahead of Arsenal in terms of consistently being there. I don’t see that adversely impacting on our ability to attract players or retain the top players that we have.
The main issue I outlined earlier about “efficient” transfer spending implies that they will again try and get a cheap buy such as Gervinho for £10m with months of negotiating, rather than battling other clubs for Juan Mata quickly and spending the necessary dosh on a top quality star. Maybe that’s a little harsh on Gervinho, but he’s never going to be a Mata, and that is certainly a player that we should have bought last summer.
But one thing that can make us sleep better at night is Gazidis highlighted that they must “rebuild and regroup in the summer” so there will be a summer spending spree, and hopefully the retention of Van Persie and Walcott.