Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis believes the club could cope financially and
still compete for the Premier League title even without the monetary boost of Champions League football.
The London club, who sit 15th in the league having endured
their worst start to a season in 58 years, are widely regarded
as one of the country's best run clubs and are one of just a few
to make a profit.
They have enjoyed more than a decade of Champions League
qualification and while it still remains a priority, Gazidis
said it is not a necessity, unlike for other clubs facing huge
wage bills and rising debt.
"We would rather qualify for it but [if we didn't qualify]
we have got a really stable model that could not just cope but
do well and compete," Gazidis told reporters at a Leaders in
Football conference in London.
"It would be very foolish to build a business model that
relied on being in the Champions League for perpetuity. I don't
think any clubs do that, and if they do then they probably
aren't being run as responsibly as they should be."
European football's governing body UEFA introduced new
Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules this season designed to prevent
clubs spending more than they earn and Champions League revenues
are seen as critical in order for top clubs to compete
Last month Arsenal reported an operating profit of
£45.8 million in the year to end May, down
from £56.8million the year before as increased wage costs
offset a rise in commercial revenue.
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