Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Gazidis virtually rules out David Dein's return and backs Arsene Wenger

Ivan Gazidis appears to have closed the door on a return to Arsenal for former vice-chairman David Dein.

The chief executive was asked whether there was a need on the club's board for someone with the footballing knowledge of Dein who had successfully worked with manager Arsene Wenger following the Frenchman's appointment in 1997.

Gazidis appeared to be pretty categorical in his belief that Dein had worked with Wenger during a different era of Premier League football when billionaire owners weren't running Arsenal's main rivals..

Speaking at a Question and Answer sessions with members of the Arsenal Independent Supports Association, Gazidis said:
"I can't talk of David Dein because I wasn't here when he was here, so I can't speak about the relationship in the club when David Dein was here.
"That to me is a different era, a different time in the game.
"As I've said, the game now has moved to a different place where there are petro-dollars / petro-pounds pumped into the game and Arsenal has to try and compete with that landscape which is very very different a landscape to 10 maybe seven years ago.
"I believe that we've got a board whose strength is in their steadiness. I think sometimes that is interpreted as disengagement or non responsiveness. I don't think that is what it is at all.
"I think we've got literally hundreds of years of Arsenal fandom on that board and these are people who care about the club and who have created a stable environment in which the club can operate."
Supporters have questioned whether there was enough knowledge and experience on the present board to question the decisions made by the Frenchman following Dein's departure in 2007.

However the Gunners chief executive believed there was and put his full backing behind Wenger.

He added:
"There is no shortage of debate and counter balance if you like. There is no shortage of energy and ambition.
"Arsene's ambition is to win things for this club. That's what he's trying to do. That's what his life is about. Outside of his family, that's what his life is about.
"Trying to win for this club. I don't know how you could make him more accountable than that. I think it's impossible.
"There are some people within our fan base that might say his time is up.
"I don't see that. I don't see that at all. I don't see someone who isn't open to challenge. I've challenged him many times, we have challenging conversations."

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