Arsenal today dropped a lengthy interview with Managing Director, Vinai Venkatesham, and Head of Football Raul Sanllehi in which they speak about Unai Emery, reaching the Europa League final, Stan and Josh Kroenke, and more.
The pair were at pains to stress just how ambitious KSE are, while preaching patience as it will take time for them to realise their lofty ambitions for the club.
Just as a reminder, this is what they said in the offer document when they purchased the shares of Alisher Usmanov before taking 100% control back in August:
KSE’s ambitions for the Club are to see it competing consistently to win The Premier League and The Champions League, as well as the major trophies in the women’s senior game and at youth level.
Many questioned how it’s possible to make those things happen with greater investment from the owners, but again we were reminded that the club would continue to operate its self-sustaining model while respecting Financial Fair Play.
The solution, according to Sanllehi, is to make up for relatively restricted transfer budgets by being more clever than other clubs.
“We need to outsmart the market,” he said. “We need to make the right signings, do the right sales, the coaching staff needs to prepare the games properly like they do.
“It just means hard work and outsmarting the market. That’s the two, I would say, essences of success, if we want to be there.”
Going into a transfer window having not replaced the Head of Recruitment or appointed a Technical Director might not be seen as particularly smart, but time will tell as the summer progresses.
As for the owners, Sanllehi said they are fully supportive of the club’s current direction.
“They are about succeeding, they really want us to get to the optimal position for the club, and we feel the support every time we speak with them, every time we receive a WhatsApp or an email,” he said.
“All the time, every message that we get is supportive, but with one ultimate objective: that’s winning and winning our way.
“They are in every sport and they are with passion in every sport. It’s a pleasure to work for these people that really get it.”
The Spaniard was backed by Venkatesham, who continued, “Their direction is quite simple: every single penny that we generate as a football club is available for us to invest against achieving that ambition, and that is the maximum that we can ask from our owners because that is the maximum allowed through the financial fair play rule.
“They’re really passionate about how we can move the club forward, but they’re also realistic.
“They know we’re not going to go from where we are at the moment to delivering our ambition overnight, and they know that there’s going to be a whole load of work along the way to get there.”
It’s like Ivan Gazidis never left, except now there’s two of him.