Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists he is optimistic that the club can rival the record-breaking deals achieved by some Premier League teams when they renew their main commercial agreements.
Leading English clubs have cashed in on a boom in kit deals and shirt sponsorship markets since Arsenal signed their existing contracts with Puma and Emirates, which started in 2014 and are each worth £30m a year.
Manchester United set new domestic standards with a £75m per year kit deal with Adidas and a £47m-a-season shirt sponsorship arrangement with Chevrolet, while Chelsea this month revealed a £60m kit deal with Nike to follow their recent £40m-per-season sponsorship by tyre-maker Yokohama.
Arsenal’s shirt deal with Emirates is up for renewal in 2019, while the length of their kit agreement with Puma is confidential but has been reported to expire at the same time. A stadium naming rights arrangement with the airline runs until 2028.
“When we signed and announced the Emirates and Puma deals they were two of biggest in world football,” Gazidis told the club’s AGM in London on Monday.
“We anticipated a rising market, and as we look at the market we are very comfortable with the length of deals that we agreed. The Emirates deal has two season left. Puma, I can’t say, but when renewal time comes I’m confident that we will achieve another excellent result.”
Gazidis defends commercial performance
Gazidis issued a robust defence of Arsenal’s commercial performance following questioning of his salary, which increased to £2.65m and included a £1m bonus in 2015-16.
He said that commercial and retail income had increased more than any other stream in the last six years, from £46m a year in 2010 to the most recent figure of £107m.
That was in part down to an increase in the number of non-primary commercial partners from 11 to 34 in the last three years, he added.
Gazidis hopes to keep Alexis and Ozil
Gazidis said the club’s annual wage bill had risen from £124m in 2010-11 to £195m last season, which he said offered reassurance amid concerns about the futures of stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
“We have a good track record in retaining players,” he said. “I can’t get into a discussion on individual players but can assure you that we will apply the same focus and rigour to members of our current squad, and you can see direction of travel.”