'Winning not everything': Arsenal chief makes shock admission
Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer, Tom Fox, says not capturing a trophy in seven years has not hurt the club’s brand that is “defined by more than winning”.
The north London side are having a poor domestic season so far as they lie 10th in the table with only five wins in 15 games and have repeatedly come under fire as they continue to miss out on silverware.
They were booed by their own fans after their 2-0 home defeat to Swansea last weekend. But Fox insists the Arsenal brand is holding steady.
He says: “Arsenal Football Club is not only about winning. We have a large and engaged fan-base around the world who wants to feel as if they belong to the club, and want to feel proud to belong to the club. That’s my primary business.
“Obviously nothing instills pride in our fan-base more than winning but there’s many things we do that make our fans feel proud. So developing the kinds of young talent, finding those players in the marketplace make our fans feel proud.
“Coming to a stadium that the club built really at a time – 10 years ago when the board decided to build that stadium, everything was going our way, it was Manchester United and Arsenal, but we made a very bold decision and we built that stadium on time and on budget, that makes our fans very proud.
“When they see that we can attract – even though we haven’t won a trophy in seven years – one of the top global brands in the world for the type of money and financial commitment they’re making, that makes our fans feel proud.
“So our brand is defined by more than winning.”
Fox believes losing marquee players like Robin van Persie has not damaged the club and that they still have faith in manager Arsene Wenger’s ability to produce and nurture young talent.
“We look at it whether it’s Serge Gnabry, who is a 17-year-old player in our reserves squad, whether it’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whether it’s Theo Walcott, we look at these young players and have faith in our manager to develop them as the players for the future,” added Fox.
And on their renewed relationship with Emirates, who have extended their shirt sponsorship until the end of the 2018-19 season and secured the stadium naming rights until 2028, Fox said: “Football can be a fairly mercenary commercial environment. Football clubs go into the market and they really do business with whoever wants to pay them the most money.
“By the time this current shirt deal expires with Emirates, they would have been on our shirt for 13 years. That says a lot about how we run the football club and what’s important to us as a football club.
"So it’s not just about finding the best commercial opportunity.”