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Jun, 13, 2011

Gazidis calls for calm

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has reiterated that there will be players coming and going this summer but said it is important not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater".

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Arsene Wenger has accepted the need to refresh his squad after a dismal end to the season saw the club fall out of contention for all four competitions and their trophy drought extended to six years.

Many believe the shortcomings are down to a lack of experience in the squad but, while he accepts that change is necessary, Gazidis has stressed that they must not over-react to the loss of form.

"Coming off the end of the season, I share with you a sense of profound disappointment," he said. "We had a season that promised a great deal and looked like it could turn into a very special one but in the end a familiar story began to tell itself. I understand the feelings that we all felt.

"It is very clear we had some shortcomings and in this close season we are going to see some turnover of players. Some new signings will be coming in and some of our existing squad will be going out.

"As Arsene has said, it will be a busy close season for the club, but also it is important to recognise that it has not been a disaster. We have a young squad and we don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

"The trick will be identify which parts to keep and which parts to turn over - and we will do that within our financial capabilities."

With Stan Kroenke now owning 66.64% of the club, there has been talk of a change in emphasis in the Arsenal business model, but Gazidis has moved to assuage fears that he could plunge the club into debt.

"With respect to Stan, we have someone who understands the club," he said. "He has grown to love Arsenal but he will remain in the background. This is not somebody who steps forward and looks for a public profile."

He added: "The confirmations that Mr Kroenke gave in relation to his offer were, one, that he supports the self-sustainable business model of the club, and secondly that the offer would not be funded by debt against the club or dependent on Arsenal's business.

"Those were two significant commitments and confirmations that he made."

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