Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has earned an annual bonus of more than £1m ($1.28m) for the year ending June 2016 – even though the Gunners failed to win a major trophy in that time. The 52-year-old deal-maker earned an eye-watering £2.648m over a 12-month period, making him the second highest paid football club executive in the Premier League behind Ed Woodward of Manchester United.
Gazidis' enviable annual earnings are detailed in the Arsenal club accounts sent to shareholders, which confirm that the South African-born official's salary increased by almost £400,000 for the year. By contrast, Woodward – who has been largely responsible for the dramatic increase in United's revenues – earns around £3m a year, according to the Daily Mail.
Gazidis has come under pressure in recent years due to Arsenal's relative lack of success and he angered some supporters over the summer when he admitted that the Gunners struggle to compete with the likes of United in the transfer market. "We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money. We have to be very careful, very selective," Gazidis said in July, according to Sky Sports.
"We would not be successful if we simply went out into the transfer market and tried to outgun our competitors. We're run in a self-sustaining way, and a way that we believe in, because we believe it gives us certainty for the future and enables us to plan our future with confidence."
Gazidis admitted Arsenal have to be selective with their transfer targets, because they are not able to outmuscle some of their Premier League rivals. "We can't afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market," he said. "We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money to splurge on transfer fees than we do. So we have to be very careful, very selective about how we do things."