Van Persie was sold for football reasons, claims Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood invited ridicule at the club’s AGM by insisting Robin van Persie was sold for footballing reasons.

When asked by a shareholder whether the Dutchman was sold to increase the club’s profit, Hill-Wood replied: “We undertake our transfers for football reasons and not FFP. Money is available to Arsene.”

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, the subject of a satirical leaflet being handed out prior to the event, stated that he felt that the club was still in a position to compete for silverware.

“Our ambition is all about football – to compete at the very top of the game here and in Europe. To win trophies. It’s important we understand our off-field journey if we want to understand our football future.”

“The club is increasingly well positioned to take advantage of its excellent global reputation. Within the next two years Arsenal will have the financial resources to sit and compete with the biggest clubs in the world.”

“I have no doubt we can and will return club to winning trophies and drive it forward to new heights. Standing together we can make Arsenal one of the leading clubs in the world.”

“We have outperformed that spend every single year for 15 years. An extraordinary record of consistency.”

The rising cost of ticket prices from the club has also been the subject of much criticism from Arsenal fans recently but Gazidis defended the club’s position.

He added: “We’ve only had two season ticket prices increases in the last seven years. They have not kept us at pace with rising costs in the game.”

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