With the use of and belief in analytics growing at many Premier League clubs, a number of Arsenal’s peers had approached StatDNA, looking to employ its services. Gazidis and Almstadt were determined not to let that happen. To thwart their rivals, they proposed buying StatDNA outright, for a fee around $4 million.
Wenger had been open to the idea of using data from the start, but to persuade him to go further, Almstadt and Gazidis prepared a presentation on the benefits of bringing StatDNA, its founder Jaeson Rosenfeld and his team in-house.
Rather than making sweeping promises, they focused instead on what analytics might have helped Arsenal avoid. Almstadt, the driving force behind the plan, picked out Chamakh and Park as high-risk signings that a more empirical approach to recruitment would have averted.
The presentation won over Wenger. The deal went through.