CEO Off To AC Milan
Arsenal have announced that chief executive Ivan Gazidis is to leave the club. The South African-born lawyer will join AC Milan in a similar role.
In a separate announcement it was announced by Arsenal that Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham have been appointed head of football and managing director respectively.
Gazidis has been at the helm at the Emirates for the past ten years, but he leaves to join Milan who were recently taken over by an American firm.
In a parting message to the Arsenal fans, Gaizidis spoke of his achievements during his decade in charge at the north London club.
Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham appointed head of football and managing director respectively, as Ivan Gazidis leaves for A.C. Milan
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 18, 2018
“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club. Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge. This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham in whom I have enormous faith.
“We have rebuilt the off-field capability of the club, which is necessary for prolonged success in modern football, we have recently concluded new primary partnership deals that, together with the new league broadcast deals, secure our medium term financial future, we have updated our stadium and rebuilt our training facilities so that they are now world class and we have transitioned to a new football structure that is capable of taking the club confidently into the future. I am proud to say we have done this while building on the club’s progressive social values, leading the way on the women’s game as well as diversity and inclusion and establishing The Arsenal Foundation, which supports these values around the world in difficult places such as Iraq and Jordan and complements our extraordinary work in our local community. This will remain central to the club’s philosophy.
“Given this platform, I know many will think this is a strange time to be leaving but I believe it is the right time for me and for the club. Change and succession is not only inevitable for a club like Arsenal, it is necessary if it is continually to keep moving forward. One of my primary responsibilities as chief executive has been to make sure that there is good succession planning in every position in the club, including my own.”
“My sincere thanks go to Stan and Josh Kroenke for their support and guidance on everything we have done. To Sir Chips Keswick, Lord Phil Harris, Ken Friar and my wonderful management team and staff, on and off the field, to Arsène Wenger, Unai Emery and to the fans of this giant and incredible club, thank you for your immense support and friendship over so many years and for the wonderful privilege of being part of the journey. We lived through many emotions together, the highs and the lows of football, and I am proud to be able to say that I gave this club and its fantastic people everything that I had in me. I am excited and energised for the future for myself and for Arsenal Football Club and I will always hold it in my heart.”