Ivan Gazidis statement on Arsene Wenger’s departure


Ivan Gazidis held a press conference yesterday, during which he didn’t really answer any questions about the intricacies of the announcement of Arsene Wenger’s departure.

He did, however, make a statement before that about the manager. Here’s what he said to say.

Gazidis statement

“Obviously this has been an emotional day for everyone connected with the football club and I now have the impossible job of trying to express the feelings of those of us who love the club and love football.

“Typically, Arsene is not here today because his focus is on the game on Sunday. I left him on the fields of the training ground at Colney this morning, that is who he is.

“People are talking a lot, and wonderfully, about what Arsene has done for Arsenal Football Club and what he has done for the wider world of football.

“I will leave it to others to talk about the facts and figures of his 22-year tenure, his achievements are extraordinary and may of them will not be repeated.

“But there is something more coming out today – there is widespread affection from Arsenal fans but also from right across the sphere of football.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely alongside Arsene for the last 10 years, so what I would like to do is talk about Arsene as a football man but also as a person.

“Arsene changed the game, he set a totally new standard, a new ambition. An ambition not just to win but to win while achieving perfection, to make art of out football.

“He was always brave enough to be true to that extraordinary ambition and incredibly he achieved it with Arsenal’s Invincible season.

“People these days use the words ‘football philosophy’ lightly but Arsene truly has a football philosophy and has been brave enough to live by it.

“In doing that he has reinvented the game and played some of the best football we have ever seen. He has transformed the beautiful game and has made Arsenal famous throughout the world for the style of football we play. Arsenal fans take enormous pride in that and for that we say ‘thank you, Arsene.’

“Beyond football he has inspired the people around him. He does this through his human qualities, his understanding and his empathy for people.

“He is able to make people believe that they can achieve great things, on and beyond the football pitch. He inspired George Weah to believe not only that he could become the world’s best footballer but to have the conviction that he could become the president of a country.

“He has done all of this while remaining true to his values and the values of this great football club.

“He has taken every challenge he has faced with humour, grace and class. I take enormous pride in that and, for that also, on behalf of all Arsenal fans, I say ‘thank you Arsene.’

“Arsene often said his aim was to leave the club in a better position than when he found it.

“Well, we are in a better place today than we could have ever imagined 22 years ago. The foundations of this club have never been stronger and this gives me great confidence as we begin to chart the path ahead.

“I spent an hour with Arsene this morning in the quiet after the announcement.

“No words can describe this man. He loves the game and he loves this club, I’m not here today to talk about any private discussions, today is about paying tribute to a great manager and a great man.

“Our first priority is to come together as a club and we’re seeing that today. Look at the outpouring of affection from the Arsenal family and from the football family. Our players, staff and fans are behind this great man, and we will give him the send-off he deserves.

“Then, we have to start on the challenge of building on the platform we have created. I don’t underestimate that challenge. I’ve often said it’s the biggest challenge we will have to face, but I’m confident in the people we have in place to take forward Arsène’s legacy and build on it, and I’m excited for the future.

“In the coming weeks and months, the world will see the unity and power of this great football club, and the people within it.

“I have the greatest respect for Arsène, and I value his incredible contribution to this club. It’s my ambition, my goal, to ensure that we honour and build on that contribution as we take our club forward. Now it’s for the club, now it’s for Arsène, now it’s for Arsenal.

“Thank you.”

For more discussion on the big news, check out a brand new Arsecast recorded last night

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Looked so weird seeing Gazidis in the gaffers seat. But like he said, Arsene concentrating more on the game on Sunday than on his announcement. The man just oozes class even on a day like yesterday!!


Thank you, Arsene. I cried. I swear.


I feel like yesterday has been handled quite well by the club. I listened to bits of the afternoon podcast and agree with James that it was good that someone from the club came out and said something. It surely got a bit weird as the press conference went on, but it was always going to be weird as someone who´s been here for last 22 years steps down. I also partly agree with Andrew about what he said about Gazidis being in hiding for last 2 years and Arsene having to face all the problems alone. On the other… Read more »


That’s the 6th place trophy match!

The Far Post

Typical of a “pendant” to focus on matter not quite relevant.


Shame not more people that get a joke.


Perhaps a smiley like “;)” at the very end might have made your statement seem – more – like a joke?


There was an !

It takes a lot to believe that anyone is excited about 6th place.

The Old Git's Whistle Test

“People are talking a lot, and wonderfully, about what Arsene has done for Arsenal Football Club and what he has done for the wider world of football.

“I will leave it to others to talk about…..”

Surelyvas the CEO it’s his job to talk about Arsène ‘S achievements and what he did for the club!

Nasty man who’s true colours are coming out. I hope we can get shot of him without him fucking up the club.

He hid while the crap was flying and suddenly pops up when the good news arrives.

Jean Ralphio

Proud of the club and the overwhelming majority of fans who have shown the respect Wenger deserves. All this time he was called a dictator and painted in a bad light and that annoyed me a lot.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Because the majority of the fans that wanted a change were respectful to Wenger and loved the man. Even at times i was furious with the same mistakes when we scored at the same match and i saw him happy, i always smiled…


Blogs is right. The time was right.
To the fans – fill the seats and chant his name; show him the respect he deserves.
To the players – give him the European trophy; your careers owe him that.
To Arsene – thank you. Forever a Gooner.

John bull

Pundits and bloggers and popular opinion are not always right …. instant reactions and lack of proper perspective and impatience lead to consequences which may turn out be worse than what was hoped for ….one person to emerge with credit in all this is Arsene Wenger … he refused to pander to the pundits and popular instant opinions , did things his own way and his unique contribution to Arsenal’s success will always remain …. One of the greatest football managers , who stands out with very few others as one made from a different mould … Arsenal will now… Read more »


This is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate the achievements of Wenger and all that he has meant for the club. But will change is often scary, John this is not some sort of knee jerk reaction to pundits. The past few years have been odd in that Wenger has won silverware for the first time in a decade – and 3 FA cups are amazing – most clubs would love to have them. But those 3 FA cups have increasingly come in a backdrop of a team that no longer is competitive in the League and… Read more »

John bull

If it is the management of the club , then it reflects badly on them for pandering to that opinion …. the fact remains that Wenger will be fine and move on to other roles… the onus is now on the club to deliver Greater success and trophies than Wenger — that means 2 trophies – 1 a PL or CL – in 3 years …..We will find out soon enough…. the fact remains it will take a very long time for someone to reproduce and deliver even half of what Wenger has done for the club … at best… Read more »


Listen I know it’s a time when everyone is sentimental about Wenger but in the cold light of day virtually everyone will agree that the club is regressing under Wenger the past few years except in the fa cup. This was the right decision even if it’s a hard one to make

Franco phobe

Maybe progress will be performing like Spurs – the darlings of the press – …. another year without a trophy …..

John Bull

Progress would mean 2 or 3 trophies with either a CL or Pl in the next 3 years … how many years has the current CEO been in his job ?

Ashburton Grove

Ok we haven’t been challenging for the league last couple of years but come on, 3 FA Cups in 4 years is not to be belittled. To even win those against the money might of City, Utd and Chelsea is an amazing achievement. Look at the Spuds who still can’t win a trophy despite having their best team in decades.


While the FA cups are terrific and I never said otherwise, the fact of the matter is we have become a cup team the past few years under Wenger, much as we were under the final years of Graham. The Leceister season was when I finally realized that no matter how much I wanted Wenger to win another PL title he just didn’t have it in him. While he helped to raise the bar, the fact of the matter the standard at Arsenal is not fighting with Burnley for 6th place.

Ashburton Grove

I don’t think we’re fighting Burnley for 6th place regardless of what the table says but I digress. My point is that the cup wins the last few years have been downplayed by a lot of fans and the media even though I agree we’ve been poor in the league. For years it was ‘We haven’t won a trophy’ then when we did it was not getting top 4 or at least challenging for the title. I just don’t think it can be underestimated how much of a challenge it is to compete with the money at City, Chelsea and… Read more »


The table clearly tells you that we are in a different class from the rest of the top 5. We don’t have the $ of City or United, but we aren’t poor either as we consistently have had one of the highest wage bills in the PL since Wenger has been here. The only one of the bunch who spends above their means in that group currently is City – United just has a lot bigger revenue stream thanks to how consistently they won under Ferguson. The issue IMO was that the first FA cup and the opening of the… Read more »


As an aside I genuinely like Wenger and truly wish he would have been able to turn back the clock and win another PL and until the Leceister season thought that was a genuine possibility. While the personal insults towards him (or players or other commentators on this blog) are totally out of line IMO, we also need to be realistic about his current abilities and the state of the club.

Ashburton Grove

I agree the Leicester season was one that got away in a sense but the second place finish gave the impression that we just missed out when in fact we hadn’t really improved, or got worse. I think we were very similar to the previous years points wise just that other teams were so poor. But my initial point is more to do with the assertion we are regressing and the seemingly casual way our cup wins have been overlooked by a lot of supporters and in the league, yes, some of those teams are a class above but we… Read more »

John Bull

After the move to the Emirates, with David Dein gone , the board did not act to set up the kind of structure to support the Manager – which they now have done in the last year .For those 10 years ,Arsene Wenger was the shield and frontman – he took all the flak to protect the players and the board…. and also got them back to winning trophies . In that time , there were 1 or 2 seasons when the club could have done better in the PL but still managed to win the FA cup beating the… Read more »

Ashburton Grove

Brilliantly put, well said.


I think any future footballing achievement will surely be credited first of to Arsene for putting such a platform and steadied the ship through good and bad when others failed even to stay in the league e.g. leeds or blackburn, not to mention the mid table ones who stayed put and couldn’t dream being among to big clubs.
We can’t thank him enough, we can’t thank him enough,we can’t thank him enough.


Well the new ‘man in power’ gets to REALLY earn his salary and obscene bonus, starting today. For the good of the club, let’s hope he goes and earns it…

Thierry Bergkamp

I’m glad that he’s leaving as I think it’s 3 years too late. Now it’s happening, I actually feel a little sad, that he won’t be around anymore. It was never personal as he’s a great human being but, everything has it’s time and his has come.

Arsene, I salute.


Arsenal fans have been spoilt (we’ve only won three FA Cups in the past 4 seasons…). Compare that to some rivals who haven’t won that many trophies in 30 odd years and then only League Cups.

After I started supporting they won the double in 1971 then were 18th in 1975/76, one place worse than the season before.

Hope we can go onwards and upwards rather than in that direction.


This is it. Many times I’ve heard my spud boss, who hates arsenal, express his envy at our success. Like when he said recently that while Arsenal isn’t the dominant force it once was the three FA Cup wins in four years is still great and as a spud fan he’d be over the moon with just one.

Hearing someone like him say that puts it into perspective.


Your boss might like this site….


He also recently mentioned how watching Aubameyang had filled him with envy at the fact that Arsenal can still attract players like that purely for being Arsenal while Tottenham I’m spite of their recent form can’t.


Anyone been watching the Watford-Palace match just now? Fucking rubbish. Makes you appreciate.


As a fellow 71 er whilst I like the dig at the N17 swamp dwellers, the FA Cup is nowhere near the prestige it had back when you and I fell in love with a team in yellow winning on a sunny day in May. Much as I enjoyed the 3 recent cups, lets be clear that it is massively devalued compared to then. Back in the 70s the glory associated with the FA Cup was boosted by the fact it was the only live domestic game on TV, It was almost on a par with winning the league. Maybe… Read more »

Evang. Simon

I still can’t believe it’s true….

Arsene = class


Cliff Bastin

Damn ninjas and their onion slicing


Aaaaaaaah! So much cant and bs from Ivan. Here’s the truth: Arsene Wenger was SACKED yesterday – OK? He’s leaving Arsenal not because he wanted to but because Stan had finally had enough of him. He’s leaving Arsenal because we are currently fighting it out with Burnley for 6th place. He’s leaving Arsenal because we’ve failed to win a single point away from home THIS CALENDAR YEAR. He’s leaving Arsenal because the boardroom know that even if we win the EL, Wenger will do nothing in the Champions’ League next season – he can’t get past the last 16. Arsene… Read more »


No chance you’ll be stepping down anytime soon then?


Gotta hand it to the man. His moaning stamina has outlived Wenger himself.

DB10s Air Miles

Do you ever enjoy yourself Or are you always sucha bitter little man?


It embarrasses me to have to admit that Arsenal have fans like this. My pride in being an Arsenal fan has always been far more than just the trophies they’ve won. More important has always been the class which Arsene and the club have operated with. I guess we have to accept that even Arsenal are not immune to having such classless fans. Fortunately the club’s values have attracted more fans that share those values than this type.


I’ll tell you what’s classless: classless is clinging onto a job that you can’t do while picking up 10 million quid a year. Classless is the lies, spin and bs which the club has directed at gullible fans like you for years. Classless is charging the highest club ticket prices in the world then not trying to be the best team you can be. Classless is an owner who can’t even be bothered to communicate with fans, even when the club is going through a crisis. Classless is putting profit before performance. I’m sorry if I actually want my club… Read more »


Have a look in the mirror.

Franco phobe

Wenger will be OK – do not worry …. and he will also have enough cash and enough to do and achieve … 10 trophies , 6 community shields , CL final , the only unbeaten PL record , one of the best stadiums , a financially solid self reliant club , a unique footballing philosophy ….. this is what Success means —


Let’s see what they do next. To be fair I’m gutted because Arsene I love the guy, but this decision clearly came from the heirechy and it was the right one. I had a beer with a Liverpool fan today and they only just realised how far off the top four we are once I told them. The signings from our new head scout can’t be faulted. Things are changing behind the scenes for the better. Let’s see how they handle the appointment. I hope who ever comes in re evaluates jacks situation and sees he’s worth more than whats… Read more »


I get the feeling Arsene was sacked. I don’t know why, but Ivan’s words seem to indicate that was the case


Another vote for “jump before pushed.” FatGooner makes some points about that (the rest of the trash about AW isn’t called for right now, give respect when it’s due). Let me add: apparently he started the news to the locker room with “I’ve got some bad news.” Just supports the idea he was basically given two months’ notice and he didn’t want a public sacking.


It was obvious that Wenger jumped before he was pushed. That’s self evident. Gazedis handled it well. And before anyone whines, I have no brief for him other than the fact that he is Arsenal’s CE and I want him to succeed in that roll for the sake of the Club. And in fairness to Gazedis he has come to life in the last twelve months. He was clearly instrumental in getting Mislintat and Sanhelli in place – against Wenger’s wishes, obviously. But he did it anyway. And we are now in a decent position to nominate either Ancelloti or… Read more »

One of them is lying!

Luis Enrique? Heh! The guy couldn’t handle the pressure at Barca and had Messi and Suarez and Neymar to depend on to win him the treble… It will b an insult to Wenger if they replaced him with Enrique!


He handled it well enough to win two titles and the CL. Just refresh our memories – Wenger won the CL – How many times ? …Mmmmm….


A monkey would win two titles and CL at Barca

John bull

Back to ordinary managers now … they need to deliver 2-3 trophies in 3 years – one of them either a CL or PL title … that is the measure of what is needed to prove this was a right move

One of them is lying!

2 3 trophies


No. They – whoever ‘they’ turns out to be – need to rebuild the squad, cull the deadwood and firstly get us back into the top four; and then have us consistently challenging for the title up until May. They and no one, can guarantee that we win it.

That isn’t possible. But it is possible to ensure we are not dead in the water each November.

John Bull

They need to deliver trophies – full stop … as we have pready won a record number of FA cups , progress would mean PL or CL trophy


Agree, there was no point in employing all these new backroom staff, if things were going to drift on and on aimlessly. They obviously don’t want the new boss, head coach to be a dictator, a one man team. Even Fergie employed good coaches who he took notice of.


so he jumped before he was pushed



Gooner Sam

Don’t know if anyone here has seen the article by Neil Ashton in the Sun. Why does there always have to be one tool in the media who has to push his own agenda. Most are rightly giving Wenger the plaudits for what he has achieved, we all kniw its the right time for him to go and don’t need some moron from the Sun clouding his legacy.


It makes sense to walk now. He should have walked last summer but he stayed on for whatever reason (presumably to rectify our position) and it didn’t get any better. If he stayed on and we were dumped out by Athletico, he would have been sacked likely or asked to leave more politely. It would still have been him walking off into the sunset but with more urgency. more importantly we wouold be out of CL. This timing more likely is Wenger leveraging on good will to try and push his team through Athletico and into the finals. Whatever you… Read more »


Blah blah blah you sacked him! I agree btw that it was tge right decision

Ooh ahhh Ray Parlour

I feel very melancholy about Arsène leaving. It reminds me of leaving Highbury in that we’re giving up some serious Arsenal DNA in order to try and move forward. Saying that I believe it’s necessary and just hope Arsene gets the amazing send off he deserves. On Gazidis, I don’t think we can fully judge him for another year or two once we have seen how his plan is working, but I don’t get all of the hate against him. He has done exactly what the club needed over this last year and my gut feeling is that he’s doing… Read more »

John Bull

Gazidis has been in the job as CEO for 10 years …. so he has to take his share of responsibility as well — cannot hide behind AW


Just re-read this after reading AWs post West Ham comments. Makes me think that he was asked to leave against his will. No comment from Gasidis on how the decision was reached. Just gushing praise for Arsene.

There is no, “wish he wasn’t leaving, blow to the club” type of comment you usually get when a manger walks.
In a way its disappointing that the club isn’t open about this.
We will have to wait for the book.