Reports from Italy suggest that Ivan Gazidis has been given a deadline of mid-September to accept a job with AC Milan.
The Arsenal chief executive has been linked with the Italian giants for some weeks now following their takeover by a US based hedge fund called Elliot Management.
It’s also being reported in the Mail (no link because it’s the Mail) that Arsenal too have put a deadline on his decision as the club moves towards 100% ownership by Stan Kroenke and KSE, with a general feeling that he will accept the role in Italy.
In the offer document made by KSE last month, Gazidis’ role at Arsenal is outlined within and the scope for his departure and/or termination are made clear:
Mr Gazidis’ current basic salary is £1,767,500 per annum. In addition Mr Gazidis is entitled to receive annual bonuses as determined by the remuneration committee, contributions in equal monthly instalments to a personal pension arrangement (at a rate of £100,000 per annum) and to a private medical health insurance scheme. Mr Gazidis has a company car allowance of £20,000 per annum. Mr Gazidis is also entitled to permanent health insurance and life insurance cover.
The service agreement is terminable by Mr Gazidis giving not less than 12 months’ written notice to AFC PLC. The service agreement is terminable by AFC PLC at any time by giving written notice to Mr Gazidis and by payment of a sum equal to the aggregate of his then current annual basic salary, pension contributions, other benefits and bonus (calculated at 50 per cent. of salary), such sum to be reduced pro rata by any period of notice actually served by Mr Gazidis.
In addition Mr Gazidis may, within the period of three months following the date of a change of control, give written notice to AFC PLC to terminate his employment with immediate effect. In such circumstances, or if Mr Gazidis’ service agreement is terminated by AFC PLC in connection with or as a result of a change of control, or otherwise within three months of a change of control, he is entitled to three times his then gross basic salary and an amount equal to one times his annual pension contribution and bonus within 30 days of termination.
The offer document also states:
KSE has no intention to change the composition of the Arsenal Board as a result of
However, as we reported yesterday, it’s expected that changes will be made in the coming months, including greater involvement for Josh Kroenke, Stan’s son who is already a board member, and a number of departures which may include Chairman Sir Chips Keswick as well as Gazidis and some of the honorary board members.
Quite where the replacements will come from is not 100% clear, but given KSE will have 100% ownership, they’ll be making the appointments and an Arsenal board with a more American flavour would not be any surprise.
Whether there’s room for people who have a connection to, and understanding of Arsenal remains to be seen, but you would have to hope that somebody with a history at the club would at least be considered.
The scope and speed of change at Arsenal right now is almost unprecedented. From boardroom, to manager, to turnover of the playing and backroom staff, we’re a very different club from the one we were 18 months ago, so we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.