Arsenal have confirmed that Ivan Gazidis will leave the club at the end of October to take up the CEO position at AC Milan.
In his place, Vinai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi have been promoted becoming the Gunners Managing Director and Head of Football respectively.
The former had held the Chief Commercial Operator title, while the Spaniard, who only joined the club at the turn of the year, was the club’s Head of Football Operations; a role that effectively amounted to being our Director of Football.
Interestingly, it’s Josh Kroenke, son of Stan, who has taken on the duty of explaining the restructuring. A sign of things to come perhaps?
In a statement on the club’s official website the 38-year-old states: “It has been a pleasure working with Ivan.
We will miss the wisdom, insight, and energy he brought to our club on a daily basis over the past decade.
We are confident we have outstanding people in Raul and Vinai, and we look forward to working with them and coach Unai Emery to continue to move the club forward on and off the pitch.”
Chairman Sir Chips Keswick, whose days may also be numbered, added: “Ivan has led Arsenal with skill and dedication and leaves us in a strong position. The club has been transformed and he has recruited talented people, such as Raul, Vinai and of course Unai Emery, who will take us to future success.”
A lot of responsibility now lands on the shoulders of Vinai and Raul, but they seem excited by the challenge.
Vinai said: “From the day I joined Arsenal I have always considered it a privilege to serve this great football club, so it’s an honour to take up the position of managing director and lead the club alongside Raul. Together we will work tirelessly with the extraordinary staff we have at Arsenal to respect and enhance our unique history, heritage and values; with the overall objective to bring success to our millions of fans all around the world and make them proud of their club. I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke and the rest of the board for their trust in me, and Ivan for all the support he has given me since I joined the club in 2010.”
Raul added: “Although I joined Arsenal just months ago, I’ve felt embraced by this great club and part of its family from the first day. I will do everything possible to maintain our strong values which will be as fundamental to our future as they have been in our past. Vinai and I will need everyone’s help, to do everything right and secure the success everyone connected to Arsenal wants. I sincerely thank Arsenal’s board for their trust in us and thank Ivan for bringing me to this great club, and for consistently supporting me every day, in every way. It’s with overwhelming pride and utmost excitement that I face this new opportunity.”
Good luck to them both. Ciao Ivan.