Thursday, June 13, 2024

Raul Sanllehi becomes Arsenal’s new Head of Football

Following the announcement of Ivan Gazidis’ departure for AC Milan, as we revealed to here on Arseblog News yesterday, Arsenal have restructured the set-up at executive level.

Raul Sanllehi, who was appointed Head of Football Relations in January of this year, will now become simply Head of Football, while the current chief commercial officer, Vinai Venkatesham, will be the club’s new managing director.

The distinction between the two roles is certainly an interesting development, and the former Barcelona man has a wealth of experience having spent 10 years at the Camp Nou as well as previously working for sportswear giants Nike.

Speaking about his new position, the 49 year old said, “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.”

Sanllehi will now oversee all football operations, including working with head coach Unai Emery, as well as the Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat.

A lot has changed at Arsenal over the last 12 months, and the instability caused by the Gazidis situation really wasn’t helpful, so let’s hope the new man can get down to business because he’s got a very important job to do.

Best of luck to him.

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Think the previous set up was basically a continuation of a structure put in place for the sole purpose of not upsetting Arsene and was never going to be a long term solution. I’ll leave judgement on what’s now been put forward until after the next two transfer windows. The only time most fans can tell whether these guys are doing the business!


Maybe hindsight is 20-20, but it’s not beyond possibility that Sanllehi and Mislintat knew Gazidis was angling for a move.

Hopefully they got the manager they wanted and there is now a healthy working relationship with everyone’s roles crystal clear here on out.

If I never read another boardroom intrigue story again, it’ll be too soon.


Lets get this ship settled and running well. and for all those people who want wenger back at the club : what planet are you living on ? to quote Don Henley ” dont look back, you can never go back”.


Boys of summer transfer window?

Ivan Drago

What about when Henry came back and scored that goal against Leeds?


the exception that proves the rule. 🙂

Yankee Gooner

Out on the road today I saw an arseblog sticker on a Cadillac


Good, this is what Wenger needed for years. Experienced guy, let’s hope he plays a blinder for us.


Nobody left from the old regime. Nobody to hide behind. It’s Kroenke’s club now.


Does anyone have an in depth piece on Vinai Venkatesham?

For a CCO, he’s drifted under the radar since joining. Especially if we criticise Ivan for our lack of commercial revenue gained during his tenure, then the same surely goes for Venkatesham?

Faisal Narrage

We know too little to start making such criticisms. What’s next, dig up on the commercial team and ask what they’ve been up to?

89 was fine

Out with the old and in with the new. So much change has taken place in such a short time. Makes me wonder were we so broken from the inside that everything needed to change years ago and only wenger held us together? Or is this just a natural knock on effect of him leaving and the club being bought outright by silent Stan. Fingers crossed this is the beginning of something special as we reset and find our way.

Merlin's Panini

And still Raul isn’t called “Director of Football”. I know nothing of Venkatesham. I assume this means Josh Kroenke will still not be involved. As much as I distrust Kroenke I think we need to give these guys a chance. It would be foolish to run this club into the ground and would be pissing away the investment value not to maintain high standards.


That’s the thing I hope Stan realizes. Europe doesn’t have the cartel-esque structure of his US sporting interests. And for Arsenal to keep its value, he has to make sure we’re a Champions League level team more often than not.

Faisal Narrage

With this restructure, it means Ivan won’t be replaced; there will be no new CEO replacement. The role has been absorbed and split into 2 for these two to take over. Strange Raul wasn’t made as a director to be part of the board

My guess then is that Josh will be the new Chairman. Whether Executive or not, remains to be seen.

Bai Blagoi

Congrats, Raul, now please have dat ting signed by Rambo.

Faisal Narrage

You mean sell Rambo for £50m

My name is Jeff

The most important question is of course what to call the new braintrust? After the high of IRS, it is looking pretty bleak based on these names.


It’s RVS…

My name is Jeff

Raúl Van Sven? That works for me.

Pete Plum

Not completely happy about the chief commercial officer occupying the top post, would rather it be a football man. I know its the way of things these days.

David Hillier's luggage

I’d actually rather have someone who has good executive managerial experience, regardless of industry, occupying the top post than a ‘football person’. For example Bob Iger is CEO of Disney but has never animated a cell in his life or produced a movie, yet understands and drives forward probably the biggest entertainment company on the planet. Is Venkatesham that person for Arsenal? I don’t know, he seems to have worked a lot with brand partnerships as opposed to being a CEO or similar, but does have a background in business strategy which should be key. He also has a lot… Read more »

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