Monday, June 17, 2024

Gone Raul – Arsenal confirm Sanllehi departure

Arsenal have confirmed that Raul Sanllehi has left the club and that Vinai Venkatesham will take sole responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club.

The news comes 24 hours after ESPN reported that an internal investigation had been held into the process that saw the club recruit Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a record £72 million.

A statement on behalf of the club’s owners, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment thanked the Spaniard for his contribution to the club.

“Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family. We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success.

“We have no doubt that Vinai is the right person to take the club forward. He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally. We know everyone will rally round him so we can move forward successfully.”

As the door closed behind him, Sanllehi, who joined the club in 2018 having previously held an administrative roll at Barcelona, said:

“I’m proud and pleased with the contribution I’ve made at Arsenal over the past three years, and look forward to enjoying the club’s future success. Arsenal is a true footballing institution.

“I am proud to have been part of its history and I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity. Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future. Mikel has made an extremely positive impact since his arrival and has formed a strong team with our technical director, Edu.

“The academy is in very safe hands with Per, and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly-capable leader of our football operations. Personally, I now look forward to taking some time off and spending time with family and friends before setting to work on a new challenge and cheering Arsenal on to great things.”

Having worked closely with Raul Sanllehi, Vinai Venkatesham now has the huge responsibility of charting the good ship Arsenal through the Covid-19 storm on his own. He says he’s up for the challenge.

“I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me. I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I am looking forward to this new challenge.

“There is much work to do to return Arsenal to the top of the game where we belong, which is what our fans rightly demand. While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.

“While football faces uncertainties ahead as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am confident Arsenal will emerge strongly and look forward with confidence.”

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Shit just got raul.




Something very murky about the timing of this.

Charles MMM

Yes, the timing.. hopefully it won’t affect our transfer plans negatively in this window. I hope that Edu and Arteta can handle this unexpected and sudden pressure, and pilot through murky waters of player transfers successfully for the club. Somehow I am still calm because of their level headedness.


I think the manager and Edu actually wanted this. It puts Arteta in a stronger position with transfers


Didnt they just figure out he did some bent shit during the Pepe transfer and gank his ass?


Looks like there was a different knock on Raul’s door this morning

Magic City Gooner

Can’t say I’ll miss him. I’m happy Arsenal are Sans llehl again…

I got nuthin




That’s what I thought.

The Kolkata Gooner

Wow. I thought Raul was the real boss.

I’m pretty sure he thought so too.

Plot twist!


It reminds me of when Stringer Bell thinks he’s on the top of the world, and then he gets done in. Although I have to say I enjoy The Wire’s plot twists far more than Arsenal’s dealings.

The Kolkata Gooner

An Arsenal version of The Wire won’t be bad.
We already have a Marko (?) lookalike in Nketiah.


Marlo Stanfield

Frank Bascombe

It’s Marlo… My name is my name!


I’m not the only one thinking this then.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Every time he plays 🙂


Then joorbachian is the sleazy politician, clay davis. Shiiiiiiiiiittttttttttt. About 10 years ago I worked for social services in the baltimore neighborhood where the wire was filmed.


Always a good reference, especially since Idris is one of us!


To be fair, The Barksdale Organization isnt even Europa league quality any more.

Non flying Dutchmen

When you come for the king, you better not miss.

A Different George

We need Omar!

The Kolkata Gooner

Omar will take us to the Champions League.


Are you Tayo in disguise?


Plot twist indeed. M. Night Shyamalan would be proud of that one. Tomorrow we’ll be finding out that Arteta succumbed to Covid after all and his ghost led us to FA cup glory.

The Kolkata Gooner


SB Still

We were going to be heavily dependent on his contacts…with the super agents. So, I’m thankful he has gone.

However, wish Mislintat and the scouting team was retained!

Dave cee

This! Me too. I actually wondered what exactly was the point in Edu being there as Raul was in charge of transfers etc. Shows what I know. The Guardian article says it didn’t come as a surprise. Well I.m gobsmacked


Shit! The 55 just became 56.
57 loading… Has anyone seen Stan?


He’s that silent, quiet one in the back….holding the hatchet.


Its really difficult to try and discuss all of things going on behind the scenes at the club right now without it turning into a mad rant. But with Raul (rightfully) moved on, I am absolutely terrified with Vinai in charge. This guy is a total clown. He was completely incompetent back when he was our commercial director. He was duped by that fake car manufacturer in China and made them an official sponsor. He was also not able to get us better commercial deals than the likes of Spurs or Liverpool when they were in the Europa League and… Read more »

Lord Bendnter

Very well said sir!


Vinai will be next.

Scott P

That’s a bit hard to imagine given that the club let him make a statement about their trust in him. If he goes, it will take longer.


I really hope so.

I know people that have first hand accounts of his total incompetence back when he was working in oil trading. Apparently he is totally inept and the people were shocked he managed to land such a high profile gig at a club like Arsenal.


With any luck.

Dave cee

He may well be actually. I’m still in shock!


Basically we don’t have anyone of influence who understands football. As what was expected of Kroenke’s the marketing and sales teams will decide who to sign and who to sell instead of footballing side. Even team selections will be done by those.


I agree…I also think this wasn’t the last swing of the hatchet.


The hatchet has been busy recently

Paul Roberts



Good rant and pretty spot on, although as an NBA fan I must point out that the Denver Nuggets have recently been a very well run organisation. Kroenke doesn’t necessarily deserve any credit though; setup very different and more straightforward in basketball, with the role of the GM (general manager) very well defined as the lead decision maker in all backroom aspects, and they’ve had a good one the past two years in Arturas Karnisovas. Plus the league is set up to ensure bad teams improve (with draft lottery, salary cap etc), so if you hang around long enough eventually… Read more »


Club clearly needs better leadership at the top than the yanks are providing. Raul should have been shifted along with Unai. Sven should have been kept on.


Brilliant synopsis…u know your onions my friend

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Why are fans happy? You’re not even Ozil. Plus, who knows? Maybe Raul had too much ambition doing transfers of 72M.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!


Johnny 4 Hats

As much as I’m enjoying all the puns and cheeky comments, can anyone tell me what the fuck is going on here? Maybe I missed a memo but this has come out of the clear blue sky for me. Is this related to the Pepe deal? Is it incompetence? Or just a reshuffle? I thought we were all pretty chuffed with Raul’s signings last summer. They all kinda did well in the end. I know he wanted to offer Emery a new deal but we all thought Unai looked ok until the capitulation at the end of 2019. Anyone out… Read more »

Arse City Blues

He’s obviously a dodgy character, and he must have done something particularly dodgy in the Pepe deal that needed investigation. Never liked or trusted him and his signings were pretty shit in general, financially and tactically.

He’s gone and personally I am happy that people like this are as far away from Arsenal as possible. Let’s see what comes out about all this murkiness.

What a strange year.

Johnny 4 Hats

You’ve got to love forums as a mode of communication…

“What’s going on? Is this related to the Pepe deal? Is it incompetence? Or just a reshuffle?“

Answer – 7 thumbs up and 3 thumbs down.

Cool! Thanks guys!


Its basically being alleged that Raul was taking back handers during our transfer dealings. The Pepe deal as a prime example, we paid £72M for a player that was being shopped around at other clubs for about £50M — so where did the money go? From what I’ve heard, Sven Mislintat was the first senior person to start asking questions about where the money was going back when we signed Torriera. He then as we know leaves, either because he was pushed out for asking too many questions. Or because he’s seen what was going on and removed himself from… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Shiiiiit. That’s mental if true.

Ah well, we all know what happened when an Arsenal man last took a bung. We appointed Rioch (Emery) and then a certain chap whose name rhymes with Parsona Chenga.

Non flying Dutchmen

Is that a start senator Clay Davis “shiiiiiit” ?

Johnny 4 Hats

You knows it.


Raul needs his walking arouns money, the usual to and fro–shiittt.





Well I’ll be surprised if Arteta succeeds given the absolute shit show above him.

Let’s not forget — Arsene was also backed with money. The signings were shrewd indeed. But millions were still spent which were respectable amounts at the time.

Can’t imagine he would’ve been able to drum up the same success with a load of cast offs over the age of 30 from a certain west London club..


“From what I heard” is a very cheap thing to say. More elaboration would be nice.


I’m not going to openly say where I’ve heard it from. You can take it or leave it.


And also how is it a cheap thing to say?

It’s just a way of trying to say something without naming a source of information for obvious reasons

I’m not putting myself on a pedestal as an ITK. I simply have friends that work in football and that’s what they’ve told me.


That’s because we don’t know. Even the Ornacle doesn’t really seem to know the proximate cause.


ask kia, he knows (too much) about the politics of the club


Don t include me in that all… I wanted him gone in Oct 18….

Johnny 4 Hats

Really? The month we beat Leicester 3-1 and Fulham 5-1 and everyone sang “we’ve got our club back”?



Barca got beat-up so bad even their ex chief got sacked




Haha..a real beaut.


Gosh it was so fun and satisfying to see those cheating bastards get mauled like that


What if it was a bung…?

Kieran Tierney’s Tesco Bag



Deserves more credit that


Those Harry Hill shirts don’t come cheap.

Non flying Dutchmen

No love for Bayarn though… We know from our own mailings by them they are horrendous winners


Too bad when we had similar humiliation it was regarded as another day at the office 🙁



Non flying Dutchmen

No gooner would post that, off you trot mate


I have never seen soo many thumbs! Congrats.
Hate to be that thumbs down guy


Day 1: Hooray, we won the FA Cup.
Day 2: We’d to like to announce 55 redundancies.
Day 3: F**k scouting.
Day 4: Owners think club record transfers was fishy.
Day 5: Oh, here’s a signing. We’re rebuilding with 32 year olds (data-driven, no scouts).
Day 6: There’s a knock on the door. Our head of football recruitment who has strategically usurped power for 3 years is out.


Craig David esk!

Toure Motors

Would be nice if they kept shit biblical and took a break on day 7




…Day 7: Aubameyang signs da ting

Teryima Adi

Next to Act III, scene I, curtain opens
And the plot thickens….

Teryima Adi

Act ii***


Aren’t we 2020s spirit animal?


Bring back Sven Mislintat!


Can’t wait for the announcement of Kia Joorachian as our new Head of Football.


We heard it here first.


He already is. Someone pull “Edu”‘s face mask.


Maybe they’ll hire Mino Raiola to take Raul’s place. Pure KSE


Dude might probably want a commission for that too

Mentally Drained Gooner

We are club in transition. With transitions happening every 2 years using the trial and error method.


I distinctly remember Blogs writing about life post Wenger and how it might take a couple of tries to get things right. We appear to have found the right manager in Areta. I suspect Raul leaving is down to him being responsible for this season coupled with the investigation about supposedly massively overpaying for Pepe. The Kroenke’s deserve some credit if that’s the case as they’re recognizing what’s not working and moving on. It will be interesting to see if Edu really becomes the director of football working with Arteta. And for as awful as people losing their jobs are,… Read more »


Correct. There have mostly been errors, but given the investigation, the might be a trial after all.


It’s like they spin a wheel…the wheel of Kroenke.


That’ s more like it. What was the biggest question about KSE when they bought Arsenal outright? Where they competent enough to run a world class club? And the answer is uh maybe.


You’re fired!


“ He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis ”
This is the key word CRISIS.
Raul has clearly been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar.
Queue pending UEFA investigation maybe.
Oh Arsenal you are the gift that just keeps giving.


I think they’re probably referring to that pesky virus that’s been going round, the name escapes me.


Just dawned on me they probably mean Covid crisis… Worthy of a thumbs down tbh


Oh my dude.. that’s a worse own goal than Alaba’s!


For some weird reason, this feeds me a bit of confidence about the governance in play at the club.


Confidence. They hired him and watched him create a mess arsenal is in. The man at the top is the problem. Sacking Raul is not going to change much at the club. Kroenke is going to hire and fire another sketchy character again.


Nah honestly this all speaks to KSE taking a more hands on approach and that’s brilliant. Since Arsene left this has probably been as much a learning curve for them too. They trusted Gazidis, unfortunately for us and them he has proven to be the baldest of frauds, this is very much the carry on of his fucking mess that KSE have finally identified and cleaned up.


“Baldest of frauds”. Brilliant


To be optimistic, maybe it means KSE are learning from their mistakes, and are going to put in place a more professional management structure. For an overseas owner paying little attention, hiring the director of football from Barcelona, the world’s most successful club in recent years, might have seemed a sure bet – and someone you could just leave to do the job. At the time I definitely thought it was an ambitious appointment and was excited (although I guess I didn’t know much about him). But sacking him might mean that KSE realises they can’t just put one or… Read more »


I’m not a Raul fan but you have the order backwards. Arsenal were a complete mess when they hired him. We had the worst contract and squad management of any major club in Europe with everyone running their contracts down & either resigning for stupid money (Ozil) or leaving for virtually nothing (Wojo/ Sanchez). We also had one of the older squads in the PL when he joined. Hopefully we learn from Raul’s mistakes and the next guy gets it right


Can we have Wenger back as HOF?


Wenger: I don’t work where there is a bit too much of the handbrakes. Sorry to disappoint.

Eduardo Stark

As much as I love Arsène, I’m afraid that can’t be possible. It’s like putting Arteta in constant clouds. I’m sure Arsène wouldn’t be like that, being a great gent he is, but Arteta needs full backing to implement his ideas forwards. Not even a glimpse of past necessary.

A Different George

I am quite certain that Wenger would give you a thumbs-up for that point. Maybe he did?


Bring back Sven Mislintat!

He’s known to find fantastic players.

He helped in getting Aubameyang, Leno, Sokratis and Torreira to the club. Sokratis is good defender and I can’t believe that we might let Torreira go.


Mislintat? Didn’t we moan about him lazily selecting players from Dortmund?


People will be giddy for some reason. Tierney, Pepe, Ceballos (under 30M if we want him and that is good price ), Saliba (do we pay 30M now for 18 year old?). I’m happy we spent money and i suspect our summer is finished as of now. We let 50 people go for about 3-5M a year… after player paycut that was designed to be that. All i see is 32 year old Willian right now and Edu calls to Lyon how he can’t pay even half the asking price for a player…


Blimey. One of looking at this is that it gives Arteta far more control over transfers and a more direct hand at managing some aspects of the business side of things, vis a vis Wenger. Vinai is more of an administrator anyway. This could be very good, allowing Edu to focus on the big picture, give Arteta more breathing space and let Vinai run the back of the house.

Dave cee

That’s one way of looking at it. Another way would be that Raul and Mikel could have been working together with Raul getting the deals done at Mikel’s behest. We will never know.
What we do need is for Edu to be very good at his job. His inexperience worries me.
It also worries me that so many posts refer to Vinai as incompetent, there’s a lot of smoke.
Hopefully this Tim Lewis guy is a smart cookie and helps right the ship. A disciplined, legal mind may be what is needed

Magic City Gooner

There’s a very important question to ask in a time like this…

Did someone make a copy of his book of contacts?


Only 1 contact. Joorabchian.

Magic City Gooner

Oh good, so it didn’t take very long then


Pick any sports journalist. They have his info.


All backed-up on a 1MB usb stick.


And you can reach him at 08717 22 33 44

Group captain mandrake

It was just a piece of paper with “Kia” written in crayon.


Reading between the lines it is clear there has been something that has come to light regarding the Pepe deal…

We appoint a lawyer to the board, announce investigation and Don Raul has left..Jumped before he was pushed maybe??

One thing is clear though KSE dont seem to take kindly to people doing deals potentially under the table or screwing around.


Yeah defo mate. Tim Lewis probably did not like what he saw when he actually had a look at the books


They don’t give a shit if you do stupid football related things and screw up the team but if you start messin’ with their money, that’s when they start to care.


Feels like a lot going on behind the scenes, something found wrong in the recruitment team?

Start to worry if the new company cars are all made by Kia.


That’s Karma baby. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. 55 redundancies. Who’s next?


Hopefully whoever signed off on that hideous blood spattered away shirt, and the cunt that put out the press release about getting rid off 55 people so we could invest in the team.

Ashburton Red

“Gone Raul” ?


We have aaaaa verryyy goood plannnn, retirement plan that is!


Bye Don Raul! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

In all seriousness, for Arsenal to have made this announcement on the weekend must mean shit just hit the fan. Probably he got caught with his dirty fingers… Won’t be missing him for sure.

Pepe The Frog

Can’t wait for the media to put a negative spin on this news and crucify Arsenal. I’m glad Raul’s gone. Somebody who was ready to offer Emery a contract extension after the abomination of a job he did deserves to be let go. Hopefully, this means we’re changing for the better.

Bai Blagoi

Anything will be better than him.

Dave cee

I liked Raul. He showed ambition in the transfer market. Look at the exciting young players he brought to Arsenal last summer – Tierney, Pepe, Martinelli, Saliba. That for me is a good window. And whilst everyone says he was too slow to sack Unai don’t you think that it may be a hard personal decision? Isn’t it commendable to give a guy who has moved abroad and tried to learn the language and who clearly was trying very hard to be successful a bit of time to try to turn things around? When it became untenable he did pull… Read more »


A streamlining of the board or resigning in light of the investigation?


He’s already off the premises, he was fired.


Well no one saw this coming! We have all been very critical of Raul and his shady black book so I guess this is a positive step. Everything is now in the hands of Vinai. Is he up for it?


Heh. That depends on whether it mean taking us ‘Forward’ or ripping us off himself.

BTW, what a crap motto that is – there was nothing wrong at all with ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ – only that, I admit, it no longer applies to us. We are hardly either victorious or harmonious these days.

Kampala gooner ?

Just won the FA cup and we seem to agree that it is a good thing Raul is gone. What you talking about


I wonder if this is Stan and Josh finally waking up and smelling the coffee.

This sacking is undoubtedly connected to the “investigation” over the Pepe deal. Perhaps the Yanks are actually beginning to wonder if their money is being wisely spent. I hope that this dismissal is the beginning of a management overhaul that sees the club more effectively run.

There’s a certain “superagent” whom I’d like to see kept Well away from the club. That would be another great step.


“There’s a certain “superagent” whom I’d like to see kept Well away from the club. That would be another great step.”



I’ve always thought that the criticisms of KSE have been rather childish. Any idiot knows that a successful team challenging and winning titles brings more profits. The two are not necessarily in opposition to one another. But I do agree that the Kroenkes may not understand well the world of European football and hence may be prone to messing up. Let’s hope they’re learning fast.

Yankee Gooner

But you need to be a bit brighter than an idiot to see that KSE’s teams generally don’t compete for titles in the NFL, NHL, NBA—what else do they have in common? state-of-the-art stadia in prime locations that are, I would argue, more important to his holdings than the teams that play in them.

Eduardo Stark

there’s a difference though. all you got in the states are playoffs to play for. here there is continental competition and unknown concept for them called relegation.

A Different George

The lack of promotion/relegation completely changes the calculus in American sports, as does the “draft,” where the most promising young players are allotted to teams in reverse order of the team’s success and are barred from seeking a different team.


Top post. Well said mate. And it’s taken an American gentleman like yourself to spell it out, too.

Why these Kroenke-loving nuggets on this page cannot get it into their thick heads what sort of a man we have here, is beyond me.

Non flying Dutchmen

Define fast… Majority shoreholders for 15 years right?


It’s all a bit “Clay Davis” if you ask me. The associated fees in some of our recent transfers have certainly raised eyebrows, so yes – fuck Raul’s contacts book. Sheeeeeeeeeet, I’m glad we did this done before we signed any more of Super Kia’s retirement clients.


Imagine being the Clay Davis of football. That’s so bizarre it’s almost something to aspire to.

Pepe's Right Foot

I didn’t realise there were so many fans of The Wire on this board. I didn’t really like that show but I find the constant references to Davis hilarious?.


Good. Fucking crook.


This story damn near broke the site.

I’ve always despised the American use of “family” in business. So disingenuous.

Can’t say I’m sad about this. Everything this guy brought in to the club seemed dodgy and it has felt like the values of the club have been eroded. The Kroenkes are football illiterate and at their core are business people, so I’m not sure that they can be blamed for devaluing their “product” beyond basic incompetence.


How do you mean with the family thing? Like Josh as proxy for Stan?


It’s something Americans do in their companies and is becoming particularly prevalent in American bought companies here. It’s a form of language that is highly manipulative and tries to engender familial relationships in employees to foster a kind of dependancy, loyalty and reluctance to bear any kind of litigious intent should things go badly. There’s a few articles on it.


And every American family has a “ bad dad.”

A Different George

I don’t think it’s about avoiding litigation as much as avoiding unionisation.


Good riddance
We’ve been paying players more than they’re due
He brought in that agent Kia Joorabchan to drain Arsenal of its resources


Edu has a very close working relationship with Kia too. Let’s hope he makes a success of new recruitments.


Arteta and Edu wanted Willian and im sure Kia will continue to work with Edu




Like A New Sacking?


There is definitely a dodgy smell off the pepe deal. Some of those George Graham style brown envelopes?
Investigation launched….Raul walks.
Transfer business is a dirty world.
I think this can only be good news for our club going forward.


Yes, but there have been voices raised recently about the influence of a particular agent at the club – no names, no pack drill – and I don’t think that “relationship” is changed by this departure. I think that there may be more installments in this saga to come.

Mark Lankester

No smoke without fire.
Thursday/Friday Investigation into Pepe deal
Saturday Mid-day Head of Football departs “by mutual consent”
Draw your own conclusions.
Smacks of George Graham and his departure over was it Pal Lydersen?
It’s the mutual consent piece that covers it. Go quietly or………………


The difference is that Fleet Street had got wind of the gift George had accepted and threatened to expose it. The club were left with no alternative but to show George the door. It was very sad, because George had restored Arsenal’s pride, regained our superiority over the tossers up the Seven Sisters Road, won two league titles, including that miraculous performance at Anfield in May 1989, a European Cup Winners Cup and we also became the first club to win the FA Cup and the League Cup in the same season. The day he left The Arsenal, every single… Read more »


I remember it being over John Jensen. Although I’m sure there might have been more than one shady signing.

Oscar Mic

Redundant Raul. Now that’s a way to save millions! As much as I liked his gravelly voice I really didn’t trust the guy. He wasn’t the worst decision maker but he certainly wasn’t the best. Could be another step in the right direction for the club although not ideal timing when we need to shake up a seriously unbalanced squad.

Charles MMM

Yes, the timing of his sack is worrisome. This should have come earlier (like January/February). But I guess it’s better late than later.


“The timing of his Sack is worrisome”

Quote of the week for me.


I am not so familiar with the Managing Director Mr. Vinai.
Is he a good managing director for Arsenal so far from Business side?
I have impression we are slightly underperforming from business point of view due to our sponsorship deal is not as high as our other premier league teams.

Dispossesed by Torreira

Theres a lot of upheaval at Arsenal, I don’t think we are at the end of changes yet and I expect to see more changes. Wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t in-charge of Arsenal this time next year.


Yes, possibly. I get the feeling that there’s a lot that’s been going on that is only just coming to light. It may be that the tight