Arsenal have officially announced the decision by CEO, Ivan Gazidis, to leave the club. The decision was one that has been coming for the last few months with several media outlets reporting back in August that Gazidis had agreed to join AC Milan but many believed it was just paper talk.
Many believed what he wanted at The Emirates was total control of the club which he got after Wenger left. It is understood that Gazidis already has a special relationship with the new hierarchy at Milan and he will try and recreate the family atmosphere he garnered at Arsenal.
Arsenal announced a new management structure at The Emirates since the Gazidis announcement. According to a statement on the club’s official website, Raul Sanllehi, Head of Football Relations, has been appointed as Head of Football, and Vinai, currently Chief Commercial Officer, becomes the Managing Director.
The statement read:
“We can announce that Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham will lead the club following a decision by chief executive Ivan Gazidis to join AC Milan.” Raul joined Arsenal in February after 16 years at Barcelona where he was director of football while Vinai arrived in 2010 from London 2012 and has overseen all the club’s commercial activities.
The responsibility ahead of Sanllehi now is to lead the club to its old glory days when it was regularly challenging for, and winning league titles and other silverware.
The transfer policy of the club needs to be revamped and only give new contracts to players who deserve it and not based on past glories. Football currently demands spending big in the transfer market, reinvesting the TV rights and sponsorship money earned, and it’s not clear that the Kroenke family are interested in doing that at this point in time.
It will be interesting to see, without Gazidis, whether or not the club can bring itself back from obscurity to become one of the leading clubs in Europe once again.