English Premier League side, Arsenal have confirmed that CEO, Ivan Gazidis will resign from his post on October 31 to take over the same role at the Italian giants, AC Milan.
Gazidis has been handed a significant increase on his £2.6million a year salary and an equity stake in Milan club that could prove to be worth millions more according to the British daily, The Standard.
“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club. Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge. This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham in whom I have enormous faith,” Gazidis said stated in his farewell message to Arsenal and their teeming fans.
“We have rebuilt the off-field capability of the club, which is necessary for prolonged success in modern football, we have recently concluded new primary partnership deals that, together with the new league broadcast deals, secure our medium term financial future, we have updated our stadium and rebuilt our training facilities so that they are now world class and we have transitioned to a new football structure that is capable of taking the club confidently into the future. I am proud to say we have done this while building on the club’s progressive social values, leading the way on the women’s game as well as diversity and inclusion and establishing The Arsenal Foundation, which supports these values around the world in difficult places such as Iraq and Jordan and complements our extraordinary work in our local community. This will remain central to the club’s philosophy.
“Given this platform, I know many will think this is a strange time to be leaving but I believe it is the right time for me and for the club. Change and succession is not only inevitable for a club like Arsenal, it is necessary if it is continually to keep moving forward. One of my primary responsibilities as chief executive has been to make sure that there is good succession planning in every position in the club, including my own.
“Although it is very hard to do – the hardest decision of my life – I believe that, after 10 years, it is the right time for me to step aside to allow new leadership, energy and ideas to take the club forward into this exciting new era. I believe in the positive force of change, both for me and for the club. While this is the most difficult and challenging course for me, I am excited to see what the future holds for this great club.
“After so many years at Major League Soccer and Arsenal, I am now looking forward to joining one of the world’s other great clubs, AC Milan, and working to restore it to its rightful place in football. Until then, I will continue to devote absolutely all my energy until my last day to ensure an orderly transition for the benefit of Arsenal Football Club.
“My sincere thanks go to Stan and Josh Kroenke for their support and guidance on everything we have done. To Sir Chips Keswick, Lord Phil Harris, Ken Friar and my wonderful management team and staff, on and off the field, to Arsène Wenger, Unai Emery and to the fans of this giant and incredible club, thank you for your immense support and friendship over so many years and for the wonderful privilege of being part of the journey. We lived through many emotions together, the highs and the lows of football, and I am proud to be able to say that I gave this club and its fantastic people everything that I had in me. I am excited and energised for the future for myself and for Arsenal Football Club and I will always hold it in my heart.”
Club chairman Sir Chips Keswick said: “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.”
Arsenal head of football relations Raul Sanllehi will take on a new role as head of football whilst Vinai Venkatesham will be managing director.