Arsenal Football Club have released the following statement…
“Arsenal is delighted to announce that after a thorough recruitment process,
Ivan Gazidis has been appointed its new chief executive officer, taking up the
position in January 2009.
Gazidis (44) is presently Deputy Commissioner for Major League Soccer (MLS) in
the USA where he provides vision on all the key strategic and business
decisions made by the league and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing. He
oversees all aspects of MLS competition, including negotiation of the transfer
and employment contracts of all the players in the league, managing the day to
day operations of the league including stadium events, security issues and
player, coaching and refereeing matters.
In addition to his MLS duties, Gazidis was the president of Soccer United
Marketing’s international division between 2002 and 2006 where he developed and
implemented winning strategies for the Mexican Soccer Federation and the
CONCACAF Gold Cup as well as innovative new concepts such as American tours for
the England national team, Barcelona and Real Madrid amongst others.
Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said:
“Ivan’s credentials are first class. It
is evident that he has a wealth of business acumen together with a broad
knowledge of football that will not only help to maintain Arsenal’s pre-eminent
standing but enhance our reputation within the football community and
international commercial markets.”
Ivan Gazidis said:
“I have been privileged in my 14 years with MLS to have
worked with and for some of the best sports executives and owners in the world,
whose vision, commitment and expertise have taken the league from strength to
strength and provided a solid platform for its future growth. I am delighted to
be offered the opportunity to bring that experience to bear at Arsenal – a club
rich in heritage and tradition, that is superbly positioned for success in the
modern era. I relish the prospect of working with the key stakeholders to
further propel the Club forward. It is nearly 15 years since I left the UK but
I’m very much looking forward to returning in January.”
The Arsenal Supporters Trust spokesman has welcomed this appointment, and sees Mr Gazidis as
“the one person able to increase commercial revenues for the Club.”
Sir Peter Hill-Wood welcomes the appointment and said the following on ArsenalTV Online…
“A man with Football experience was going to be very important and Mr Gazidis fills that requirement very well.
We changed our position after interviewing many applicants, and he will work with Arsene Wenger with transfers”
What will Ivan Gazidis do?
“Currently Arsene Wenger finds the players that he wants for the squad, and Ivan Gazidis will handle all the technical and financial side of the player transfers. He gets on very well with Arsene Wenger and will replace Ken Friar who is currently doing that role”
About Stan Kroenke’s role in the appointment…
“ The relationship with Colorado Rapids is important and the appointment of Ivan Gazidis will assist with development of the profile of Arsenal in the USA.
Stan Kroenke knows Ivan and was not responsible for his appointment, but Ivan Gazidis knows Stan from his involvement with the MLS”
About Arsene Wenger’s role in the appointment…
“We all had lunch together a couple of weeks ago, and Arsene met Ivan and he likes him. It was important that Arsene Wenger respected his judgement, so to that extent Arsene was involved in the appointment.”
Hear Mr Ivan Gazidis talking about his background, he trained as lawyer in England living a few hundred yards away from Highbury. Listen about how he established the MLS and his high hopes for Arsenal Football Club and his feelings about the importance of Arsenal remaining independent and resisting possible takeovers.
Arsenalinsider would like to congratulate Arsenal Football Club upon this excellent appointment. We extend a very warm welcome to Mr Ivan Gazidis and we wish him well as he works to improve our great club’s fortunes over the coming seasons.
Fabregas the King.