Media outlets in England and Italy are reporting today that Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis is set to leave the club that he’s been at since 2009, for the same position with AC Milan, who were recently taken over by the Elliott Management Group following a default on takeover loans by prior owner Li Yonghong. Gazidis’s status has been in question for two months, ever since word started to leak from local Milan sources that he was being strongly considered by the investment group, with whom he has prior business relationships.
Gazidis, as you should know by now, has spent the last year-and-a-half reorganizing the footballing operations side of the club, ushering in a new era under Unai Emery with a cast of characters brought in from prestigious clubs, as well as others who’ve made their mark in other sports. He’s leaving at a time when discontent towards the club from its supporters hasn’t been any higher, which culminated in the departure of Arsene Wenger.
As a result, given the attitudes and perceptions of how the club has been run prior to Wenger leaving, as well as how Gazidis executed his project on shaping the managerial and support operations in his vision, how the club moves forward without Gazidis in charge to see his plans in action will ultimately determine his legacy here.
Rumors abound that Stan Kroenke’s son, Josh Kroenke, current president of the Denver Nuggets, will be taking over the spot left behind by Gazidis. If this comes to fruition, the anger and fury sections of the fan base have displayed towards the current ownership will only intensify, and questions regarding who was truly in charge of the head coaching appointment should rightfully be asked.
More to come, as always.