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Arsenal hire new director of football operations

Richard Garlick will join the Gunners’ front office later this year.

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Soccer : Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images

Richard Garlick, the current director of football at the Premier League, will join the Arsenal front office later this year as director of football operations, per multiple reports and a statement from the club. He is a solicitor (lawyer) and will fill the void left by Huss Fahmy’s departure in the fall during the front office reorganization spearheaded by Edu. Prior to working for the Premier League, Garlick was the director of football administration at West Brom, and before that, worked for a handful of different law firms.

Said Arsenal:

He will be a member of the Arsenal executive team and will be working closely with technical director Edu, manager Mikel Arteta and academy manager Per Mertesacker.

His responsibilities will include football operations in the first team and academy, all player contract management and relationships with football’s governing bodies.

Honestly, I don’t know enough about Richard Garlick to comment on the quality of the hire for the Gunners. The team needed a contracts expert, and now they’ve got one. He certainly has the resume of the type of person you’d want in the position.

Having specificity, expertise, and a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities is generally a good thing for any organization, and the hire ostensibly moves Arsenal further in that direction. It’s pretty clear that the club are still sorting things out organizationally in the post-Wenger front office. The first steps — everything surrounding Raul Sanllehi, Sven Mislintat’s departure, hiring Unai Emery — decidedly did not work out. Maybe this move helps to get Arsenal back on the right track.

Now, if he’s a real “contracts expert” he’ll find a way to make Willian’s deal, which already looks like a weight that will hang around Arsenal’s neck for a few years, go away. But I’m not sure anybody is that good.