The North London outfit have also confirmed that Gazidis will be replaced by Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi and Chief Commercial Officer Vinai Venkatesham, who become Head of Football and Managing Director respectively.
Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham appointed head of football and managing director respectively, as Ivan Gazidis leaves for A.C. Milan
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 18, 2018
The 54-year-old will be getting a whopping £1m pay rise on his current £2.6m Arsenal salary as the Italian side are looking to restructure their club since been taken over by US hedge fund Elliot Management. The company’s founder, 74-year-old American billionaire Paul Elliot Singer had apparently told the San Siro outfit to specifically headhunt Gazidis as he admired his work at the Emirates.
Stewart Robson (ex-Arsenal midfielder) on Ivan Gazidis: “His time at Arsenal will be seen as a failure. There are a lot of things I think he’s done wrong. What Gazidis is very good at doing is he’s a great talker & he’s a very good networker.” [talkSPORT] #afc pic.twitter.com/xu1V22Ukxp
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 17, 2018
Coming to the two internally promoted replacements, Sanllehi, a former director of football at Barcelona for 16 years, joined the Gunners as head of football relations in February, while Venkatesham has impressed in the commercial side of operations after the Gunners nabbed him from the London 2012 organising team in 2010.
“Although I joined Arsenal just months ago, I’ve felt embraced by this great club and part of its family from the first day. I will do everything possible to maintain our strong values which will be as fundamental to our future as they have been in our past.”
While Vinai said:
“From the day I joined Arsenal I have always considered it a privilege to serve this great football club, so it’s an honour to take up the position of managing director and lead the club alongside Raul.
Together we will work tirelessly with the extraordinary staff we have at Arsenal to respect and enhance our unique history, heritage and values; with the overall objective to bring success to our millions of fans all around the world and make them proud of their club.”
The London club’s Chairman, Sir Chips Keswick insisted in July:
“[Gazidis] has never accepted any of these opportunities and has never spoken about them publicly. He has always been fully committed to taking Arsenal forward.”
However, since the resignation of the South African CEO became official, 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.”
[All quotes via Arsenal]
Gazidis leaving three months after Arséne's departure. He knows there's no one who's gonna take the bullet for him now that Arséne has left us.
He cared only about money and not the club from the beginning unlike Arséne. pic.twitter.com/WdxclKTe6B
— Quícksílver (@DashOfBellerin) September 17, 2018
Gazidis was an integral part of the club. Bringing in Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat as well as being crucial in the appointment of new manager Unai Emery. The 54-year-old will depart The Emirates by the end of October, ending the 10 year association with the London giants.