Ivan Gazidis, the Chief Executive of Arsenal Football Club is rumored to leave the North-London side after an 8-year stint. Earlier this week, Gazidis was offered to be the next executive director of AC Milan. However, him leaving Arsenal for AC Milan would leave a huge leadership hole.Ivan Gazidis is reportedly torn by the offer the Italian giants have laid on the table, offering him a huge rise of 2.6 million more than his wages at Arsenal. Italian sources reveal he would receive over one-million a year.
The past week has put the Arsenal staff in shock and a lingering feeling is present that Ivan Gazidis might just accept the offer, but it is understood that he is yet to take a firm decision that would suit for both the club and him. Milan want an answer from Gazidis by the start of September and still hope that the lure of more money and control of a club overhaul will persuade him to leave the Gunners.
Ivan Gazidis, who made the final call to hire Unai Emery in the efforts of replacing Arsene Wenger, has overseen a huge period of change. The 53-year-old’s influence has made an instrumental change in forming a “new Arsenal” after Wenger left. But now he feels Arsenal simply does not have the budget that is needed to compete in this era of football.
Born in Johannesburg, Ivan Gazidis moved to Manchester and excelled as a footballer, playing for his university side. In 1994 he joined the founding management team of Major League Soccer, becoming its deputy commissioner in 2001. He oversaw MLS’s key strategic and business decisions and its marketing arm. He is highly experienced and contains a vast inventory of achievements and rewards.
Since his joining, he has overseen almost all the key changes that shaped Arsenal. He noted that the club was very reliant on Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman took almost all of the club’s decisions. Gazidis knew that someday, Wenger would leave, which which would in turn cause a huge shift of power over the club.
With that in mind the South African appointed Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi to oversee Arsenal’s transfer business, but it was unclear whether they were in charge or Wenger was. What was predicted came to pass – Wenger left the club and a gaping hole of power and responsibilities was exposed. Ivan Gazidis took it upon himself to make the club used to the fact that Wenger had left and there was going to be a shift in power.
And hence, he unveiled Unai Emery as the new manager abeit in a different role to his predecessor, someone who has new ideas and a better way to achieve what their former manager could not from a footballing perspective but nothing coming his way from an administrative perspective.
In the two years leading up to Arsene’s departure, Ivan Gazidis underwent tremendous upheaval, anger, and stress to rework how Arsenal do business – only to walk out the door, even after seeing how he could gain more and more power and control over Arsenal. With Ivan leaving, Stan Kronke will take over the sole ownership of Arsenal. Stan owns 67% of Arsenal’s shares.
He submitted an offer of £600 million in an attempt to buy the rest of shares. 30% of the remaining share is owned by Alisher Usmanov, who has accepted the offer put forward by Stan. This means that Stan would now own more than 90% of the shares, hence making him the sole owner of the North-London side.
However, Ivan Gazidis is a smart man. He knows the changes that would come to the club with Kroenke as the sole owner. And if he doesn’t like them, then he also knows that he doesn’t have to be a part of them. He has a get-out. Unfortunately, as fans, we do not.