Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is to leave the club to join Italian giants AC Milan as announced Tuesday morning, his resignation effective from October 31st.
Gazidis who had informed Arsenals board of the offer he had received from Milan, after being in talks with the Italian giants for several months, was given given six weeks to deliberate on the offer to become their new CEO.
The 54-year-old has been with the Gunners for 10-years and since manager Arsene Wenger departure has been overseeing the transition from his 22-year tenure to a more diverse power structure under new head coach Unai Emery.
The Milan club were taken over by Elliott Management, an American hedge fund who bought the Italian club last year. Since Wenger’s departure, Elliott have witnessed the way Gazidis has revamped the club and made it a more attractive financial proposition with his skills and organisation.
Elliot’s main principle over the years has been to deliver returns to its shareholders by any means possible before selling its investment on.
It’s reported Gazidis has been offered a £1million rise on his £2.6m salary to take up the same role with the Serie A side and would be entitled to a share of equity in the club, which could be worth millions.
In Gazidis’ own statement he said:
“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club. Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge. This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham in whom I have enormous faith.
“We have been building on the club’s progressive social values, leading the way on the women’s game, diversity and inclusion, and establishing the Arsenal Foundation. This will remain central to the club’s philosophy.
“Although it is very hard to do – the hardest decision of my life – I believe that, after 10 years, it is the right time for me to step aside to allow new leadership, energy and ideas to take the club forward into this exciting new era. I believe in the positive force of change, both for me and for the club. I am excited to see what the future holds for this great club and I am energised by a new personal challenge with AC Milan.
“My sincere thanks go to Stan and Josh Kroenke for their support and guidance on everything we have done. To Sir Chips Keswick, Lord Phil Harris, Ken Friar and my wonderful management team and staff, on and off the field, to Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and to the fans of this giant and incredible club, thank you for your immense support and friendship over so many years and for the wonderful privilege of being part of the journey.
“We lived through many emotions together, the highs and the lows of football, and I am proud to be able to say that I gave this club and its fantastic people everything that I had in me. I am excited and energised for the future for myself and for Arsenal Football Club and I will always hold it in my heart.”