The long-awaited confirmation of Ivan Gazidis’ expected departure as Arsenal’s chief executive has drawn widespread commentary from many in and around the club, as well as from journalists and, of course, from Arsenal fans. Indeed, many of the Gunners faithful are seemingly glad to see the back of the South African.
Gazidis leaves north London after nearly a decade as CEO at the Emirates as he prepares to take up the same role with Serie A giants AC Milan. As with the departure of Arsene Wenger as manager during the summer, many have now begun to question Gazidis’ legacy at Arsenal.
Undoubtedly, the 54-year-old’s biggest act as the Gunners’ CEO was to lead the recruitment process as Arsenal identified Unai Emery as the preferred candidate to succeed Wenger as Arsenal’s new head coach for this season.
Gazidis drew a great deal of praise for his conducting of business in commencing Arsenal’s new era and handling the transitional period from the end Wenger’s 22-year reign as manager.
Seeking to restructure Arsenal’s management structure so that the new head coach would assume a less autonomous degree of power to that of Wenger’s previous reign, Gazidis also introduced a cluster of new management roles, including head of football relations, which was filled by Raul Sanllehi.
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
With Gazidis now departing himself, Sanllehi has been swiftly promoted to the role of ‘head of football’ to assume much of Gazidis’ footballing responsibilities.
As the changes behind the scenes continue at the Emirates, many have been left to question why Gazidis opted to move on now, at such a crucial period of transition for the club and one in which he finally had a greater lease of power at the Emirates.
For Arsenal fans, though, the agenda has generally been the debating of Gazidis’ overall success during his tenure at the club, with many unconvinced that his departure is as great a loss as it first seems. Here is a selection of Twitter responses from Arsenal fans to Gazidis’ message to the Gunners supporters upon his departure…