The title isn’t meant to be disrespectful.
But I’m indifferent really, and in some small measure disappointed.
I have nothing against him and wish him well at his new club.
Ivan Gazidis has issued the following message to the Arsenal fans, following his decision to leave the club
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 18, 2018
But these are some points I have vis a vis Mr Gazidis:
It’s a fact that our commercial revenues lag behind Man United, Man City, and Liverpool in some form.
However, this needs to be put into context.
Manchester United is possibly second only to Real Madrid in a global scope. Could we compete with Los Blancos or Barca for that matter? We could but it would be difficult. Man U is at that level. Yes, we’re a global brand too, but United is a bigger one and has been one for longer than we have.
Liverpool relies more on commercial revenues since their ground is smaller. And City has deals with their Arab owners.
Our overall revenues are still higher than Liverpool and Chelsea’s. Possibly our high match-day income is designed to compensate for this. It’s speculation on my part obviously.
But the deals themselves have been good. The recent Visit Rwanda deal is the highest sleeve-sponsorship deal to date in the country. The kit deal with Adidas will rival Chelsea and United’s deals. And we had the world’s first crypto-currency sponsor last season, despite much negative fanfare vis a vis bad results/Wenger.
In this facet, I’ll mark him 6/10.
Numerous top players have left Arsenal in his tenure here. Cesc, van Persie, and Alexis are some of the bigger names to have gone. Bar Cesc, RvP and Sanchez mentioned a lack of ambition and desire to win as their motivations to go.
Gazidis cannot be blamed for this alone.
Yes, Wenger has to be called out somewhat here. It’s not to abuse him since he did great things for us.
But then I believe the overall team mentality and tactical set-up is something that he must have taken full charge for, as this is what grated the aforementioned players the most.
The contract situations vis a vis Alexis and Ozil were part of his doing, though he didn’t affect them totally. Wenger had some input too.
RATING – 5/10
Pushing the club forward
Whilst appointed by Kroenke and working alongside Wenger, and as CEO being the senior administrative figure at the club, he didn’t do much to set a vision for the club.
Maybe this wasn’t part of his job spec, who knows? I’d imagine a club CEO, in any event, is the chief liaison between the board, the manager, the players, and the array of staff that work at a club. This ranges from coaches, doctors, to admin staff, and even cleaners and concession sellers.
Maybe his scope was just to keep things ticking over. He’s not like Daniel Levy, who as the minority owner of Tottenham and MD/CEO, would have more scope to implement changes.
Seemingly, Gazidis had some part to play in Wenger leaving. It’s possible that he said to him that “time’s up”. Was this his sole decision? Possibly not. I believe Kroenke (both father and son) had the major part here. They had to, as they own the club. And daddy and son Kroenke had to approve the changes in bringing in Mislintat and Sanllehi. Gazidis couldn’t do this on his own back. Of course, he could suggest it, and then gain approval from the Kroenkes. Or Stan and/or Josh told him to, and he did it.
Either way, he cannot be given the whole credit for this.
Whatever happened, it’s fair that he had some part to play in the overall transition, which is now unfolding.
OVERALL – 5/10
Maybe we’re overstating what Gazidis’s remit was.
As CEO, maybe his major role was as the club’s chief administrative officer, and not the main mover and shaker.
When Dein was at the club, he was the kingpin, and he was the Vice-Chairman. The MD was the late Fitzman, and at one point now director Ken Friar held this post. The main power-player in an organisation isn’t always the CEO, Chairman, or the seemingly most senior person. Our board are largely just the club’s legal officers. Sir Chips seemingly has other interests, and may only take a passing interest in what happens here. Whether many of the board are heavily involved in the day to day running of the club is moot, and not something many fans know – or can know.
So he did his piece, in that our revenues increased, we signed some top players, we won trophies (the same trophies Spurs haven’t since 1991), and we have executed a post-Wenger strategy to account for the control he had as the manager.
So he hasn’t been terrible, but probably per design was everything that was said on the tin, as it were.
AC Milan will be a new challenge for Gazidis, and let’s be frank they are a bigger club than Arsenal. Our PL presence boosts our image, and yes, we’re global. But we don’t have seven Champions Leagues as they do. He will work with Maldini and Leonardo, and both are possibly all-time great players, let alone Milan legends.
So good luck to him – he kept us tiding over and that is that.
I’m disappointed that he is leaving since the changes instituted were good to see. And something we as fans wanted to see for years. Is he bottling it? Who knows? It could just be that he is receiving a better offer. Or there could be various other reasons we don’t know of. Maybe he had been planning this for months before now, and it’s only in recent years that the talk became solid. It could be that the Kroenkes gave their blessing, on the account that he oversaw the post-Wenger structuring. It could also be that Kroenke gave Wenger a contract to ensure things were steady, as the club was in no place at that point to see him go. So much for a “bad owner”, right? Again, this is conjecture and not concrete.
On to the future and Misters Sanhelli and Venkashatem, and we’ll see how far he can help us progress.