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Ivan Gazidis leaves Arsenal to assume CEO role at AC Milan

Arsenal Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis has been confirmed to have leave the club to join Italian giants AC Milan as their new CEO.

The South African businessman, who took charge of the Chief Executive position at Emirates Stadium in January 2009, is set takeover from Adriano Galliani as the new CEO for AC Milan on October 31st.

Speaking to Arsenal.com, Ivan Gazidis claimed leaving the Gunners is the hardest decision he ever took in his life.

“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.

“Given this platform, I know many will think this is a strange time to be leaving but I believe it is the right time for me and for the club. Change and succession is not only inevitable for a club like Arsenal, it is necessary if it is continually to keep moving forward. One of my primary responsibilities as chief executive has been to make sure that there is good succession planning in every position in the club, including my own.

“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. While this is the most difficult and challenging course for me, I am excited to see what the future holds for this great club.

“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 Arsène 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.”

Former head of football relations at Arsenal, Raul Sanllehi has been given the role Head of football and Vinai Venkatesham was promoted from Chief commercial officer to managing director.

The “New Era” the Gunners fans are talking about is beginning to seem much clear now.

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