Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has left the Premier League club to join Serie A giants AC Milan.
As a result, the Gunners have restructured, with the head of football relations, Raul Sanllehi being named as head of football, with current chief commercial officer Vinai named as managing director.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) September 18, 2018
Part of a statement from Arsenal read: “We can announce that Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham will lead the club following a decision by chief executive Ivan Gazidis to join AC Milan.”
Deputy chairman of Arsenal’s majority owner Kroenke Sports and Entertainment UK Josh Kroenke added: “It has been a pleasure working with Ivan. We will miss the wisdom, insight, and energy he brought to our club on a daily basis over the past decade. We are confident we have outstanding people in Raul and Vinai, and we look forward to working with them and coach Unai Emery to continue to move the club forward on and off the pitch.”
Raul had previously moved to London from Barcelona in February as Venkatesham became part of the club in 2010 after his involvement with the London 2012 Olympics.
Sanllehi added: “Although I joined Arsenal just months ago, I’ve felt embraced by this great club and part of its family from the first day. I will do everything possible to maintain our strong values which will be as fundamental to our future as they have been in our past.”
Venkatesham said: “From the day I joined Arsenal I have always considered it a privilege to serve this great football club, so it’s an honour to take up the position of managing director and lead the club alongside Raul.”
And Gazidis, who will officially leave his post in October, paid tribute to Arsenal, saying: “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.”