It’s happening at last !
Its taken 100 years but it’s happening now.
It’s happening nine years into the 21st century.
REALISE THIS : The history of Arsenal is the history of an executive vacuum.
It was a gentleman’s club run by two Secretaries, Bob Wall and Ken Friar.
The directors lacked ambition but enjoyed the perks.
They ran it for the fans but very rarely signed star players .
Hill-Wood inherited his season ticket and a stagnating club jogged along until David Dein arrived to move Arsenal forward after 1983.
Then the board basked in the glory George Graham and Arsene Wenger brought to the club from 1987 to 2004.
When Danny Fiszman sacked Dein, then Keith Edelman, there was no CEO for eight months.
It was ridiculous, as I often said on ANR.
They had nobody to drive the business because Danny is better at sacking people than he is at hiring them.
When Ivan Gazidis arrived in January, he made a difference, signing Arshavin, a superstar to excite the fans and the boxes and make people renew.
Gazidis is a football guy, fan-friendly, a bridge-builder, a team player, a seeker of concensus, a listener who is responsive to what people want to do
For three years AFC had behaved as if it was still at little old Highbury.
I was tearing my hair out and screaming obscenities and saying, “Jesus Christ! They need an executive chairman who is a charmer who can travel the world and make deals, AND a chief executive. There is so much work to be done ! One man can’t do it all !”
Ivan Gazidis has changed that by his ad in The Sunday Times.
He wants a business lawyer, an HR director, and a “talented business executive, perhaps with the strategy consultancy, legal, accountancy or economics background” and “experience gained in professional services, private equity and/or a corporate environment.”
The year 2009 is notable for two signings : Gazidis and Arshavin.
Everything else is forgettable, minor, irrelevant.
Thank you, Stan Kroenke !