Gazidis will be remembered more for what he DIDN’T do for Arsenal

It’s kind of fitting that Ivan Gazidis should leave with a star player running down his contract. I feel it’s harsh to blame him too much. Like Arsene Wenger, you’re only as good as your boss. If Stan Kroenke gives you a certain remit, it’s your job to meet that criteria, it’s not your role to make the American more ambitious.

Like most in power at the Emirates, this was a man very good at making the club money. However his legacy will be more what he didn’t do rather then did. Perhaps he felt he never had the power to challenge the greatest manager in our history but he too seemed comfortable working at a snails pace.

While he will be credited for putting a recruitment system in place, this took too long. Whether it be the transfer market or contract extensions, there was a lack of urgency. Arsenal are one of the few clubs where sagas play out in public for weeks. We will negotiate for days over a couple of million while the likes of Chelsea and Man City seem to confirm deals the moment you hear the rumour.

That stance saw us lose out on big names. If he really cared about us being champions he would have sealed the capture of Suarez but he knows the man who pays his salary only cares about the income we bring in. It was often said that our board hid behind Mr Wenger, knowing he loved us so much he was happy to take the flak. It’s telling that in his first chance to implement change away from the Frenchmen, he’s bailed just 2 months into the campaign.

For most of his two decades in the hot seat, gooners respected Wenger enough to listen and believe in what he said. Only in the last 48 months was it clear he was the club’s mouthpiece. Gazidis had now lost his shield. It would now be him who would have to answer the tough questions, not just get Arsene to do it.

One of his famous quotes was predicting by now we would be competitive with Bayern Munich on and off the field.
Going by that statement, he won’t be missed.

Dan Smith


  1. gotanidea says:

    This is an objective and neutral view, as opposed to the negative sentiments towards Gazidis in the last several years. You are right, Arsenal’s main obstacle is Kroenke, that has bad track records with his sports clubs

    However, I like Arsenal not because it could buy expensive players such as Ozil and Aubameyang, but because they can dominate with young, cheap and unknown players under Wenger. I liked how Wenger maximized the abilities of those relatively unknown footballers, kinda like the old Championship/ Football Manager game or Ranieri’s Leicester City

    Regarding Gazidis’ comparison between Bayern Munich and us, that’s what I never liked from any CEO, their flowery words. Hopefully the next CEO know how to run a top football club better than him

    1. Declan says:

      @gotanidea, it looks like there won’t be a new CEO, not as such, as Raul Sanllehi has been promoted from Head of Football Relations to Head of Football and Vinai Venkatesham from Chief Commercial Officer to Managing Director.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Good to hear that, I hope Arsenal can get Premier League, Europa League or Champions League titles with them

      2. John Ibrahim says:

        you dont need a title as ceo when the club goes from public to private

        managing director is the equivalent to ceo

        1. tas says:

          to have the passion for football and specially to your club you would think the Kroenke family would turn up to more games, the lack of appearance can only mean lack of interest on the field

          football has moved on and has become billionaires play thing unfortunately the Kroenke family have too many of these sports clubs to take interest in one its more likely their thrill is in the board room

    2. myarsenal says:

      Good Comment! I agree 100%

  2. Otunba_007 says:

    Soldiers GO, Soldiers COME…. ARSENAL for life !!!

  3. barryglik says:

    Gazidis had an owner who did
    not “require” titles and
    a manager who had
    forgotten how to win them.
    His Bayern/Rooney salary comments were correct.
    Arsenal was on the same financial level as Bayern.
    It was Gazidis publicly challenging the owner and the manager.
    Words were passed in private and
    Gazidis never spoke about the matter again.
    Gazidis did as much as he was allowed to.

    1. A.ball08 says:

      Unfortunately I do not concur with your views and the reason being is that
      He made to many false promises that have never been fulfilled
      He is one of the core people who was put in charge of our club to move us forward
      Under his leadership we have gone 1 step forward and 3 steps back
      He inheritated a club that had major potential in winning major honours season in season out but under his leadership all he has done is flog off our prime assets and left us with a squad that is good enough to fight it out for a top 6 spot
      The owner the ceo and the past manager have been all to blame for this
      IG may be a good CEO for a corporate company but not AFC
      Everyone has right to there own opinon and I do respect yours but it does infuriate me to read people not attaching any blame to this guy when he was clearlt one of the roots causes to our demise over the past 10 years…
      Not a coincidences that we started falling away once David dein left and he joined….in my opinion

      1. Phil says:

        If you knew your facts you would see that Gazidis was brought into the Club to replace Keith Edelman.And did he really come into a Club that had “Major potential in winning major honours season in season out”?He arrived in the years when financial constraints were really affecting the Club.It was also the time of a Major Global Financial Issue And Arsenal most definitely lost our because of this,
        No argument over David Devin being forced out.The day that was allowed to happen by THAT BOARD OF DIRECTORS will remain the single blackest day in our Clubs history

        1. Declan says:

          I agree with you Phil but he really ballsed us up when he introduced Kroenke to the club in the first place.

          1. Phil says:

            Declan-The problem I have understanding is why did DD firstly introduce Kronke and then Usmanov.The Board were at fault for allowing Kronke to buy all those shares.As soon as that happened we became a Club run by a Board to a Club owned and controlled by a single person.

          2. ken1945 says:

            Phil, that last sentence is so very telling.
            Not only am I looking forward to Wenger’s book, but now Gazidis’s as well.
            What happens to the now defunct board members?
            Are they going to get a golden handshake or be given some other title and remain on the books?

            I thought Emery’s reaction to all this was so encouraging.
            To mention the three musketeers as the future going forward with him was a really positive signal to the fans.
            It means that he sees the four of them as permanent fixtures.
            It could also mean that he sees Kronkie as a positive rather than a negative.
            Again, we really know nothing, it’s just speculation until Kronkie actually comes out and tells us all his plans for the future.

          3. jon fox says:

            Ken, Fair comments BUT do you honestly ever see Kroenke ever telling us, or anyone, his plans for the future? I wonder if even Josh knows for sure! He is not called Silent Stan for no reason.

          4. ken1945 says:

            Jon, agree completely old friend.
            I really cannot remember a worse scenario than the one our club is facing at the moment.
            Still Jon, we can keep ourselves amused discussing all things Arsenal!!
            If we forget anything, just bring in Kenny Rolfe to decide eh?

          5. jon fox says:

            Yes, I would vote for KENNY to ref us two. D’you reckon he takes bribes!

          6. ken1945 says:

            From his comments about Riley’s mob I doubt it.
            Tell you what, I’ll let you try first and if he bops you, we could always ask Sue!
            We could offer so much more than just being Phil’s “girl friday” in his Ozil club.
            Sue you could be CEO of The Old Mens debating Society for silly old Gooners.
            What do you think, it’s between you and Chiza and the runner up becomes Phils running mate.
            I think ozziegunner, declan and a few other old timers would swell the ranks.
            Once we are organised, we could challenge the younguns to a gooner quiz and they could be led by Durand.
            Geez, I really am a sad old frt these days!!!

    2. jon fox says:

      barryglik, I ask YOU TO READ MY REPLY TO YOUR POST ON THE PREVIOUS THREAD ABOUT GAZIDIS. It applies to this post of yours too.

  4. AndersS says:

    Gazidis certainly should take his part of the blame for the Sanchez, Özil and Ramsey contract sagas, and he should also be blamed for being part of a club management, that allowed Wenger to stay on for much too long.
    he may well have done some good work also, but those are bad mistakes.

  5. tas says:

    The Pyramid has collapsed with AW and now Gazidis gone only Silent Stan left to take the blame and if he don’t deliver i fear we will see RED all over the Emirates Stadium the red of empty seats, but i think the club will be sold within a year, selling the club is the only way he can take in one go all his money in which he didn’t spend on players for years,

    1. A.ball08 says:

      That’s a nice thought on Stan selling but it’s a cash cow to him
      Seats don’t need to be filled in this day an age for a club to make a profit. Tv rights and sponsors oil the wheels.
      Fans are looked upon a secondary from these fat cats.
      We can only pray he does sell but can’t see it..

      1. tas says:

        A.ball08 why would you say cash cow when he hasn’t taken a penny from Arsenal dividend’s or otherwise

        1. A.ball08 says:

          The question you have to ask your self is
          Do we make a profile as a football club….
          How long have we been turning a profit…a fair while
          Why does he want full control … So he is not answerable to fellow shareholders
          He won’t need there approval on financial matters and can use the asset as financial leverage…I.e look at how he runs his other businesses
          He is a ultra smart cookie
          Which if you think otherwise then I think you are a person who thinks the glass is half full rather then half empty and I applaud you but on this matter I think it is half empty…only time will tell

        2. ken1945 says:

          tas, I might be wrong, but didn’t he take out a million pounds for consultation fees?

      2. TH14-TW14 says:

        As I have always said, fans think too much of their power in the modern game. The protests they organise, banners and planes over the stands are just ridiculous. The big clubs will not suffer so much with empty stands as evidenced by this study by the BBC which found out that “11 of 20 Premier League clubs could have made profits in 2016-17 without fans at games”.

        1. Break-on-through says:

          I think that’s a false statement, just adding up everything that way doesn’t work. The reason why advertisement and all that is lucrative, is because the people need to buy into it. If no-ones watching then the advertisers will drop that team. If the fans stop watching then the club is screwed.

      3. jon fox says:

        Must take issue with you on “seats don’t need to be filled….”. Looking at the wider picture than your narrow view, all the other commercial benefits ONLY keep accruing when the stadium is full and lively. You take away the fans and top football is effectively dead. You have a stadium regularly half empty- as we did last season- and those who understand corporate finance, as Kroenke does,are forced to take quick action to cure this situation. That was the REASON Wenger was sacked. Fans are the lifeblood of football; take them away and you bleed to death, so do think again on your incorrect statement (above). Commercially run football partners(sponsors) will soon run from a sinking ship.

    2. jon fox says:

      A wonderful fantasy but , sadly, ONLY a fantasy. It will not happen!

      1. ken1945 says:

        Jon, our stadium holds 60,000 fans (rounded up for simplicity).
        A half full ground would be 30,000.
        AST, who I was once a member of, are in dispute with AFC over an attendance figure which they say was 40,000 whilst Arsenal are saying it was 52,000 (I think it was this figure).
        This was before Wenger resigned and was AST’s benchmark for dissenting fans power as I read it.
        Not wanting to argue with you again Jon, but our stadium was never regularly half full.
        At no premier league game was it half full.

        As a study of a team who exists very well without 60,000 fans, Monaco are a prime example. TH14 this backs up, to a certain extent, your claims.
        But come on, Jon is so right about fans making a club, just ask Liverpool players what the Kop does for them!!

        1. jon fox says:

          Ken , Serious question: Were you a stats and analyst man in your career? This old chestnut is so passe now that I am surprised you still worry about exactly HOW MANY EMPTY SEATS THERE WERE. There were certainly many thousands and regularly so and THAT , not the precise percent is surely the point. If it makes you happy that I concede say, 45 000( or fill in your own figure) were in attendance, then I do so gladly, rather than upset you again. But so what! I do wish we could in future concentrate on talking about the substantive matters and leave the exact percentages to those who are turned on by them. My main point, which you did eventually get round to agreeing was that without regular and many fans, top clubs are dead. It was only when the ground was regularly % empty, that I KNEW that Wengers sacking was imminent. Others could not or would not read the open signs. Or perhaps they just know nothing about how billionaires work.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Jon, youv’e sussed me out regarding previous life!
            I love information, data, cross checking and most of all FACTS.

            i have no idea how a billionare thinks, not ever having known one.
            But I do have personal experience as to how a millionare thinks, is there that much difference?

            Jon, your posts are relevant, important, thought provoking, sometimes annoying, sometimes brilliant.
            BUT, as you castigate others if their facts are misleading or incorrect, I feel obliged to point out when you occasionally blemish the point to suit your case.
            As you often do to me.

          2. jon fox says:

            Touche , old friend. Your own posts are all the things you say about mine too. You know Ken , when I read any thread without a contribution from you I consider it the poorer for your absence. I tend to have rests at times from this site. AND THEN INTENSE BURSTS OF PASSION . AT MY GREAT AGE TOO. THE OLD TICKER IS STILL JUST ABOUT HOLDING UP THOUGH, though what would happen to it if we ever won the title I dread to think. Pretty safe this season , though , I guess eh?

          3. ken1945 says:

            Ever the optimist Jon, ever the optimist!!!

            Or should that be the pessimist, ALWAYS the pessimist???

  6. Goonerboi says:

    Of: Did anyone catch Bottleham Hotspur I’m Cl. HAHAHAHAHAHA 2 goals in the last 10 minutes was absolutely priceless. It made feel alit better about our lack of participation! Hopefully the club is looking forward and not backwards anymore

  7. Innit says:

    Kroenke is the one that is the long-term problem. He is a business man through and through. Him being sole owner is a disaster

    Remember he took the Rams from St Louis to Los Angeles. Now there is obviously no threat of Arsenal leaving London but it shows that he only cares about himself NOT the fans. He cares about making money.

    His team’s owned by himself and his wife (daughter of Wal-Mart tycoon) are for short and long-term investment. He will be fine with Arsenal being a midtable or top 4 team without trophies as long as the cash cows increasing his investment

  8. Shinoda says:

    I’m not concerned at all with his exit, I actually feel he has not done much until recently. Arsenal was a brand before he came, his work was to grow the brand & help us compete with the likes of Bayern. So how do you interpret this? Do you achieve this by buying big players… Do you achieve this by developing great players… Do you do this by winning trophies… Do you achieve this by selling more merchandise and match tickets? These are some of the questions that you expect a ceo to answer. I think all these factors contribute to the success of a football club. However, we must take into consideration the kind of support the ceo is given & his capability to assert his authority over his subordinates. Gazidis has not had the kind of support Dein had before Kroenke came in, but he has also been unable to assert his authority until recently. He has also failed in most footballing matters. His success has been in growing Arsenal commercially. However, we all know that on pitch success is what contributes greatly to the success of a club and that is what made Arsenal a brand & a great club. For now, we need a boss who has the level of respect that Dein commanded in footballing aspects to match the efforts being done commercially. Let’s hope that Sanllehi (not sure about the spelling) is that guy. Arsenal needs to be up there with the best. Onwards & upwards.

  9. He can’t be blamed for the rot at Arsenal. Remember Wenger wielded more power than he did so Wenger had a greater say on issues ranging from renewal of contracts, player purchases etc. So cut the guy some slack.

    1. ken1945 says:

      nwabueze onyemaiechi, Wenger left at the end of the season.
      Since then we have had Ramsey contract saga. Gazidis appointed Huss to sort this out.
      We bought five new players, Gazidis employed Sven to do this.
      By all acoounts Wenger was stripped of this responsibility two years ago, so when do you think Gazidis should become accountable?

    2. Midkemma says:

      You have failed to logically look at history and learn from it.
      I could list many real incidents in RL that the timeline would support Gazidis being the real cancer at Arsenal.

      Please remind everyone when Arsenal lost their ambition to be number 1.

      Can’t you remember?
      I can. It was when Dein was sacked and replaced by Gazidis, even the period between Gazidis arriving and Dein leaving had a transfer which shown ambition… Since Gazidis arrived though? Podolski was our level of ambition, nice guy from reports and a great character for the team but as footballers go, he was not good enough for Barca yet he was for us. That is how we was dropping under Gazidis…

      But hey, you want to give the guy a break, ruining Arsenal wasn’t enough for you?

      You a spud?

  10. Midkemma says:

    “I feel it’s harsh to blame him too much.”
    PMSL, Really Dan?

    Gazidis was the real cancer, I was saying this years ago and I had near EVERYONE tell me it is Wenger and how I am stupid… Wenger treats AFC money like his own, it can’t be the CEO or the board… Wenger was a dictator!

    Wenger made the £1 extra offer, forgetting who it is that actually went to talk business with the other club… Business… Not sporting side but money. Gazidis all along yet people was blaming Wenger.

    Now the other thing I have been saying for years and I feel it is as accurate as the def of Wenger I made (business side, not tactics), Silent Stan will not run all over here just to confirm that the guy he hired was correct in saying we can only afford £XXX to spend this transfer.

    Silent Stan likes wealth, if the logic of Gazidis just trying to please his boss is to hold true then you NEED to consider the simple FACT that the wealth we are talking about it on paper, in shares. Not fat bank account… Paper. £50 million in the bank isn’t like investing that £50 million on a player who has clear talent and becomes worth £150 million, it is £50 million in the bank and the small interest (small relative to Mbappe increase in value).

    Can we get one thing clear, Silent Stan doesn’t care about AFC wallet size, he cares about how much AFC is worth as a whole so he can get loans to buy ranches etc. This is affected more by assets, not cash sat doing nothing.

  11. ozziegunner says:

    Fellow gooners can we please not refer to people as “cancers” in deference and respect to people and their families, who have been tragically affected by these horrible diseases.

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