Arsenal board take lead in club overhaul

For many years, fans have been critical of the Arsenal board.

Questions have been asked what they actually do.

Do they actually hold those running the club accountable (IE Ivan Gazidis and Raul Sanllehi), or do they just turn up to a monthly board meeting, drink expensive whiskey and get free tickets to games?

At least since the likes of David Dein left and Danny Fizsman passed away, it certainly felt like our board was just an “old boys club” rather than working to move the club forward.

Peter Hill-Wood (RIP) seemed to think his only role was to talk down to fans at the AGM, whilst Sir Chips Keswick was no better.

Sir Chips Keswick retired as Arsenal Chairman in May, leaving just Ken Friar and Lord Harris of Peckham on the board from the pre-Stan Kroenke days.

There is no doubting either of their Arsenal credentials.

Friar is the clubs longest-serving director and has been a mainstay of the Club for more than 60 years.

During this time, Mr Friar has done just about every job at the Club including working as Club Secretary and Managing Director.

Lord Harris joined the Arsenal board in 2005, having founded Carpetright in 1988. He is also a life long Arsenal fan.

Since Sir Chips Keswick stepped down, there has been an overhaul at Arsenal.

It started with the 55 redundancies, that saw the club slim down its scouting department and close the shop at Finsbury Park.

Then we have the reliable James Olley over at ESPN breaking the news that as part of the review into how recruitment team had operated in recent years, the transfer of Nicolas Pepe was under investigation.

Arsenal are currently looking into how to streamline and improve their operations.

This review seems to have been instigated by the board rather than Head of Football Raul Sanllehi.

Mikel Arteta has the full backing of the board and Arsenal view him as the man to re-build the club around.

The board have also fully backed Arteta’s decision to not play Mesut Ozil, listened to him over David Luiz’s contract and are encouraging him to be more involved in transfer decision making.

Arsenal’s greatest period of success in the modern era came when the board were highly active with the running of the club.

The likes of Lord Harris and Ken Friar are Arsenal through and through. They care about the club deeply.

Hopefully with them ensuring Sanllehi is held accountable, holding the Spaniard to account, the club will get out of its decline and begin moving forward again.

Keenos

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