Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
MLS boss moves to Arsenal
by Ridge Mahoney, November 28th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]One of the founding fathers of Major League Soccer is heading back home. Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis, who moved to the USA from England in 1992 to work on the 1994 World Cup and helped launch MLS, has accepted the position as CEO of Arsenal Football Club, effective in January.

"That Arsenal, one of the most distinguished sports organizations in the world, has chosen Ivan to lead its club speaks volumes about his abilities and the international respect for MLS that he has helped establish," said MLS commissioner Don Garber. "We have countless reasons to thank Ivan for his pioneering efforts and we wish him all the best in his new endeavor."

Gazidis, 44, left his native South Africa with his family when he was 4 and grew up in England. He graduated from Oxford University in 1986 with a Master's Degree in Law after playing for Oxford against Cambridge University at Wembley Stadium in 1984 and 1985 in an annual match between the two universities.

An internship with the law firm of Latham & Watkins, of which World Cup chairman and former U.S. Soccer President Alan Rothenberg was a senior partner, lured him to the United States in 1992. As Rothenberg assembled a team to launch MLS he arranged for Gazidis to play golf with another member of the firm, Mark Abbott, and by the time that round was finished Gazidis had agreed to join up.

Gazidis began working for MLS in 1994 and was promoted to deputy commissioner in 2001. He helped formulate the mechanisms by which MLS acquires players in its single-entity system and along with Sunil Gulati, conducted the acquisition of the league's most prominent players during its startup years.

When Gulati was fired as deputy commissioner in February, 1999, at the behest of MLS operator-investor Stuart Subotnik, Gazidis took over management of the league's competitive operations.

"Ivan Gazidis was one of the founding executives of Major League Soccer," said Garber. "Major League Soccer's on-field product has marched steadily forward, primarily due to Ivan's thorough understanding of the game and its global market, his impressive reasoning and judgment, and his deep-rooted desire to see soccer grow in North America."

Said Gazidis, "The league is superbly positioned for future growth and this provides me the opportunity to return home after 16 years in the United States. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to work at Arsenal - a club rich in heritage and tradition - and I will bring all of my experiences at MLS to bear in my new role."

His extensive list of duties and responsibilities will be handled by executive vice president Todd Durbin and senior vice president Nelson Rodriguez, with assistance from others, including Abbott, now MLS president.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "Ivan's credentials are first class. It is evident that he has a wealth of business acumen together with a broad knowledge of football that will not only help to maintain Arsenal's preeminent standing but enhance our reputation within the football community and international commercial markets."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Leo Messi takes on giant robot keeper    
You've seen how routinely Lionel Messi beats human goalkeepers. Now, thanks to a Japanese game show, ...
USL Rewind: MLS expansion candidates drawing well    
Sacramento, San Antonio and Cincinnati have all been mentioned in recent weeks as MLS expansion candidates, ...
NWSL Rewind: Spirit makes it three in a row    
Despite a change in coach, the Washington Spirit is off to the best start in the ...
NASL Rewind: Big win for Cosmos before small crowd    
NASL defending champion New York Cosmos ended a two-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over ...
Futsal: U.S. names Concacaf Championship roster    
U.S. coach Keith Tozer has named a 14-man roster for the Concacaf Futsal Championship in San ...
Video Pick: Top MLS golazos of Week 9    
In perhaps the most impressive collection of MLS Goal of the Week nominees this season, Week ...
What They're Saying: Lionel Messi dietitian Giuliano Poser    
"The human mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open." -- Lionel Messi ...
What They're Saying: Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko    
"I'd like the whole country to know my friendship with Yarmolenko has ended." -- Shakhtar Donetsk's ...
Bobby Wood, the USA's top summer target    
The most sought-after striker in the German second division is American Bobby Wood, who has scored ...
U.S. U-19 men beat Russia to lift Slovakia Cup    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team, coached by Brad Friedel, beat Russia, 2-1, to win the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives