Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
MLS boss moves to Arsenal
by Ridge Mahoney, November 28th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ


[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
U.S. under-20 national team wins semifinal thriller    
[DALLAS CUP] Rubio Rubin scored his second goal of the game on a rebound of his ...
What They're Saying    
"Miami's greatness is about the interaction of a vibrant culture and the water. We will earn ...
Strikers will test measure of progress at Carolina    
[NASL: Week 2] The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, seventh and fifth in the NASL's two half-seasons, will ...
Chelsea takes on its U-8s    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Chelsea's John Terry, David Luiz, Frank Lampard et al took on ...
Collins John slapped with three-game suspension    
[USL PRO: Week 5] The USL PRO career of Collins John, the Liberian-born Dutch international who ...
What They're Saying    
"There is no problem. Tensions are a bit high; I have no problem with that. They ...
Chivas USA's McNamara faces knee surgery    
[MLS INJURY REPORT] Rookie Thomas McNamara, who had started every game for Chivas USA until being ...
Road to Rio begins for Tab Ramos' group    
[USA UNDER-21 MEN] The road to Rio begins for the U.S. men's Olympic team begins with ...
New-look Thorns aim for two in a row on road    
[NWSL: Week 2] The defending champion Portland Thorns FC remain on the road for the second ...
Lack of playing time worrying for bubble players    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] With only four weeks at most for most players before the end of their ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives