Major League Soccer Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis
, 44, is to take over as chief executive of Arsenal at the start of 2009, the league announced Wednesday.
credentials are first class," said Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood
. "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 pre-eminent standing, but enhance our reputation within the football community and international commercial markets."
Gazidis said he had been
"privileged in my 14 years with MLS to have worked with and for some of the best sports executives and owners in the world, whose vision, commitment and expertise have taken the league from strength
to strength and provided a solid platform for its future growth." He said he was looking forward to working at "a club rich in heritage and tradition, that is superbly positioned for success in the
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust welcomed the appointment, and issued a statement saying: "This is a vital appointment at a time when Arsenal face challenging times on and off
the field. The most pressing item in his in-tray is seeing through the completion of the Highbury Square property development in the face of the severe economic downturn.
of international sports marketing should help the club to grow its income stream at a time when there should clearly be no further increase in ticket prices for the hard-pressed supporter."
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