By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger believes that Ivan Gazidis’ “love” of football will ensure he has a successful tenure at Emirates Stadium.

After an exhaustive search for a new Chief Executive Officer, an announcement was made earlier this week that MLS Deputy Commissioner Gazidis will take up the role in January.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, Wenger praised the appointment before paying tribute to the tireless work of the long-serving Director, Ken Friar.

“I believe what is important is [that Gazidis is] a competent man who knows that to survive in the English league you need to love the game,” said Wenger. “This is a job for 12 months [a year] under extreme pressure.

"He has experience in the game and is at the right age to take over a job of that dimension. It is important for the Club to get someone like that because we always relied on Ken Friar, who had to do absolutely everything and that's too much for one man.”

One of Gazidis’ primary roles in the MLS was negotiating the transfer and employment contracts of all the players in the league. However, Wenger gave nothing away on how the appointment might impact on January transfer dealings.

“Everybody wants me to be busy, but I do not know yet,” the Frenchman said. “He will take over from Ken Friar, the negotiation role from me.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
28 Nov 2008