Friday, November 28, 2008

Arsenal Cement Ties With Rapids as CEO Chosen

The Colorado Rapids and Arsenal appear to have taken a further step in deepening their relationship with the appointment this week of MLS deputy commissioner, Ivan Gazidis, as Arsenal's new CEO. Arsenal's long-standing chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, has come a long way from dissing the likes of Stan "We don't want his sort on our board" Kroenke to actively seeking the Rapids' owner's guidance on Gazidis' suitability for the job. Hill-Wood speaks about Kroenke's role in the appointment and Arsenal's ambitions in the US on the Arsenal website but you have to pay GBP 45 a year for the privilege and I am not going to do that.
Who really knows if the relationship between the two clubs will be more than simply a business investment for Mr. Kroenke? If Gary Smith can use his links with Arsenal to bring over some young UK talent to play for the Rapids, that might be of more relevance to DSG Park fans. Nevertheless, it is an interesting appointment. Gazidis was born in South Africa but spent most of his formative years in the UK including studying at Oxford where he managed to pick up a soccer blue. For those who don't know what that is, it means representing the university at the top level against arch rivals Cambridge. No mean feat even if rugby, cricket and the boat race are better known. Here's a good piece from The Times on the appointment.

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