Arsenal have announced that head of football Raul Sanllehi is leaving the club
The former Barcelona director was appointed by the Gunners in November 2017 as head of football relations before being promoted following the departure of Ivan Gazidis.
“Vinai Venkatesham, our current managing director, will lead us going forward,” the club said in a statement announcing Sanllehi’s exit.
- The decision comes amid a move to streamline Arsenal’s behind-the-scenes structure, partly influenced by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the club announce plans to make 55 non-playing staff redundant and led to the departure of figures in the scouting department, including long-time recruitment specialist Francis Cagigao.
- Owners Stan Kroenke and son Josh said: “Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family. We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success.
“We have no doubt that Vinai is the right person to take the club forward. He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally.
- While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.
“While football faces uncertainties ahead as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confident Arsenal will emerge strongly and look forward with confidence.”
Sanllehi, who described Arsenal as a “true footballing institution”, said: “I am proud to have been part of its history and I thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for this opportunity.
- “Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future. Mikel Arteta has made an extremely positive impact since his arrival [as head coach] and has formed a strong team with our technical director, Edu.
“The academy is in very safe hands with Per Mertesacker, and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly-capable leader of our football operations.
“Personally, I now look forward to taking some time off and spending time with family and friends before setting to work on a new challenge and cheering Arsenal on to great things.”