South-African born and Oxbridge-educated former MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis will take over a chief executive position at Arsenal Football Club in the new year, and manager Arsene Wenger has welcomed the appointment.
Gazidis was a founding member of the MLS, and has left the league in a strong position after the coup of taking worldwide football icon David Beckham Stateside.
Gazidis will succeed Keith Edelman, and will undertake many of the responsibilities of former vice-chairman David Dein.
Wenger is quoted by the International Herald Tribune as saying: "I believe what is important is that again we have got a competent man who knows that to survive in the English league you need to love the game because this is a job for 12 months 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 (acting managing director) Ken Friar, who had to do absolutely everything and that's too much for one man, so he will take over the negotiation role from me."
Interestingly, Gazidis is vastly experienced in handling transfers and players' contracts and, with the January transfer window ready to open in just over a month's time, Arsenal may now have a balanced staff to recruit sufficient talent.
--Alan Dawson, Goal.com