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Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick retires after 15 years at Emirates Stadium

15:48 BST 28/05/2020
Sir Chips Keswick Arsenal
The 80-year-old says he had made the decision to step down from the role before the coronavirus crisis set in earlier this year

Sir Chips Keswick has retired from his position as Arsenal chairman.

The 80-year-old – full name Sir John Chippendale Lindley Keswick - had held the position for seven years, having been on the Arsenal board since 2005.

The Gunners’ board going forward will be composed of Stan Kroenke, Josh Kroenke, Lord Philip Harris and Ken Friar.

Keswick said: “It has been an honour to be the chairman of this great football club. Arsenal has always held a special place in my life and that will remain the case in the future.

“I made my plan to retire at the end of this season clear to the board, before the global health crisis we are now experiencing.

“The club is in safe hands with Stan and Josh, the board and the executive team. I know Arsenal will emerge strongly from this situation and I look forward, like all our supporters around the world, to seeing the team in action as soon as possible.”

A lifelong Arsenal fan, Keswick did not see his side win the Premier League since he joined the board but they have won the FA Cup four times since 2005.

Stan and Josh Kroenke said: “We would like to express our immense gratitude for everything Sir Chips has done for Arsenal Football Club as a board member and chairman of the board over the past 15 years.

"His extensive business knowledge and experience coupled with his deep love of Arsenal have made him the perfect chairman. It has been a privilege to work with him and he will always be a very welcome visitor when we return to playing matches at Emirates Stadium.

“Our primary concern at this difficult time is the health and well-being of our staff and players. It’s also our intention to ensure Arsenal Football Club emerges from this crisis in a strong position. That’s what we’re all working on every day.”

Arsenal have been backed to bounce back strongly from the coronavirus crisis by one of their former stars.

Paul Merson says he believes the Gunners will fare well under Mikel Arteta, with the Spaniard able to focus on improving the players he has rather than the transfer market.

He said: “Arsenal need such an overhaul of players that it's actually almost impossible to get that many players in.

“Arsenal's expectations will be nowhere near as high as they were a few months ago. I think he'll now be given loads and loads of time to build. He's young, he's enthusiastic, and he'll want to work with younger players.

“He's not a Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, who I'd call your Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroys - they're just dealing in majors, nothing else! Arteta is the type who might work from the ground up with lesser players.”