Unai Emery respects 'private' Ivan Gazidis decision to quit Arsenal
By James Dale
Last Updated: 19/09/18 2:20pm
Unai Emery insists he respects Ivan Gazidis' decision to quit as Arsenal chief executive just three months after recruiting him as manager.
Gazidis has agreed to leave Arsenal at the end of October to join AC Milan after 10 years at the Premier League club.
He led the process to find Arsene Wenger's successor at the end of last season, recommending Emery's appointment to majority shareholder and owner Stan Kroenke.
"These three months with Ivan is very important," Emery said ahead of Arsenal's opening Europa League Group E game against Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava.
"I know he is a big person, a big professional, the relationship with us has been very close. We continue speaking a lot of football, Arsenal and our responsibility.
"This decision is very private, I respect it."
Head of football relations Raul Sanllehi was also part of the selection panel which chose Emery at Arsenal and will now assume part of Gazidis' responsibilities in a new 'Head of Football' role.
Chief commercial officer Vinai Venkatesham will become managing director in a restructure at the top of the club.
"I know Ivan is giving us the best next people to take the responsibility continuing doing good work," Emery added.
Emery has won his last three Premier League games in charge after starting his career at the club with back-to-back defeats in the top flight.
He won three straight Europa League titles during his time as Sevilla manager and says he wants to end Arsenal's 24-year wait for success on the continent, with the Gunners' having lifted the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.
The Arsenal boss confirmed he will deploy a much-changed side for the tie against Vorskla Poltava but urged his fringe players to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.
"First is tomorrow, then we are going to think about Sunday," said Emery, whose side play Everton this weekend - live on Sky Sports Premier League.
"Tomorrow we are going to change, to give the players options, to find minutes, confidence on the pitch. But maybe tomorrow's players can play Sunday."