Only one place to start today, and that is with the news that Managing Director Keith Edelman has left the club after eight years in the role. During his time, he played a big part in the financial arrangements of the move to the Emirates, and in fact secured the Emirates sponsor, the biggest such deal in Premiership history.
The right noises are being made by all parties, and the official reason for Edelman’s departure is simply that having completed these projects, he feels it time for something new:
“Now that we have completed our second season at Emirates, I believe it is the right time to seek pastures new and embark upon fresh challenges.”
There seems no reason to disbelieve him – if you think about it the major challenge was the stadium move, which has been a success, and with the Emirates deal going on for years nothing needs to happen there, so after those he may feel the rest of his work is a bit humdrum. Some have levelled criticism at him for the club’s budgeting, blaming him for Wenger’s lack of spending, but I don’t give that any credence – there is only one man responsible for not spending a fortune, and that is the manager.
Some of the press are reporting this factually, while others are already progressing down the road of how this is a ‘shock’ and a ‘disaster’ for the club. It won’t be long until they claim that his exit is part of a ‘mass exodus’ to come this summer, probably before tipping us to finish behind Spurs next season, again.
It’s garbage, it really is. Myles Palmer is already suggesting Edelman was pushed, but given that Sky are reporting that he will be retained for twelve months to smooth the transition to a new managing director, that seems fanciful at best.
In reality, Edelman probably does want a new challenge. He has achieved a lot at Arsenal and should be thanked for that – under him the financial results have been superb, all the talk of the stadium placing a strain on the club have been exaggerated, and the sponsorship deals are secure for years. Thanks Keith.
Ken Friar will take over temporarily, reprising the position he held for the eighteen years before Edelman’s arrival. The club seems to have this all in order.
This isn’t the disaster some make it out to be, and sometimes there are no sinister reasons for these events, no matter how little that truth sells newspapers. Keep that in mind when you read the paid media over the next couple of days.