Gazidis: I'm not here to make Arsenal Dysneyfied

Ivan Gazidis has assured Arsenal fans he knows all about the traditions of English football.

Ivan Gazidis has assured Arsenal fans he knows all about the traditions of English football.

The former MLS boss was named new CEO of Arsenal and the appointment has been welcomed by Gunners' fans.

The Gunners already had a link-up with MLS team Colorado Rapids and their owner Stan Kroenke, a major shareholder in the Gunners, is now a non-executive director of the board.

However, Gazidis insists that progress will not see the 'Disneyfication' of Arsenal at the cost of the club's traditions.

"It is essential to have really good knowledge of the world of sports business, but I strongly believe that sport is not only a business, there is also an element of public trust, and as an executive in a sports business, you have a custodian's role," he said.

"This is not going to be an American coming in with no understanding of Arsenal looking to make it into a 'Disneyfied' version of Arsenal Football Club.

"This is an Englishman who grew up with the game, has a deep understanding of Arsenal Football Club, and is certainly looking to provide modern sports business practices, but at the same time providing custodianship for the traditions of the club for the benefit of the entire club, and most importantly for the fans, on whom all of this rests."

The arrival of Gazidis was welcomed by Gunners fans as a "vital appointment".

A statement from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust read: "His experience of international sports marketing should help the club to grow its income stream and we also note his experience in managing player contracts, a skill set we hope he will soon put to use at Arsenal."

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