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Gazidis: No chance turning down Arsenal

Ivan Gazidis admits there was no chance of him turning down Arsenal when they came for him earlier this season.

The former MLS Deputy Commissioner told the New York Times: "I really can't go into too much detail. They came for me, and they would have needed to. I was very happy at M.L.S. and believe it is a world-class organization. I knew it would be very difficult to replicate the quality of people M.L.S. has, but this was a unique opportunity for me, to even think about walking away from M.L.S.

"Candidly, Arsenal is unique and this is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. I felt this was not something, ultimately, that I could say no to. It was an extremely difficult decision for me, it's still extremely difficult not to be involved with M.L.S.'s continuing development. It's one of the most exciting places in the world to be involved with the game. I truly believe the trajectory of M.L.S. is extraordinary, that it's an exciting time to be involved with the sport in the States. M.L.S. is a great organization and Don's (Garber) leadership is exceptional.

"I was first approached toward the end of the M.L.S. season. It wasn't a very rational decision on my part, but it was something I felt I had to do. You could spend hours writing down the pros and cons of making a move, but that's not what I went through. Once they had made a commitment that I was the person they wanted, it was very difficult to think about saying no. In the world of football I'm not sure there is another comparable opportunity."

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Tribal Football Staff

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