Raul Sanllehi (centre) with Vinai Venkatesham (right), Arsenal's Managing Director, and Edu, Arsenal's techincal Director
Raul Sanllehi (centre) with Vinai Venkatesham (right), Arsenal's Managing Director, and Edu, Arsenal's techincal Director Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Arsenal have been plunged into more off-field turmoil by the shock departure of head of football Raul Sanllehi.

The exit of Sanllehi means there has been yet more change at the top of a club that is still adjusting to life in the post-Arsene Wenger era.

Sanllehi was arguably Arsenal’s most important figure behind the scenes, having been placed in charge of the footballing side of the club following the departure of chief executive Ivan Gazidis in September 2018.

三级成人视频Sanllehi, who had joined from Barcelona as head of football relations in February 2018, was instrumental in the appointments of Edu as technical director and Mikel Arteta as head coach.

三级成人视频His sudden exit, which comes in the midst of a crucial transfer window for the club, places more power in the hands of Edu and Arteta when it comes to recruitment.

Earlier this month Arsenal announced they would be making 55 redundancies as a result of the financial crisis triggered by the pandemic. 

Club sources said last night that Sanllehi’s departure was part of the streamlining of the business in the post-coronavirus world. Sanllehi had been the joint-leader of Arsenal, along with managing director Vinai Venkatesham, who now takes sole charge of the club.

三级成人视频Sanllehi's exit also came less than 24 hours after a report published by ESPN alleging that Arsenal had launched an internal investigation into their recruitment processes due to concerns over the £72 million fee paid to Lille for Nicolas Pepe last year. Club sources have strongly denied there has been any such investigation.

三级成人视频The influential Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said on Saturday that they had recently raised concerns about the club’s governance. 

Left to right: Venkatesham, Josh Kroenke, Edu, and Sanllehi Credit: GETTY IMAGES

“Over the last few months AST has raised concerns both privately and publicly with Arsenal about its governance structures and certain football decisions,” the AST said. “We believe today’s announcement is a positive development for the club. The AST has always found Vinai Venkatesham to be open and accountable and to recognise the importance of engaging with supporters.”

三级成人视频The latest changes in the hierarchy come six weeks after corporate lawyer Tim Lewis, a partner with Clifford Chance, joined the club’s board.

Arsenal will now be without Sanllehi’s strong network of contacts for the remainder of the transfer window, with director of football operations Huss Fahmy stepping up as the primary deal-maker.

Sanllehi said he was “proud and pleased” with his work at Arsenal, saying he was looking forward to “some time off… before setting to work on a new challenge and cheering Arsenal on to great things”.

Venkatesham, the managing director, said: “I am thankful to Stan, Josh [Kroenke, the owners] and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me. I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I am looking forward to this new challenge.

“There is much work to do to return Arsenal to the top of the game where we belong, which is what our fans rightly demand. While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.

三级成人视频“While football faces uncertainties ahead as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am confident Arsenal will emerge strongly and look forward with confidence."