Gunners boss says talks are continuing to decide how the club will function without his former football boss, who left earlier this month
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have yet to decide how the club will perform following the shocking exit of Raul Sanllehi earlier this month and that discussions are underway with the hierarchy on a new structure.
Arsenal announced the departure of Sanllehi, who had been in charge of football, on 15 August with managing director Vinai Venkatesham given the task of leading the club in the future.
Sanllehi, who left following a review by board member and recently appointed attorney Tim Lewis, had been in charge of the technical side of the club and was the key figure in the transfer negotiations.
Technical director Edu and Arteta are now working in tandem to oversee the team’s planning and the pair were key to closing the deal for Brazilian center-back Gabriel, who will join from Lille for £ 25m (£ 28m). euros / 30 million dollars).
However, there is still a lot to fix behind the scenes and Arteta admits that there is still some uncertainty as to exactly how the renovation will work in the future.
“It is something we are discussing right now,” said the Spaniard. “First of all I want to wish Raul all the best, all my respect and my admiration. I worked alongside him and I liked it.
“The club made a very difficult decision, but the way he started honored the club. Everyone had nice words towards him and now we need to understand the best way to manage our club from the sporting side. This is what we are trying to do by trying to achieve all the goals we have for this transfer market. “
There have been suggestions that the changes currently underway at Arsenal will see Arteta’s role move more towards the classic managerial position, rather than just a manager, which is the way he has operated since replacing Unai Emery in December.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said, when asked if he would take on more duties. “There are things we are discussing internally. We want to find the best way to be as efficient as possible, maximize the people we have to do things right. We will finish those interviews and then let you know how we will do it. “
Meanwhile, Arteta says he understands the criticism leveled at Arsenal following the news that 55 employees would be laid off due to the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many have opposed the proposed plan, especially as the north London club is still shopping for big money and handing out big new deals to Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“I understand,” Arteta said. “If you just look at it financially you can get some contradictory messages, but what is very clear is that the club had a very thorough plan on how it needed to restructure to function better and be more stable for the future.
“They were very convincing with every argument they gave us all that it was the right thing to do.
“Obviously it’s really sad and it was during the Covid period that we had to make the decision to get our players to contribute to the pay cuts. One reason was to keep some of them. We tried to do the right thing and the club is trying to protect the future as much as possible. “
Most of the Arsenal team agreed to cut their salary by 12.5% in April to help the club during the pandemic, however that number was reduced to 7.5% for next season due to the FA win. Club cup.
An important part of the reasoning behind the players’ decision was to protect the jobs of the club’s regular staff members, so it’s understandable that there was some surprise that such a large number or layoffs are still planned.
Arteta, however, says his players cannot expect to have a say in important decisions just because they have agreed to take a cut in their salaries.
“The players were happy to contribute and help the club in this difficult financial situation,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you’ll have a say in every decision the club makes afterwards. It can’t work like that.
“At the end of the day it wasn’t an obligation, it was a choice if you wanted to do it or not. We tried to do the right things as human beings to help a club that has been supporting us, in my case for many years, and in other cases here too, whether you were hurt, sick, performing or not.
“We believe it was the right thing to do and therefore the club must be free to try to fight for the future in the most positive and stable way. This is how we do it. “