The Arsenal powerbrokers: The men who Unai Emery will work alongside

The Arsenal powerbrokers: The men who Unai Emery will work alongside after taking over from Arsene Wenger

Unai Emery has been announced as the man to succeed at .

The 46-year-old Spaniard has agreed a three-year deal with the Gunners worth £15million, which was announced on Wednesday morning.

Emery will have to work alongside the Arsenal powerbrokers at the Emirates Stadium. Here, Sportsmail looks at the men at the top. 


Stan Kroenke – Owner and director

Stan Kroenke is an American businessman who began his business life by founding the Kroenke Group in 1983, which focused on real estate. It built shopping centres and apartment buildings. 

Kroenke has invested in several teams other than Arsenal, buying the St Louis Rams, the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and a series of smaller sides. 

He batted away a £1billion bid from fellow shareholder Alisher Usmanov last May to keep his 67.05 per cent stake.

In January the 70-year-old bought 22 more stakes in the club at £28,000 apiece, signalling his intent to continue buying out Usmanov.

Ivan Gazidis – Chief executive officer 

Ivan Gazidis was born in South Africa but moved to the UK at the age of four – residing in Manchester.

In 1994, he joined the founding management team of the MLS and moved on to become its deputy commissioner in 2001.

He became CEO at Arsenal in 2009 and is now tasked with the day-to-day running of the club. 

Josh Kroenke – Director

Josh Kroenke, as you may have guessed, is the son of Stan. The 38-year-old became a member of the board at the Emirates in 2013 having previously gained experience as president and governor of both the Colorado Nuggets basketball franchise and the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey franchise.

Both Josh and Stan are rarely seen at the Emirates, which has been a constant gripe of Arsenal fans – with some branding them ‘absent owners‘.

But he is in line to succeed his father at the club and, as a board member, had a say in deciding Wenger‘s successor.

Alisher Usmanov – Second-largest shareholder

Alisher Usmanov is a metals magnate from Uzbekistan, although he has primarily been based in Russia. He was the 37th-richest person in the world in 2013 and the second richest in the UK around 2014. His fortune is estimated to be worth $15.1bn (£11.5bn).

He owns 49 per cent of USM Holdings, which works in metals, mining, telecommunications, technology and media, along with a stake in, which is the largest internet provider in the Russian-speaking world.

Usmanov is thought to be a close friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and is business partners with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri – who sold his shares to the Uzbek upon leaving for Goodison Park in 2016. 

He now has a 30.04 per cent – through Red and White Securities LTD – but has shown he is keen to have more influence in the club following his failed takeover bid last year.

However, he is not on the Arsenal board and has been consistently refused a seat.

Raul Sanllehi – Head of football relations

Raul Sanllehi joined Arsenal in November last year and essentially operates as a director of football, the title he worked under at the Nou Camp.

He officially started at the club in February and has undertaken big roles at huge institutions such as Nike and Barcelona. His 10-year stint at the Catalan club is testament to his expertise in the field and was a big coup for Arsenal when they recruited him.

Another thing to note is that he is a fluent Spanish speaker, which undoubtedly played a part in the recruitment of Emery. 

His main task was to close deals, getting the big signings, such as Neymar and Luis Suarez, over the line as efficiently as possible. A skill Gunners hope will come in handy this summer.

He works closely with Sven Mislinstat at Arsenal and will do so with Emery, primarily targeting players for recruitment.

Sir Chips Keswick – Chairman

Sir Chips Keswick became chairman of the club in 2013, replacing Peter Hill-Wood having previously worked as a merchant banker.

He is the former chairman of Hambros Bank and a former director of the Bank of England.

The 78-year-old caused a bit of a stir back in October when he .

That night, the vast majority of shareholders in the room voted against the resolution to re-appoint him and Josh Kroenke to the board. But as 97 per cent of support from proxy votes, the pair retained their position.

He has no shares in the club but holds an important role on the board.

Ken Friar – Director

Ken Friar is an Arsenal stalwart, knowing the club inside out having worked there for an astonishing 72 years.

Born in Highbury, Friar got his first gig at the club in 1946 after he mis-kicked a ball under the car of then-manager George Allison. Allison offered Friar a job as a messenger on match days and he has worked at the club since.

The 83-year-old is revered by Gunners, with a statue outside the ground serving as testament to that.

He has previously worked as club secretary and managing director and played a key role in helping the club move from Highbury to the Emirates. He now sits on the board and oversees major decisions, such as Wenger‘s successor.

Lord Harris of Peckham – Director

Lord Harris of Peckham was appointed to the Arsenal board 13 years ago. The 75-year-old took over his family-run carpet business, Carpetright, aged 15.

He sold all his shares in Carpetright in 2014 and is no longer associated with the company, allowing time for him to focus on his role at the Emirates. 


And who else makes up the key staff members?

Sven Mislinstat – Head of recruitment 

Arsenal brought in Sven Mislinstat as their new head of recruitment back in November in a move to try and steer the club in a new direction.

Mislinstat is credited with bringing Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele to Dortmund, as well as being a key player in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the German club in January.

He will work closely Emery as well as Gazidis and oversee the club‘s global scouting network in order to revolutionise the way they recruit players.

Darren Burgess 

Darren Burgess was recruited as head of high performance last summer. He joined from Australian rules football side Port Adelaide.

Burgess oversees the club‘s medical and fitness operations among a number of other responsibilities behind the scenes such as performance analysis and psychology.

Former boss Wenger is said to have hand-picked the Australian, who is a highly-regarded fitness coach. He previously worked at Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers before moving back Down Under.

David Priestley – Head of Psychology and Personal Development

David Priestley was brought in to work on players‘ mental preparation back in 2014. He joined from Premiership rugby outfit Saracens and his areas of specialty include culture, values and developing a high-performance environment. 

Priestley is responsible for providing sport psychology and personal development support to all employees — players and staff — at the club.

Players often approach Priestley to fine-tune their performance ahead of games. 

Richard Allison – Nutritionist

Richard Allison joined the club as a performance nutritionist in July last year after replacing James Collins. 

Allison previously worked for Aspetar, a private hospital in Qatar, for almost five years. 

Huss Fahmy – Contract negotiator 

Just last year Team Sky’s legal and commercial expert Huss Fahmy was added as an expert negotiator on player contracts.

Mislinstat is expected to head up a recruitment drive for the club this year and Fahmy will be the man responsible for getting the best possible deal for the Gunners in the market.

 Emery‘s £5m-a-year package and Wenger‘s payout were his latest sizeable tasks.