Fahmy leaving Arsenal as restructure continues
Written by Simon Austin — October 30, 2020
ARSENAL Director of Football Operations Huss Fahmy is leaving the club next month as their restructure of internal operations continues.
The qualified lawyer was hired from Sky in June 2017 to lead on contract negotiations, as former Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis revolutionised the way the football side of the business was run. The Gunners had failed to qualify for the following season's Champions League, while being humiliated 10-2 by Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the 2016/17 competition.
Contract negotiations had been identified as one area of particular weakness for the club, with several players having been allowed to enter the final years of their contracts.
Fahmy introduced more incentive-based deals at the club, although he was also in place when Mesut Ozil was awarded his controversial £350,000-a-week contract extension in February 2018 (although it is unclear how much influence he actually had on that decision).
Technical Director Edu and Manager Mikel Arteta - who has become increasingly influential in recruitment and strategy since the end of last season - will now lead on recruitment, with Arsenal’s in-house legal team assisting on contracts.
In September, Arsenal Chief Executive Vinai Venkatesham said he was looking to make the club “quicker, faster, more efficient and better” in its operations.
TGG understand that Fahmy has left on amicable terms. Before joining Arsenal, he worked for legal firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Sky TV and then the Team Sky cycling team.
His exit from Arsenal means almost all of the new staff hired as part of the Gazidis' revolution in 2017/18 have now departed. The former Chief Executive, who left for AC Milan in September 2018, had said that the tribulations of 2016/17 needed to be a “catalyst for change”.
What followed was an unprecedented restructuring of the club's football operations. In the executive positions, in came Raul Sanllehi from Barcelona as Head of Football Relations, Fahmy as Head of Football Operations and Sven Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund as Head of Recruitment.
Australian Darren Burgess was appointed Director of High Performance and instigated a cull of the medical and performance departments, with long-standing Head of Medical Colin Lewin being sacked, along with physios Andrew Rolls, Ben Ashworth and James Haycock.
In came sports scientist Tom Allen, nutritionist Richard Allison and physios Paulo Barriera, Chris Morgan and Tim Parham, as well as data scientists Mikhail Zhilkin and Susana Ferreras.
On the coaching side, Unai Emery replaced Wenger as Head Coach in the summer of 2018 and brought five assistants, while Sal Bibbo came in as goalkeeper coach. Going past them the other way were coaches Tony Colbert, Boro Primorac, Neil Banfield and Gerry Peyton, as well as kit man Paul Johnson.
Nearly all of those new recruits have now been swept away, with Sanllehi, Mislintat, Burgess, Allison, Barreira, Morgan, Parham, Emery (and his assistants), Bibbo and Fahmy all having departed at various points over the course of the last three years.
Arsenal also made 55 redundancies and overhauled their scouting network earlier this year.