EXCLUSIVE: Raul Sanllehi releases statement following Arsenal departure

Raul Sanllehi has released a statement following his departure from Arsenal in which he cites the Covid-19 pandemic and ‘club restructuring’ for his surprise exit.

Sanllehi joined the Gunners from Barcelona in February 2018 but it was announced on Saturday that his role will be taken over by managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

“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,” Venkatesham said.

The news of Sanllehi’s exit came after corporate lawyer Tim Lewis was appointed as a non-executive director to the Arsenal board.

Lewis was tasked with overseeing a review of club operations and Gooner Talk understands that Sanllehi was one of several staff members shown the exit door, just a week after 55 staff were made redundant and the entire scouting network was broken up.

Arsenal have already signed Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer this summer but there has been criticism levelled at the Gunners hierarchy for the closeness of their relationship with intermediary Kia Joorabchian. The transfer broker has been involved in several deals over the past season and spoken publicly about the club’s internal affairs.

In an exclusive statement sent to Gooner Talk by Sanllehi, the Spaniard revealed that he will ‘continue to be a Gooner’ for the rest of his life and that he feels ‘frustrated and powerless’ following his departure.

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