Dick Law Set to Leave: Arsenal Should Find Someone Better, a DoF Perhaps
Many Arsenal fans are familiar with Dick Law, the club’s lead transfer negotiator, but he had other responsibilities. He was given the opportunity to speak at the Somos Football Event on football management, where he offered more clarity on his role at Arsenal,
“If we come down to the manager, his responsibility is operating every area in football. The logistics report to him, first-team coaches, strength and conditioning, medical team and psychology [departments] all report to the manager.”
“The area that I manage is called football operations. My job is to help the CEO and manager, in conjunction with the contract team, with squad planning, contract negotiations, negotiations with agents, player transfers, either in or out of the club, and coordination with the Arsenal academy.”
“I work very closely with our chief financial officer, our general counsel (the lawyer for the club) and our club secretary in the contract team. Our biggest challenge is to make sure that all the contracts are done right and we follow all the rules set by the FA and FIFA.”
The Telegraph has reported that Dick Law is set to leave the club at the end of the month, after many years of service to Arsenal. It’s rumored that he’s leaving for ‘personal reasons’ and would be traveling to the United States of America. With club CEO, Ivan Gazidis, getting himself an office in the club’s London Colney training ground, it can be assumed that he wants to stay closer to the club, running its day to day dealings, unlike the club’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, that probably drinking a beer in some ranch in the United States.
Arsenal has recently employed Huss Fahmy, a former Team Sky legal advisor and commercial expert, but his primary focus has been to negotiate player contracts, which hasn’t panned out to well I guess. He, Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy clearly had no plans to renew the deals of Yaya Sanogo, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny, and they departed for pastures anew. He offered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a humogous salary believed to be around £180,000 per week, but the Englishman opted not to sign the deal and left for Liverpool. Word on the street is that he’s currently earning around £120,000. Then of course, there is the ongoing protracted saga of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. You can add Jack Wilshere somewhere in that mix. Do your job, Fahmy!
Some bookies are tipping Fahmy to take up the role that would be vacated by Law at the end of the month, but you’d be hoping they can win every bet been placed. With the new Premier League transfer rules of the window closing before the first game week taking shape next season, Arsenal will have to find someone that can conduct good business early and tactically, bearing in mind we could lose the likes of Sanchez and Ozil on a Bosman (Do your freaking job Fahmy!).
Law will be fondly remembered for being the guy that negotiated with the La Liga giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, for the acquisitions of Ozil and Sanchez respectively, and it has been an absolute pleasure watching both players don the famous Red and White, even it seems like their watch is ending this season. Yes, they have had their frustrating moments in the club but it would be a big task replacing two players that have given the club a combined amount of 104 goals in 309 appearances. Law also brought Alexandre Lacazette to the team this summer after intense negotiations with Jean-Michel Aulas and his Olympique Lyonnais hordes.
While we can laud Law and the transfer negotiation team for selling a want-away player with a year left on his contract for £40 million (and one pound probably) to Liverpool, the fans feel the club could have done better for the sales of Gibbs (£7m), Szczesny (£11m) and even Gabriel Paulista (£10m). I also felt the club did poorly in handling the transfer of Lucas Perez to Deportivo on loan.
His departure would have a hole in the club and I hope plans are ongoing to get a replacement as soon as possible. His exit would be hugely felt by Arsene Wenger, who was a close companion to Law. They worked in very close quarters with Wenger and Law reaching agreements on pretty much everything before Law takes the Wenger gospel to the team we want to negotiate with. There were some that worked out fine, others, well, meh.
I’m in the opinion that Law’s exit should pave the way for a Director of Football. Someone that will conduct transfer business without asking Wenger all the intricacies involved in negotiating for the player. I want someone that would hear “Sch-” from Wenger then go on to buy Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and even Scherzinger Nicole for good measure!
I know Wenger doesn’t fancy the idea of a DoF but it’s something Arsenal really needs. We can’t continue working with the same old methods that are in dire need of change. Over to you, Gazidis.
Thanks for your years of service Dick. Wishing you the very best in your future endeavors.
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