Ivan Gazidis turned down the chance to become chief executive at Manchester City back when they were owned by Thai businessman Thaksin Shinawatra.
Gazidis has been at the club for nearly a decade now, yet could have ended up somewhere else entirely.
Before he joined the club in January 2009, Gazidis was offered the role of chief executive at Manchester City.
At the time, City were under the ownership of Thaksin Shinawatra, and only starting to invest heavily in their squad.
He ended up joining Arsenal instead, after he was advised by agent, Jon Smith, to turn City down.
The story was detailed in Smith’s book ‘The Deal: Inside the World of a Super-Agent,’ during a chapter on Andrey Arshavin’s move to Arsenal during the same month Gazidis officially joined the club.
“Meanwhile, I was trying to get hold of Ivan Gazidis, but his phone was engaged,” he wrote.
“Everyone else at Arsenal was saying it was his decision.
“I had been dealing with Ken and Arsene but Ivan is now in situ. And I know him – he asked my advice when Manchester City offered him the chief executive job two or three years previously, back when they were under Thai ownership.
“We told him to wait on that occasion but, when the Arsenal job came up, we advised him to take it it, although, as it turned out, his mind was already made up.
“He still probably needed time to adjust but, as chief executive, he did not want to sit idly by while Arsenal conducted a club record in his first window.”
The books gives a fascinating insight into how the Arshavin deal came about, and Gazidis’ involvement at the time.
It was he who ultimately allowed the £15m deal to go through even though the agent agreed to pay £1.2m more than Arsenal wanted, hoping the club would pay him back.
Arshavin made an instant impact at Arsenal and rescued that season.
Nine years later, Gazidis is now working on another big deal to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club.
Maybe one day we’ll get the inside story of that move as well.