Arsenal’s chairman, Sir Chips Keswick, has retired from the club as chairman and will not be replaced.

Arsenal's chairman Sir Chips Keswick (L) and chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis attend the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris-Saint-Germain vs Arsenal FC, on September 13, 2016 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE
Arsenal’s chairman Sir Chips Keswick (L) and chief executive officer Ivan Gazidis attend the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris-Saint-Germain vs Arsenal FC, on September 13, 2016 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE

Sir Chips was appointed to Arsenal board in 2005 and retires after seven years at the helm as chairman. While there have been many calls from fans for Arsene Wenger to come back to the club to take up the role, that won’t be happening for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there won’t be a new chairman in the way we’ve all known it until now. Arsenal are a private company again and the board will comprise solely of Stan Kroenke, Josh Kroenke, Ken Friar an Lord Harris.

Secondly, Wenger has made it clear he won’t be coming back to the Emirates.

In a statement, Stan and Josh Kroenke said: “We would like to express our immense gratitude for everything Sir Chips has done for Arsenal Football Club as a board member and chairman of the board over the past 15 years.

Arsenal's US owner Stan Kroenke (C) looks on during the presentation to Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 6, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)
Arsenal’s US owner Stan Kroenke (C) looks on during the presentation to Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 6, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)

“His extensive business knowledge and experience coupled with his deep love of Arsenal have made him the perfect chairman. It has been a privilege to work with him and he will always be a very welcome visitor when we return to playing matches at Emirates Stadium.”

Sir Chips, a former chairman of Hambros Bank and director of the Bank of England, said: “It has been an honour to be the chairman of this great football club. Arsenal has always held a special place in my life and that will remain the case in the future.

“I made my plan to retire at the end of this season clear to the board, before the global health crisis we are now experiencing. The club is in safe hands with Stan and Josh, the board and the executive team. I know Arsenal will emerge strongly from this situation and I look forward, like all our supporters around the world, to seeing the team in action as soon as possible.”

Stan and Josh Kroenke added: “Our primary concern at this difficult time is the health and well-being of our staff and players. It’s also our intention to ensure Arsenal Football Club emerges from this crisis in a strong position. That’s what we’re all working on every day.”

Arsenal made the announcement just as the Premier League were revealing the details about the Premier League’s return which will see Arsenal travel to Manchester City to get things going.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.