The Gunners have confirmed long standing Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood will retire from his post after 31 years with the North London outfit.
The 77-year-old overcame a heart attack last year and while he is in good health now, Mr Hill-Wood feels it is the right time to end the family era that has stretched all the way back to 1927.
Before him, Mr Hill-Wood’s grandfather, Sir Samuel, and father, Denis, were the Club’s previous chairmen – however a new dynamic is set to unfold with Gunners shareholder Sir Chips Keswick appointed as the successor.
Mr Hill-Wood became part of the club in 1962 when he joined the board, coinciding with the appointment of his father as Arsenal chairman. He has enjoyed many successes during his reign as chairman which began in 1982 and he was heavily involved in the clubs transition from Highbury to Emirates Stadium – he steps down at a time when Arsenal look to begin a new era.
Mr Hill-Wood told Arsenal’s official website:
This has been a difficult decision as Arsenal Football Club has been a huge part of my life. Although I am feeling better I feel this is the right time for me to stand down. I would like to thank our majority owner, Stan Kroenke, for the respectful and dignified way he has handled this and I know Sir Chips is the right person to take the Club forward.
Sir John Chippendale Lindley Keswick, a.k.a Sir Chips is 73-years-old and brings with him a wealth of business knowledge. He is said to be a lifelong Gooner and as been on the Arsenal board since 2005. He was the chairman of Hambros Bank and a director of the Bank of England, certainly very high credentials for the job.
Sir Chips said:
Firstly, I am sad to see Peter standing down due to his health and we all hope he continues well in his recovery. The Hill-Wood family has made an extraordinary contribution to Arsenal over many decades. They have been central to the Club’s many achievements during this time.
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I am greatly honoured to have been appointed chairman of Arsenal Football Club. This is one of the great clubs in the game, recognised and loved by millions. I am looking forward to leading the Club to future success.
Majority owner ‘Silent Stan’ Kroenke also hailed the departing Mr Hill-Wood and praised the newly appointed Sir Chips, and most interesting declared he wants the club to win trophies and not just increase his own wealth (as if he doesn’t have enough already).
The bushy mustached American businessman said:
Peter has been a wonderful custodian of this Club. He has been a member of the Arsenal board for 51 years and his vision and steadfastness have been central to the successes of this great Club over that time. Peter will be sorely missed but we will ensure we recognise his many contributions to the Club in an appropriate way.
I am delighted that Sir Chips has agreed to become chairman. He has a well-respected track record in business and he will provide further direction and support in our ambition to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe and to win trophies.
Check out more news on the chairman appointment on Arsenal’s official website.