Arsenal announce Sir Chips Keswick is the club's new chairman

The director of the Bank of England replaces Peter Hill-Wood

Arsenal have announced the appointment of Sir Chips Keswick as the successor to Peter Hill-Wood as the club's chairman.

Hill-Wood, who has been Arsenal chairman since 1982, is recovering after a heart attack last year and stood down for health reasons.

Keswick, 73, has been on the Arsenal board since 2005. He is the former chairman of Hambros Bank and a director of the Bank of England. In his role as chairman, Keswick will work directly with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis on the club's football and business ambitions.

The appointment breaks an Arsenal dynasty going back to 1927 as Mr Hill-Wood's father Denis and grandfather Sir Samuel were Arsenal chairmen before him.

Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke 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 be ensuring we recognise his many contributions to the club in an appropriate way."

On the new appointment, Kroenke added: "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."

Sir Chips is a member of the Keswick family which control Hong Kong company Jardine Matheson, founded by William Jardine.

He is an old Etonian and is currently a non-executive director of a number of companies including DeBeers Sa, Investec Bank and Persimmon plc.

Keswick 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.

"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."

Mr Hill-Wood, who is 77 and joined the board in 1962 when his father became chairman, said: "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."

PA

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