Kenneth John Friar OBE (born Islington, London, England, 13 August 1934) is a former managing director and secretary of Arsenal Football Club.
Ken Friar was educated at St John’s School, Highbury and Highbury County Grammar School. He began working at Arsenal part-time as a 12-year-old. A bronze bust of him was unveiled at the club's AGM on 27 October 2011 to mark his 60 years with the club.
He rose through the club ranks to become Company Secretary replacing Bob Wall in 1973. During this time, he took part in discussions held in the 1970s between the boards of Arsenal and rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC to share a new stadium at Alexandra Palace. In 1983, he was appointed Managing Director, a role he lasted in until 2000. During this time, Friar has taken an active role in negotiating manager and player contracts as well as fostering Arsenal's links with the community and supporter groups. He stepped down from this role to concentrate on the club's move to the Emirates Stadium, but remains a board member. On 1 May 2008 it was announced that he had become acting Managing Director on the resignation of Keith Edelman prior to the appointment of Ivan Gazidis.
He was awarded the OBE in the 2000 for services to Association Football. The London Borough of Islington also awarded him the freedom of the borough in 2004.
As at 27 March 2007 he owned 47 shares representing 0.07% of Arsenal Football Club after he transferred 147 to the then Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood.
As at 07 September 2015 he owned 1 shares representing 0.0016% of Arsenal Football Club, Ivan Gazidis also owns 1 share, with the remaining shares being owned by Arsenal (AFC Holdings) limited. .
On 14 April 2011, The North Bridge, which joins Arsenal's Emirates Stadium to Drayton Park, close to Arsenal tube station, was renamed ‘The Ken Friar Bridge’ in tribute to Club Director Ken Friar OBE.
At a short ceremony attended by Mr Friar himself, family, friends and Club staff, a statue was unveiled at the end of the bridge, opposite the Arsenal Museum at the north end of the stadium. The statue depicts Mr Friar playing football as a youngster in 1945 in front of the old Highbury Stadium.28 February 2014.Close