71-year-old Venables - one of English football's most-recognisable figures who is now technical advisor at non-league outfit Wembley FC - spent almost 30 years in a variety of management roles and could have led the Gunners at the start of such a distinguished spell.
"But I turned it down as I had already given my word to Palace chairman Ray Bloye I would take over from Big Mal before the start of the next season. I thought back to how my dad was an Arsenal fan and always saying to me as a lad: 'Train with Arsenal. Go to Arsenal.' I never did and then I was given this opportunity. I was overwhelmed by it all.
"Their offer was the greatest compliment I had ever had — but my head told me it was too soon.I always advise anyone starting in management to either start low down in a big club or higher up at a middle-sized one. I knew I wasn’t ready for a club of Arsenal’s size."
Instead of moving to Arsenal, Venables spent four years in the top job at Crystal Palace before departing for London rivals QPR.
An impressive period at Loftus Road earned him a move to Catalan giants Barcelona in 1984.
After three years in La Liga, Venables took the reins as Tottenham boss and delivered an FA Cup triumph in 1991.
A relatively short spell as England manager followed, with Venables also holding jobs with the Australian national team, Middlesbrough and Leeds thereafter.
Instead of appointing Venables, Arsenal went on to employTerry Neill as boss in '76, with the former Northern Irish international spending seven years in the job before being sacked and replaced by Don Howe.