London (AFP) – Manchester United announced on Thursday that Richard Arnold would replace Ed Woodward as the club’s most senior executive at the beginning of next month.
The Premier League club said in April 2021 that executive vice-chairman Woodward, 50, would step down from his role at the end of the year, shortly after the club withdrew from a proposed European Super League.
United said in a statement that the change would be effective from February 1.
Joel Glazer, executive co-chairman, said: “I would like to thank Ed for his tireless work on behalf of Manchester United during his nine years as executive vice-chairman and 16 years with the club.
“We are now looking forward to Richard and his leadership team opening a new phase in the club’s evolution, with ambitious plans for investment in Old Trafford, the strengthening of our engagement with fans, and continued drive towards our most important objective — winning on the pitch.”
Arnold, formerly group managing director, will become chief executive officer.
“I am honoured to have the chance to serve this great club and its fans,” he said. “I am determined to return that honour in any way I can.”
Woodward has been a consistent focus of criticism for the club’s fans since 2013, when he stepped into the shoes of former CEO David Gill, who achieved so much working in tandem with former boss Alex Ferguson.
Woodward’s commercial expertise — keeping sponsorship money rolling in despite dwindling results on the pitch — maintained his status as a confidant of owners the Glazers.
The Glazers have been unpopular ever since they saddled the club with huge debts to fund their takeover in 2005.
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