BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United confirm executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s departure on February 1, with managing director Richard Arnold taking over
- United’s Ed Woodard has announced that he will be standing down on February 1
- Richard Arnold will now become the Manchester United chief executive officer
- Arnold, 51, will be moving up from his current role as group managing director
- Woodward will attend board meetings until the end of June to help the transition
Manchester United have confirmed that Richard Arnold will replace Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward on February 1.
In a move that was widely anticipated after Woodward announced last year that he would be standing down as executive vice-chairman in the wake of the failed European Super League, Arnold will move up from his role as group managing director to become the club’s chief executive officer.
Arnold said: ‘I am honoured to have the chance to serve this great club and its fans. I am determined to return that honour in any way I can.’
Man United confirmed that Richard Arnold will replace chief Ed Woodward on February 1
Woodward will attend board meetings until the end of June to help smooth the transition of power, but he will not have a consultancy role at the club beyond then.
United chairman Joel Glazer 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.
Woodward (above) announced last year that he would be standing down as executive vice-chairman in the wake of the failed European Super League
Joel Glazer (left) thanked Woodward (right) ‘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.’
Woodward had to steer the club through a difficult period following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and, in particular, the last two years during the pandemic.
He is credited with overseeing the restructure of football operations behind the scenes including the club’s academy and recruitment.
Arnold (above) says he is honoured to have the chance to serve such a great club and its fans
David Gill (right) was the last person to hold the chief executive title at Manchester United
However, his time at the helm will be viewed as unsuccessful with United winning just three trophies – the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League – despite spending more than £1billion on players.
There is no doubt that Woodward’s start in the job as David Gill’s successor was made significantly more difficult by Ferguson’s sudden and unexpected departure.
United went through four managers – David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – before appointing current interim boss Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.
Woodward had to steer the club through a difficult period following Sir Alex Ferguson’s (above) retirement in 2013 and, in particular, the last two years during the pandemic
Manchester United have gone through four managers – including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Woodward also had to battle a negative image among fans that he was more interested in commercial matters than football, and had more influence over the playing side than was actually the case – criticism he flatly rejects.
However, he felt that he could no longer continue as United chief following his role in the European Super League debacle, having come to the conclusion that the idea was fundamentally wrong because it did not involve promotion and relegation.
Woodward is believed to be keen on staying in football and will decide on his next move in the summer after taking a break.
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