Manchester United is on the lookout for a new CEO. There is much to suggest that Richard Arnold’s departure has something to do with the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe
An era that went somewhat under the radar was ushered in at Manchester United on Wednesday. The Red Devils announced that Richard Arnold has decided to step down as CEO after 16 years at the club. The 52-year-old succeeded Ed Woodward in February 2022, who had been at the helm of Man United for eight and a half years and had become increasingly controversial due to his transfer policy.
Arnold’s tenure at least saw the appointment of coach Erik ten Hag, under whom the club won the League Cup for the first time in six years and returned to the Champions League in the previous season, albeit followed by a bumpy start to the current season
Ratcliffe had already been the subject of speculation about Arnold’s departure
The fact that Arnold, who joined the club in the summer of 2007 and worked his way up the ranks, is now saying goodbye is unlikely to be for sporting reasons. Rather, the move can be interpreted as a side effect of the imminent entry of the “Ineos” group under the leadership of Sir Jim Ratcliffe. It is expected that it will soon become official that the billionaire will acquire a 25 percent stake in the club for around 1.4 billion euros and then take over responsibility for soccer. It had already been speculated that Arnold would not be part of this reorganization process.
According to the club, Patrick Stewart, who is responsible for all legal matters at the Red Devils in his actual role, will take over as CEO on an interim basis. Arnold will continue to train him until the end of December.
“It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great soccer club over the last 16 years,” Arnold is quoted as saying in the United statement. “Through all the ups and downs, the constant has been the dedication of our staff and fans. I would like to thank them all for their loyalty and commitment and wish everyone associated with the club the very best for the future. “