Manchester United’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Arnold, is preparing to exit the club by year-end, marking a departure after a brief two-year tenure. Sources reveal this move aligns with the imminent sale of a minority share to billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe within the club’s ownership.
According to Sky News, the official announcement of Arnold’s departure will be made to the New York Stock Exchange today. Upon his exit, operational reins will be immediately passed to Patrick Stewart, who assumes the interim CEO role while continuing as general counsel.
This shake-up in leadership arrives ahead of the anticipated confirmation of Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25% stake in United. The developments coincide with on-field struggles, like Marcus Rashford’s recent dismissal during a match where the team was leading 2-0.
Arnold, who took over in 2007, had been instrumental in restructuring the football operations, securing lucrative commercial deals with Adidas and Qualcomm. Despite recent success in securing the Carabao Cup after a six-year trophy drought, uncertainties loom due to ongoing ownership concerns.
The Glazer family’s strategic review initiated a year ago is expected to culminate soon with Ratcliffe’s entry. However, Manchester United declined to provide comments regarding Arnold’s departure.
Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol speculated on upcoming changes, indicating the formation of a football committee involving Sir Jim, Dave Brailsford, and Joel Glazer. This committee is poised to address pivotal decisions, including the future of the team’s manager, Erik ten Hag, stadium infrastructure enhancements, and the looming January transfer window.
The impending stake acquisition by Ratcliffe signifies an imminent shift in the club’s operations, with the billionaire expected to wield influence over football operations despite owning only a quarter of the club.