Manchester United appoints Arnold as new CEO

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Arnold takes from Woodward at Manchester United

By Valentine Amanze

Manchester United has appointed Richard Arnold as the new chief executive officer with effect from February 1, 2022, following a turbulent year.

With the announcement on Thursday, Arnold, the current managing director, succeeds vice-chair Ed Woodward, who has led the Premier League’s most valuable club since 2013.

Recall that Woodward announced his intention to step down last spring, after United and 11 other European football clubs’ proposal to break away from their domestic leagues to form a European Super League turned into a debacle.

The club, it would be recalled, outmaneuvered Manchester City to add Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer transfer window, but United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired in November after a rocky start to the season.

United is currently seventh in the Premier League standings, 22 points behind first-place Man City. United last won the Premier League during the 2012-13 season, the last of 13 titles over 21 years under Sir Alex Ferguson.

“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,” Joel Glazer, Manchester United executive co-chairman, said in a statement announcing the news.

Arnold, 50, joined the club in 2007 and was responsible for sponsorships, retail, merchandising, licensing and digital media as its commercial director.

He was appointed managing director in 2013, overseeing all operational and commercial aspects of the club. In the late 1990s, he worked in the technology sector at PricewaterhouseCoopers, overlapping with Woodward at the consulting firm. And like Woodward, Arnold attended Bristol University.

 

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