Man United chief Richard Arnold 'to leave by the end of the year'

Man United’s CEO Richard Arnold will LEAVE the club next month, following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn investment, as Patrick Stewart (no, not that one…) takes the job on interim basis

  • Arnold’s departure comes ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe buying a 25 per cent stake
  • The Man United chief executive has faced increasing pressure in recent months
  • What’s the story with Raheem Sterling? Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold is reportedly set to leave the club by the end of the year.

According to Sky, an announcement will be made on Arnold’s future later on Wednesday.

His departure comes as Manchester United prepare to confirm Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Sport buying a 25 per cent stake in the club for £1.3 billion.

Patrick Stewart, Manchester United’s general counsel, will reportedly be named as the club’s interim chief executive following Arnold’s departure.

Arnold has been Manchester United’s CEO since February 2022, succeeding Ed Woodward in the role. 

Man United chief executive Richard Arnold is expected to leave the club next month

United’s general counsel Patrick Stewart (left) will become Man United’s interim CEO

Arnold’s expected departure comes with Sir Jim Ratcliffe poised to secure a 25 per cent stake

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Arnold has been employed by Manchester United since 2007 and has enjoyed lots of success on the commercial side.

Reports emerged last month that Arnold was expected to depart should Sir Jim Ratcliffe be successful in landing a 25 per cent minority stake.

Man United had described last month’s reports as ‘speculation’.

Arnold is one of the 12-person board who will have to ratify Ratcliffe’s minority stake in the club.

No documents have been signed yet as Ratcliffe’s closes in on the £1.3billion deal for a 25 per cent stake in the Premier League giants.

Those with knowledge of the situation say there is a chance the agreement could be announced this week, but next week is more likely.

Stewart, who shares the name of the famous Star Trek actor, is expected to take on the interim chief executive position in addition to his existing roles as the club’s general counsel.

Stewart has been with Man United since 2006, where he has been responsible for managing the Company’s legal and regulatory affairs as well as its relationships with football stakeholders.

Arnold has served as Man United’s CEO since replacing Ed Woodward back in February 2022

Arnold was heavily criticised for handling of Mason Greenwood’s future at the club before a decision was eventually taken for the striker to leave the Man United on loan

He has been an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland since 2018 having been nominated by the influential European Club Association.

Before joining United, Stewart worked at TEAM Marketing, who sold the commercial rights to the Champions League.

Stewart was appointed to Man United’s board at the end of 2022.

The Glazer family had announced last November that they were exploring new investment into the club and a potential sale as part of ‘strategic alternatives for the club’.

Stewart has reportedly taken a leading role in recent weeks regarding the sale of the stake to Ratcliffe, who saw off the challenge of takeover rival Sheikh Jassim following a lengthy process.

The departure of Arnold comes after the chief executive came under mounting pressure over his handling of Mason Greenwood’s future at the club.

Greenwood was sent on loan to Spanish club Getafe with the club deciding not to reintegrate him into the squad following a six-month investigation after charges of attempted rape and assault were dropped by police.

Arnold had the final decision over Greenwood’s future, with reports in August claiming he told senior staff a fortnight ago that the striker would be coming back following a six-month internal investigation.

The report claimed Arnold intended to record and share a video explaining Greenwood’s reintegration to staff and the general public.

Arnold was reportedly grilled in an all-staff meeting in September, where he defended Man United’s process of suspending Greenwood and their eventual decision.

The Man United chief executive reportedly insisted the decision was only made after the club’s full investigation was completed.


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