Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold is set to leave the club by the end of the year ahead of petrochemicals billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover.
Arnold is leaving just two years in the job as United’s owners finalise a 25 per cent sale of a minority stake by Ratcliffe’s INEOS Sports.
Arnold will hand over operational control of the club immediately and will be replaced as interim CEO by Patrick Stewart, who will also retain his role as general counsel.
Arnold has been at United since 2007, replacing Ed Woodward in the top executive job early last year.
Joel Glazer, executive co-chairman, said: “I would like to thank Richard for his outstanding service to Manchester United over the past 16 years and wish him all the best for his future endeavours. We are fortunate to be able to call on the deep knowledge and experience of Patrick Stewart to provide interim stability and continuity as we embark on a search for a new permanent CEO.”
Arnold added: “It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great football club for the past 16 years. Through highs and lows, the constant has been the dedication of our employees and fans. I would like to thank all of them for their loyalty and commitment, and wish everyone associated with the club the very best for the future.”
Arnold oversaw the build-out of the football structure under Murtough, with David Harrison, Andy O’Boyle, and Matt Hargreaves, with Polly Bancroft on the women’s side all joining. Erik Ten Hag joined as manager following Murtough’s recommendation and won the first United trophy in six years.
United won their first trophy in six years by beating Newcastle to win the Carabao Cup and delivered industry-leading commercial deals with Adidas and Qualcomm.
The last one year has been challenging amid growing uncertainty about the club’s ownership.