Manchester United have confirmed that chief executive Richard Arnold is stepping down from his position at the end of December. 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.
Richard Arnold has been the club’s CEO since February 2022, succeeding Ed Woodward in the role. Man United said Arnold will provide transitional support until the end of December, with a search process being carried out for a permanent CEO.
“It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great football club for the past 16 years,” Richard Arnold said. “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.
Patrick Stewart, Manchester United’s general counsel, has been named as the club’s interim chief executive following Arnold’s departure. Stewart has vowed to ensured the club’s foundations ‘remain stable’ as the club ’embrace changes that can make us stronger over the long term, on and off the pitch’.
“Together with my leadership team colleagues, my job will be to ensure that the club’s foundations remain stable while we embrace changes that can make us stronger over the long term, on and off the pitch, and to support the search for a new permanent CEO,” Stewart said.
Man United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer added: ‘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.”
Reports emerged last month that Richard Arnold was expected to depart should Sir Jim Ratcliffe be successful in landing a 25 per cent minority stake. The businessman is expected to take control of football operations at the club.