LONDON (AP) – Manchester United appointed a new chief executive on Thursday in the latest step by the fallen English Premier League giant to regain its elite playing status and restore stability.
Richard Arnold has been promoted from group managing director to CEO, the top leadership role below members of the owning Glazer family.
Arnold assumes the responsibilities of Ed Woodward, who leaves on February 1 having initially announced his departure last April amid the furore over United’s attempt to join the short-lived, ill-fated European Super League with five other English clubs.
“We are now looking forward to Richard and his leadership team opening a new phase in the club’s evolution,” co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement, “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.”
Woodward had served as executive vice chairman since 2013 – the year United’s decline began with the retirement of Alex Ferguson as manager after 26 years and the Premier League trophy being won for a 13th and final time by the Scot.
The record 20-time English champions haven’t won the league since then. The club, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, hasn’t won any trophy since Jose Mourinho delivered the Europa League title in 2017.
His successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, was fired in December and Ralf Rangnick installed as interim manager until the end of the season.