Ed Woodward to leave Manchester United on February 1

NEWS DIGEST − Manchester United have announced Richard Arnold will become their new chief executive when Ed Woodward leaves the club on February 1.

Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, will vacate the top operational role in the Red Devils boardroom next month after 16 years at the club.

Arnold will step up to effectively fill Woodward’s position, becoming Man United’s first chief executive since David Gill stepped down from that role in 2013.

Arnold was previously the club’s group managing director, and commercial director before that, having joined the club in 2007.

A statement from the Red Devils read: “Manchester United has announced that Richard Arnold, formerly Group Managing Director, will become Chief Executive Officer of the Club, effective from 1st February 2022.

“Ed Woodward will step down from his role as Executive Vice-Chairman, also effective from 1st February 2022.”

New chief executive Arnold said: “I am honoured to have the chance to serve this great club and its fans. I am determined to return that honour in any way I can.”

Arnold will lead the hunt for a new permanent United manager, with Ralf Rangnick in interim charge until the end of the season.

The outgoing Woodward will not be taking on a consultancy position at Old Trafford, as speculated, but he will attend football board meetings until the end of June to help ensure a smooth transition.

Joel Glazer, United’s executive co-chairman, on Woodward’s departure said: “I would like to thank Ed for his tireless work on behalf of Manchester United during his nine years as executive vice-chairman and 16 years with the club.

“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.”

Woodward announced he’d be leaving his role at the end of the year in April 2021 in the midst of the fallout from the European Super League but his departure was delayed following the exit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager and appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim boss.