Manchester United announced on Wednesday that Chief Executive Richard Arnold would be stepping down from his role, replaced by club legal counsel and board member Patrick Stewart on an interim basis.
This news was expected once Sir Jim Ratcliffe struck a deal to acquire 25% of Manchester United from the Glazer family. Ratcliffe is expected to oversee football when the transaction is completed, and therefore will bring his own people into the club.
Arnold, a member of the club hierarchy since early in the Glazer ownership, took over the executive role after the departure of Ed Woodward, another incredibly unpopular executive brought in by the Glazers. Woodward and Arnold each played a role in expanding the club’s revenue, and filling the pockets of the Glazer family, while overseeing some mediocre footballing decisions that have seen United go through five managers and three interim managers in the last ten years while towering above the rest of the Premier League in net transfer spending.
Stewart will take over in the meantime but is already rumored to be replaced by outside candidates when Ratcliffe enters the picture officially. One candidate is Jean-Claude Blanc, a former Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain executive who recently joined INEOS in a role to oversee the company’s sporting assets. INEOS, of course, is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s primary capitalist venture and the vessel with which he is able to branch out into sport.
As for Stewart there likely isn’t too much important to know about him other than he is not the Captain Picard/Professor X Patrick Stewart. This is naturally a disappointment to many, including myself, but maybe we can just pretend? I mean there isn’t even a photo of him in this site’s photo database.