Since it became known that British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe was planning to purchase 25% of the club, Arnold’s standing has been questioned.
Major management changes are anticipated at INEOS, where the owner and founder is also likely to question the employment of David Harrison, director of football operations, and John Murtough, director of football.
Arnold, who joined Man United in 2007, was rumored to be leaving his position as CEO early on Thursday. The 20-time English champions have officially verified this.
A statement on the English team’s official website stated, “After 16 years with the club, Richard Arnold has decided to step down as Chief Executive of Manchester United.”
“In addition to his current position as General Counsel, Patrick Stewart will assume the job of temporary CEO. Richard Stewart will continue to offer transitional support through the end of December. A permanent CEO will be sought out through a search procedure.”
One of the leading contenders to take up the role permanently is Jean-Claude Blanc, the former chief executive of Juventus who is presently employed at INEOS Sport, according to The Athletic.
“I would like to thank Richard for his outstanding service to Manchester United over the past 16 years, and I wish him all the best for his future endeavors,” Man United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer said on the team’s official website.
“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, meanwhile, declared: “I have had the amazing honor of working for this outstanding football team for the past 16 years. The commitment of our staff and supporters has remained unwavering during highs and lows.
“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.”
Stewart revealed that he will “support the search for a new permanent CEO” in his remarks about his new role.
“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,” he stated.
Ratcliffe is likely to take over the football department upon his arrival. Before the end of the international break, a deal reportedly for around £1.3 million is expected to be finalized.
Although Man United has had difficulty on the field this year, the team has won four of the previous five league games, including back-to-back 1-0 victories against Fulham and Luton Town.