November 15, (THEWILL) – Manchester United are poised for a major shake-up in their executive team, with Patrick Stewart set to take over as interim chief executive when Richard Arnold departs the club. Stewart, United’s legal counsel and a board member, will assume the CEO duties on an interim basis after already taking on day-to-day leadership responsibilities.
The move comes as billionaire investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe closes in on a £1.3 billion purchase of a 25% stake in United. Ratcliffe’s proposed investment, which would give him sporting control, is expected to trigger Arnold’s exit as part of a wider restructuring. Arnold has been CEO since replacing Ed Woodward in February 2022.
Stewart is a seasoned executive at Old Trafford, overseeing legal and regulatory affairs. He also serves as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Ratcliffe is lining up further changes, with former Juventus CEO, Jean-Claude Blanc, considered for the permanent CEO role.
The shake-up aims to revitalise United after their worst start to a season in 61 years. While manager Erik ten Hag’s job looks safe for now, the club has won just seven of its first 12 English Premier League matches. Ratcliffe, who owns French club Nice, is keen to implement a new sporting leadership structure.
The minority stake purchase, which values United at around £5 billion, will end a year-long sale process initiated by the Glazer family. Ratcliffe’s was the sole remaining bid after Qatari investors withdrew interest this month. The deal promises major off-field changes as United seek to regain their standing as one of Europe’s elite clubs.