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Manchester United set to appoint Omar Berrada from rivals Manchester City as new CEO

Manchester United are set to pull off a huge surprise by appointing Omar Berrada from Manchester City as their new chief executive.

United have been looking for a CEO to succeed Richard Arnold, who left Old Trafford ahead of INEOS agreeing to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club.

That search has led them to move for Berrada, one of the key men behind the recent on and off-field success enjoyed by local rivals City.

United were seeking a candidate with a proven track record in football as a priority, but also highly capable of running the business side. Berrada has excelled in those areas at City, and the latter while working for Barcelona beforehand.

He will take executive leadership of both areas, plus sit on the club board of directors and report to United’s fresh ownership set-up.

Berrada was identified and pursued by INEOS but with endorsement from the Glazers in what has ultimately materialised as a joint decision. It underlines the influence of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s firm, which is awaiting Premier League approval for its investment to be officially confirmed.

United securing such a well-regarded operator — in a quick and discreet manner — will be viewed by many as a significant coup, amid a period of major change at the 20-times English champions.

A City statement to The Athletic confirming the news read: “Manchester City Football Club can confirm that Omar Berrada has resigned from his role as chief football operations officer at City Football Group.
“The club understands his decision to look for a new challenge and he leaves with our thanks and best wishes.”

Berrada is currently the chief football operations officer at City Football Group, which ultimately owns City and a host of other clubs across the globe. He works closely with City director of football Txiki Begiristain on areas including transfers and contracts and was involved in the high-profile signing of striker Erling Haaland in the summer of 2022.

Berrada had worked as commercial director for City Football Marketing before being promoted to chief operating officer at City in 2016. He joined City from Barcelona in 2011, having worked at the Catalan club for nearly eight years as a senior media business development manager and head of sponsorship.

The Athletic reported last summer that Berrada had rejected approaches for chief executive roles at a Premier League club, MLS teams and a major NFL franchise.

Patrick Stewart has worked as United’s interim CEO since the end of the year when Arnold left the role. Stewart is United’s most senior lawyer and joined the club in 2006, becoming their chief legal officer and general counsel, responsible for overseeing the club’s legal and regulatory affairs and managing relationships with key stakeholders, such as the Premier League.

(Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)



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