Woodward tendered his resignation from ManU in April following support for the ill-fated Super LeagueGETTY IMAGES
Manchester United has tapped Managing Dir Richard Arnold as its next CEO with Exec Vice Chair Ed Woodward planning to "leave his role" on Feb. 1, according to Samuel Luckhurst of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Woodward tendered his resignation in April following "support for the ill-fated Super League," and the "expectation had been Arnold would succeed him." Woodward will "not undertake any consultancy period," but club sources said that he "will attend football board meetings until the end of June to help oversee a smooth transition." Woodward will "not stay on as a consultant beyond then." Arnold has been an "ever-present at United games and dialled into the virtual fan forums over the last year." He will co-Chair the fans' advisory board, "established in the fallout from the Super League to improve communication between the club and supporters." Arnold will become the "first person to hold" the CEO title at ManU since David Gill stepped down in '13. Arnold has been "present at sponsorship unveilings" since Aon became ManU's shirt sponsor in '10 and he "travelled on the pre-season tour of Australia and Asia" in '13 (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 1/6). BBC Sport's Simon Stone notes Arnold has "been in charge of day-to-day operations at Old Trafford" and is "widely credited with building bridges with United's major fans groups." In his previous role as commercial director, he was viewed as "one of the biggest influences behind the club's huge commercial growth" (BBC, 1/6).