Richard Arnold leads race to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United | Manchester United

Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s group managing director, heads a list of three internal candidates to replace Ed Woodward as the club’s most powerful executive.

The Guardian understands that Arnold is in pole position to succeed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, with Cliff Baty, chief financial officer, and Hemen Tseayo, head of corporate finance, also being considered by the owners, the Glazers, who are thought to favour a current employee.

Arnold has overall responsibility for the club’s commercial affairs, whereas Woodward’s role encompasses long-term strategy. Arnold and United’s first football director, John Murtough, who was appointed two months ago, each report to Woodward and it is anticipated this structure will continue under Woodward’s successor.

Baty, appointed in 2016, is in charge of “financial control” of United, the club website states, and he is listed on the board of directors. Tseayo joined United nine years ago and his position includes “capital structure planning, corporate development projects, strategy, corporate actions and investor relations activity”, according to the executive’s LinkedIn page. Tseayo was also involved in planning for the club’s joining of the now defunct European Super League.

If Woodward departs as announced at the close of 2021, whether he remains in overall control of United’s day-to-day business until then is unclear.

Should the Glazers consider an external candidate Ajax’s chief executive, Edwin van der Sar, may be of interest, with the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, a former United teammate of the Dutchman.

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