Ruthless Ratcliffe sets sights on two more Man Utd exits after Arnold departure

Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion 25 per cent stake in United, which includes control of football operations, will be ratified by the Old Trafford board in the coming days

Richard Arnold has become the first victim of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s radical Manchester United overhaul – with the chief executive stepping down.

Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion 25 per cent stake in United, which includes control of football operations, will be ratified by the Old Trafford board in the coming days. And the billionaire INEOS chief has wasted no time in starting his wholesale restructuring of United, by getting rid of Arnold, who had been in the role for just 19 months. With Arnold now gone, there are also major doubts over the futures of United Football Director John Murtough and Director of Football Operations David Harrison.

United have spent more than £1bn on players since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, for little success, with Ratcliffe said to have been stunned by the poor recruitment for such a huge outlay. He is set to bring in his own team to oversee the restructuring of United, with former cycling supremo Sir Dave Brailsford, currently INEOS Director of Sport, set for a prominent role.

Arnold was secretly filmed in 2022, admitting to United’s poor recruitment, after agreeing to meet with fans at a Cheshire pub for what he thought was an off-the-record chat.

“We spent a billion pounds on players,” said Arnold when he was covertly filmed. We have spent more than anyone in Europe. I’m not thrilled where we are. It doesn’t sit easy with me and I worry how we get this sorted for the future. What’s happened is we have f***ing burned through cash.

Ratcliffe is overseeing an overhaul of United's football operations

Ratcliffe is overseeing an overhaul of United’s football operations (Image:AFP via Getty Images)

“You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the £1billion is’, because we haven’t spent money well historically.”

Alex Ferguson: On This Day November 6 1986

In announcing his exit from United, Arnold said: “It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great football club for the past 16 years. Through highs and lows, the constant has been the dedication of our employees and fans. 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.”

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “I would like to thank Richard for his outstanding service to Manchester United over the past 16 years, and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.

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