Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold is stepping down, the iconic English soccer club announced on Wednesday. This news comes as British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly close to clinching a minority deal with the club.
Interim CEO and Transition Period
General Counsel Patrick Stewart will replace Arnold as interim CEO, according to a statement released by the club. Arnold will provide transitional support until the end of December. Manchester United also mentioned that they will conduct a search process to find a new permanent CEO.
Potential Minority Deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to become a minority stakeholder in Manchester United. The BBC reported last week that the deal could be agreed upon during this month’s international break and announced as early as this week. Ratcliffe, who is the chief executive of chemical giant Ineos, is expected to pay around $1.52 billion for a 25% stake in the club.
Takeover Battle and Restructuring Bid
Ratcliffe had been engaged in a takeover battle with Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim to gain control of Manchester United from the Glazer family, who have owned the club since 2005. In September, Bloomberg reported that Ratcliffe was restructuring his bid in an attempt to break the deadlock in the takeover battle.
Financial Investment or Sale Exploration
In November 2022, the Glazers confirmed that they were exploring potential financial investment in, or an outright sale of, the Premier League club.
Recap and Current Standings
Manchester United recently secured a 1-0 victory against Luton Town on Saturday. As of now, the team sits in sixth place in the Premier League standings.
Shares of Manchester United, traded under Manchester United Ltd. (MANU), rose 1% in premarket trades on Wednesday after ending Tuesday’s session up 5%. However, in 2023, the shares have fallen by 19.3%, in contrast to the S&P 500 Index’s gain of 17.1%.