Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill will step down from his role at the end of current season, while vice-chairman Ed Woodward will take his place.
David Gill, who joined the club back in 1997 as the finance director, will end his 10 year stint as the Chief Executive of Manchester United on 30th of July. But the 55-year-old will continue as the finance director of the club. Gill was appointed in this role after former CEO Peter Kenyon joined Chelsea in 2003.
Gill, in a statement released today, talked about his pride in serving the ‘best club in the best sport’ alongside someone like Sir Alex Ferguson. He felt that the club needed to move forward with new ideas under new management.
“It has been the greatest privilege to serve Manchester United for 16 wonderful years – the last 10 of which as its chief executive.
“I have worked alongside the finest manager in the history of the game and been part of what I consider to be the best club in the best sport in the world. It has been a very hard decision because I love this club and, as the fans’ banner says, it is, ‘more than a religion’.
“However, I have always been conscious of the fact that, as a member of staff, I was always just a temporary custodian of this marvellous institution. I am also of the view that all businesses need to refresh themselves with new management and ideas and after 10 years in charge I believe it is appropriate for someone new to pick up the baton.
“I’m delighted Ed has accepted the role. I have worked with him for more than seven years and in that time he has built up knowledge of football matters, which will hold him in good stead for the future.
“I am looking forward to continuing my involvement on the club board. And I hope to be able to make a contribution to the game on a wider national and European level.” – Gill said.
Gill’s dual association with United and the FA has often come under criticism in the past with former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez questioning a ‘conflict of interest. Interesting, the man he replaced at FA, former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, faced similar criticism during his stint.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has pointed out Gill’s stepping down from his role as a ‘big loss’ for the club.
“I have been at United for over 26 years and for 23 of those years my boss has been one of only two men: Martin Edwards, who brought me to the club, and David Gill. I have enjoyed working with both.
“David has been a magnificent chief executive. Of course we have had a million arguments, but I have always enjoyed them because I know that David has two great qualities: he is straight and he always puts Manchester United first. No disagreement is ever personal with him. He always wants the best for United, whether it’s the players, the training ground or the staff.
“Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt, that he believes it is time for the club to move on. If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it.” – Sir Alex was quoted in press.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward , who is set to replace Gill next season, has expressed his delight at his new opportunity and has vowed to do his best to keep United at the ‘pinnacle’ of this sport.
“I am particularly humbled to have the chance to work alongside the greatest manager in the history of the game. Alex’s experience and track record are incomparable and I look forward to having the opportunity to support him in shaping his squad in the future and maintaining the club’s position at the pinnacle of the sport.” – Woodward said.
David Gill, who was appointed as the vice-chairman of the FA last year, will now take part as a nominee in the upcoming UEFA executive committee election in May.