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Manchester United CEO to Cede Power to Ex-JPMorgan Banker

Manchester United CEO David Gill
Manchester United Chief Executive Officer David Gill has helped oversee four Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy and a boom in sponsorship revenue. Photographer: Julian Finney/Getty Images

David Gill will step down after 10 years as Manchester United’s chief executive officer on June 30 and former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Ed Woodward will take his responsibilities at the 19-time English soccer champion.

Gill, 55, who joined United as finance director in 1997, will remain on the board, the team said today in an e-mailed statement. Woodward, 40, the club’s executive vice president, will take over his tasks that include working with coach Alex Ferguson on player transfers.

Gill has helped oversee four Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy and a boom in sponsorship revenue. He has “helped lay the foundations of the present Manchester United,” Ferguson said in the statement. “I know David will welcome Ed’s appointment as I do. He is a young man with energy and drive.”

Ferguson, 71, has been United’s coach since 1986. Woodward was a banker on JPMorgan’s merger and acquisitions team from 1999 to 2005 before joining United. He will keep his current job title, United said in the statement.

“I am particularly humbled to have the chance to work alongside the greatest manager in the history of the game,” Woodward said in the statement.

At JPMorgan, Woodward helped the Glazer family secure a 790 million pound ($1.2 billion) leveraged buyout of United in 2005. United co-chairman Joel Glazer said in the statement that Woodward “truly understands the club’s culture and what makes this club so treasured.”

In another change, commercial director Richard Arnold will become group managing director. Woodward and Arnold, who has worked for United since 2007, signed sponsorship deals with companies including Malaysian snack-brand Mr. Potato and Chilean winemaker Concha y Toro.

United’s sponsorship revenue rose 49 percent to 20.8 million pounds in the second quarter on agreements with China Construction Bank Corp. among others and the current Premier League leader has agreed on an eight-year deal for branding on its practice uniform, the team said on Feb. 14.

United leads the Premier League by 12 points ahead of defending champion Manchester City with 12 games left. Ferguson’s team tied 1-1 at Real Madrid in the first of a two-game Champions League round-of-16 contest. The deciding game in the two-match meeting is March 5.

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