Manchester United have announced that chief executive David Gill will quit his role at Old Trafford on 30th June with Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice chairman, taking over the position.
Gill joined the United board in 1997 as finance director and will remain at the club as a director. Gill, who is also vice chairman of the FA has been nominated as the FA’s candidate in May’s UEFA executive committee elections.
On relinquishing the position at the end of the season, Gill said: “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’s successor, Woodward, added: “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.”
Manchester United’s long-standing manager Sir Alex Ferguson, lauded Gill after the announcement, he said: “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.”