Richard Arnold is the ghost of Ed Woodward at Man United, but who is worse so far? 

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Richard Arnold was the man appointed to replace Ed Woodward. During Edward’s tenure, Manchester United dropped in its ranking and was regarded as a mid-table team. 

Arnold, on the other hand, wants to bring Manchester United back to their glory days, but he is already receiving early criticism. So who is the worse of the two?

Who is Ed Woodward?

He is an accountant and investment banker who was the chief executive officer of Manchester United from 2012–2021. He became rich after he accepted the commercial role at Manchester United in 2007. He stayed at the club for 16 years.

In 2005, he was an adviser to the Glazer family when they bought Manchester United. During his time at the club, Manchester United’s revenue rose by 300%.

Manchester United under Ed Woodward

After the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United CEO David Gill resigned. The Glazers decided to go for an investment banker to run the affairs of a football club.

Ed started his tenure by appointing David Moyes but failed to back the manager after a series of pleas from the fans to rebuild the squad. Woodward only got Fellaini for the manager.

Richard Arnold

During that period, Manchester United had one of the poorest seasons in the Premier League. Moyes was sacked after 10 months in charge. He finished in 7th position and failed to win a single trophy at the club.

Manchester United hired Louis Van Gaal, who led the Netherlands to third place in the World Cup. He was fully backed by United’s board.

They spent billions of pounds on the manager but failed to get his players. According to various reports, Van Gaal asked for Mahrez, Mane, Mueller, and other big-name players but got none.

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Richard Arnold

Manchester United qualified for the Champions League once under the Dutch manager and won the Carabao Cup. He was sacked by the club after winning a trophy for them.

Ed Woodward and Van Gaal.

In an interview after he was sacked, Van Gaal claimed the club was being run like a commercial organization and not like a football club.

Manchester United decided to go for Jose Mourinho after sacking Van Gaal. Mourinho got what he asked for and delivered in his first season by winning the Carabao Cup, Community Shield, and Europa League.

In the second season, Ed Woodward went ahead and backed the squad a little.

Jose Mourinho did the best and finished second in the Premier League table and reached the FA Cup final where the team was beaten by Chelsea.

Jose told the board that he deserves to get his own transfer targets and he criticized the board countless times.

Woodward got Mourinho Fred and Dalot after the coach called the hierarchy of the club to get him Cancelo and Koulibaly. Mourinho got sacked after Manchester United lost to Liverpool in the Premier League by 3 goals to 1.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was then appointed by the club. His first 9 matches as a manager were impressive. Ole was the longest-serving manager under Ed Woodward as he was so patient with the former Manchester United legend.

In January 2020, Manchester United were having a bad season and were in the market for Bruno Fernandes. The Red Devils and Sporting Lisbon were apart on agreement fees.

Ed failed to pay and fans protested against the CEO. They went to his house and destroyed most of his properties.

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Ole became the fourth manager to be sacked by Woodward and was replaced by Ralf Rangnick.

The recruitment staff of the club were poor and failed to get the best players for the club. Woodward did not have a sporting director and he negotiated deals by himself.

It made them pay heavily for players and the wages given to players were extremely bad.

Ed Woodward was caught up in the nemesis of the European Super League, which was created by top European clubs.

After a lot of criticism by the fans, Ed Woodward decided to resign at the end of the 2021-2022 season.

Woodward is known to have regrets over his inability to get a manager to take Manchester United back to the glory days during his tenure at the club.

Who is Richard Arnold?

Richard has been serving as United Group’s managing director since 2013. His responsibilities include growing the club’s sponsorship business, retail, merchandising, apparel, and product licensing business.

He has played a significant role in the pitch’s success. Richard was nominated for Sport Business International’s sports innovator of the year list in 2011.

He was also Woodward’s right hand during his 9 years of failure at Old Trafford.

Arnold and Woodward are known to be friends. The pair both graduated from Bristol University, and they share the same background in finance.

Manchester United under Richard Arnold

Richard kick started his tenure by appointing Erik Ten Hag to the club, giving football director to John Murtough and technical director to Darren Fletcher.

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He went on to have an interview with the fans, during which he declared the club bankrupt.

He is currently traveling all over Europe to secure players this season and see off old players who don’t have an interest in staying at the club or greedy players who consistently demand wages that are capable of breaking the salary structure at the club.

Under Richard Arnold, the glazers received 11 million pounds as a share.

Fans are already criticizing the new CEO after Brighton defeated Manchester in the opening match of the season.

The club has been struggling in the transfer window with only 3 players added to the team. United are now in a panic buying situation as the transfer window ends in 3 weeks.

Other clubs are already done with signing players. Manchester United has found themselves in the case of signing another Old player and has no better plan before the transfer window ends.

Who is Worse: Ed Woodward or Richard Arnold 

For 10 years as a chief executive officer, Ed Woodward failed to find any manager capable of winning the Premier League.

He had contract issues with players, and fans sang songs against him. He hardly listened to fans and made the club a laughing stock among rivals. He was regarded as Glazer’s puppet.

Richard Arnold has been lenient in making decisions. He has only been criticized for failing to sign players quickly in the transfer window.

Fans’ aggression will be transferred to the owners if they fail to back Erik Ten Hag with his primary targets this season.

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