Why Manchester United appointed Omar Berrada over Jean-Claude Blanc as CEO | Football

Jean-Claude Blanc [centre] had been expected to become CEO (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Manchester United’s decision to appoint Omar Berrada as their new chief executive caught many by surprise.

The Spaniard’s appointment at Old Trafford is the first major decision taken by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team.

But it wasn’t just the fact that United appointed such a key figure from rivals Manchester City that was a surprise.

Jean-Claude Blanc was appointed to the board as part of Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn investment in the club, and the Frenchman had been expected to become the club’s new CEO.

Blanc, who is chief executive of INEOS Sport, has been labelled the ‘Lionel Messi of Sports Business’ in the past.

The 63-year-old has a world class reputation thanks to his work in turning Juventus around in the late 2000s, and how he formed the modern day Paris Saint-Germain following their takeover in 2011.

Blanc has attended several United matches since Ratcliffe’s investment, and he plans to take a hands-on approach at Old Trafford.

But the Athletic say he didn’t want to become the club’s new CEO as a return to the ‘day-to-day’ responsibilities of being a chief executive did not appeal to the Frenchman.

It’s a role he filled at Juventus with much success, and Blanc will instead offer ‘strategic advice’ to Berrada.

The Spaniard, who has handed in his resignation at City, is not expected to take up his new role until the summer.

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