The proposal from Ineos was supported by the board, which has been trying to fill the position since Richard Arnold's departure last year.

Although Jean-Claude Blanc was expected to take over as CEO, Blanc opted to stay with the wider sports group owned by Ratcliffe. This has led United to turn to Berrada, who has apparently been kept on the sidelines for months.

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The Catalan was one of the key executives at City and the move is already being likened in the football world to the way the Abu Dhabi-owned club appointed a number of executives from Camp Nou when Barcelona were the world's leading football team. That strategy brought Berrada to City in 2011, where he served as commercial director before being promoted to operations director at the club and director of football operations at City Football Group.

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During this time, the manager, who has worked extensively on important football matters such as transfers, will now be a key figure at Old Trafford and will be part of the board. While United's discretion in sacking Berrada has earned new respect in the football world, there was genuine surprise at the news.

Berrada had previously worked at Barcelona for eight years, his most notable role being that of sponsorship manager."Manchester United is pleased to announce the appointment of Omar Berrada as our new CEO," Manchester United said in a statement on Saturday, January 20. The club is committed to putting football and performance on the pitch back at the heart of everything we do.Omar's appointment represents the first step on that journey."One of the most experienced football executives at the top of European football, Omar brings a wealth of football experience and commercial expertise, along with a track record of successful leadership and a passion for leading change across the Club. Currently Director of Football Operations at City Football Group, overseeing 11 clubs across 5 continents, Omar previously held senior roles at Barcelona.

Rebuilding Manchester United into a championship-winning club is our stated goal. We are delighted that Omar will be joining us to help us achieve that goal, so that United fans can once again be part of what Sir Matt Busby called the British, European and world champions.