Peter Kenyon tells Richard Arnold 'don't get involved' in Manchester United team affairs

One former Manchester United CEO has given advice to the next man up, incoming club chief Richard Arnold.

Arnold officially takes over on February 1, with Ed Woodward finally departing in a long overdue move.

Former CEO Peter Kenyon says Arnold has to delegate responsibility in order to be a success and must not get involved in team affairs.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Kenyon said: “Richard’s a very organised man, the time in the industry has given him huge industry knowledge. The key is don’t get involved in [the team], get the right people to select the players, get the right people. You have a relationship with the coach but you never tell the coach what to do.

“The job of a CEO isn’t to pick the team, it’s to pick the team which will manage the team. It’s to make sure the right amount of money is there, all the functions are running a football club are the best you can get.”

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Kenyon says replacing Sir Alex gave Woodward a tough task

Ed Woodward has been strongly criticised during his eight years at Manchester United, with the club falling to lows never experienced by a generation of fans who grew up with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.

Kenyon has some sympathy with Woodward, as he says the task of replacing the Scot was simply too much.

He said: “There will be a lot people telling Ed he’s been a failure and the rest of it. Those sorts of people have never been running it, it’s tough. What Ed oversaw was a huge change because of (Sir) Alex and you should never underestimate Alex’s role within the club. There was a lot of things that happened when he left, that were not going to happen until he’d gone.

“Everybody can be smart after the event and after the fact, and perhaps they should have spent more time on preparation for Sir Alex (leaving) but it’s hard to understand what you have to fill until the gaps appear.”

Unfortunately for United, Sir Alex left the same year David Gill left as CEO in 2013, and rather than having a well-drilled operation above replacement David Moyes, Woodward was exposed as a total novice trying to steer the ship.

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Woodward clashed with previous boss Jose Mourinho over transfer issues in 2018, and this is the type of scenario Kenyon recommends Arnold avoids.

United have created a better structure over the past 12 months, with a director of football finally appointed with John Murtough, who can handle some of the responsibility and keep it out of Arnold’s hands.

Ralf Rangnick is also set to ‘move upstairs’ as a consultant to support the next manager once his stint in charge comes to an end once this season is over.

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