Richard Arnold holds talks with Gary Neville as he prepares to begin as CEO

Ahead of preparing for his new role as Manchester United’s chief executive, Richard Arnold has held talks with former player Gary Neville.

Upon taking over from Ed Woodward next week, Arnold is hoping to have a better relationship with the likes of Neville, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand, who have used their roles as pundits to criticise the way Woodward operated during his time as the Reds’ CEO.

According to the Athletic, Arnold, the managing director at Old Trafford, is “aware of the importance of building better relationships” with the club legends, ahead of the official handover next week.

Replacing Woodward means that Arnold will be the new puppet master for the Glazer family, but he has already started reaching out and gathering the thoughts of former players, who alongside the club’s loyal fanbase have seen the twenty-times champions fall off the cliff, since Sir Alex Ferguson retired nine years ago.

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The Athletic state that Arnold has already contacted Neville, who has repeatedly used his platform as a Sky Sports pundit to criticise the way the club has been run under Woodward and the Glazers.

It is also understood that Arnold intends to do the same with the likes of Scholes and Ferdinand.

It seems that Arnold wants to avoid the roasting that Woodward regularly received, due to his incompetence and ill-thought out reckless decisions, which just had the Glazers’ coffers at the forefront of any plan which greatly impacted the footballing operations of the club.

Arnold seems keen not to suffer a repeat of the reputation that followed Woodward during his tenure.

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But actions speak louder than words and none are likely to state that more than the likes of Neville, Scholes and Ferdinand, who are unlikely to be wooed and convinced by some choice words and potential false promises.

It’s going to take a lot for Richard Arnold to emerge from Woodward’s shadow and build trust with the fans and former players, but reaching out to the likes of Gary Neville is a good start.

But it has to be that he generally cares and values their opinion, and isn’t instead handing out an olive branch because he is concerned about the home truths which are aired on Sky Sports and BT Sport.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.