Manchester United CEO David Gill to step down

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was effusive in his praise for David Gill.

Story highlights

  • David Gill to step down as Manchester United CEO in June
  • Gill will be succeeded by current executive vice chairman Ed Woodward
  • The 19-time English champions owned by the Glazer family
  • The Glazer family also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise

After a decade at the helm of one of the world's biggest football clubs David Gill will step down as Manchester United chief executive officer in June.

Gill, who will be succeeded by current executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, was involved in the controversial takeover of the 19-time English champions by the American Glazer family.

Macolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise, acquired a controlling stake in United in 2005, a takeover that sparked fan protests.

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"It has been the greatest privilege to serve Manchester United for 16 wonderful years -- the last 10 of which as its chief executive," said Gill, who joined United as finance director in 1997.

"However, I have always been conscious of the fact that, as a member of staff, I was always just a temporary custodian of this marvelous institution," added Gill, who will remain a director at the club.

"I am also of the view that all businesses need to refresh themselves with new management and ideas and after 10 years in charge I believe it is appropriate for someone new to pick up the baton."

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: "David has played a significant role in the success of Manchester United in his 10 years as chief executive and he can take great satisfaction in all that has been achieved on his watch, both on and off the field."

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Since Gill became CEO in 2003, United have won four English Premier League titles, the 2004 FA Cup and the European Champions League in 2008.

All of those titles have been won under the club's iconic manager Alex Ferguson, who has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986.

"I have been at United for over 26 years and for 23 of those years my boss has been one of only two men: Martin Edwards, who brought me to the club, and David Gill. I have enjoyed working with both," said Ferguson.

"David has been a magnificent chief executive. Of course, we have had a million arguments, but I have always enjoyed them because I know that David has two great qualities: he is straight and he always puts Manchester United first.

"He has been, and will continue to be, a fantastic success for Manchester United. He has all the qualities of successful people engrained in him: energy, honesty, integrity, personality and decision-making ability."

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The Deloitte Sports Business Group recently estimated United's revenue to be $502.4 million, a figure bettered only by Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The list compiled by Deloitte does not consider debt, and it was debt which caused many fans to rail against the Glazer's takeover of United.

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A group of fans formed a breakaway team called FC United of Manchester, which now plays in the seventh tier of English football.

By way of protest, a number of fans began wearing green and yellow scarves to the team's home games, the colors of the Newton Heath club from which Manchester United was formed.

United currently lead the Premier League table by 12 points from cross-city neighbors Manchester City with just 12 matches of the season remaining.

Ferguson's team are also still in the Champions League and are level at 1-1 with Real Madrid ahead of the second leg of their second-round tie on March 5.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the FA Cup with victory over Reading on Monday, United's current squad could emulate the team of 1999 which won an unprecedented Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.