An end of an era is nigh at Manchester United, after the club announced chief executive David Gill will leave his position at the end of June.
The 55-year-old Gill has been employed at Old Trafford since 1997, when his considerable corporate experience led to his appointment as the club's financial director. In 2003, Gill replaced Peter Kenyon as United's chief executive, a post that has seen him work closely with long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Said Gill of his decision to step down, as per United's official statement:
It has been the greatest privilege to serve Manchester United for 16 wonderful years—the last 10 of which as its chief executive. I have worked alongside the finest manager in the history of the game and been part of what I consider to be the best club in the best sport in the world.
His biography on United's official website credits Woodward with developing a "new overall commercial strategy for the club" and having implemented a new "sponsorship strategy" from the club's London office.
When Gill leaves on June 30 he will remain very much involved with football in his role as vice chairman of the English Football Association. He is also a candidate in May's UEFA Executive Committee elections.
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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.
No disagreement is ever personal with him. He always wants the best for United, whether it’s the players, the training ground or the staff.