Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold has reportedly handed Sir Alex Ferguson a new role at the club. News of a change for the Scot comes days after he briefly met Cristiano Ronaldo at the club’s Carrington training ground on Tuesday.
Ferguson has been a non-executive director at United since retiring as manager in 2013. He still attends most matches but hasn’t had a hands-on role for almost a decade. But now Arnold has turned to Ferguson for a source of advice.
The Mail reports that the legendary former manager is alongside ex-CEO David Gill, former Red Devils captain Bryan Robson and current football director John Murtough on a board of advisors for Arnold.
Ferguson managed United for 26-and-a-half years and won 38 major trophies. And Arnold is keen to tap into the 80-year-old’s knowledge of the game.
All five men met on Tuesday to hold the first of a regular series of meetings. It was the same day Ronaldo returned to Carrington for the first time since last season.
The Portugal superstar held talks with new boss Erik ten Hag after he had made it clear he wants to leave United in this window. The report claims Ferguson spoke briefly with Ronaldo on Tuesday and their encounter has been described as a ‘coincidence’. Ferguson’s lunch meeting was said to have been in the diary for some time but the venue was switched to Carrington so Arnold could meet with Ronaldo and Mendes for showdown transfer talks.
Ronaldo approached his old manager, who he has often described as a father figure to him when he bumped into him at the club’s base. But despite chats with Ten Hag and Ferguson, the 37-year-old forward still wants an exit this summer.
Ronaldo was the leading scorer for United in all competitions last season. He netted 24 times in his first campaign back at the club. Ferguson convinced Ronaldo to stay for one further year in 2008. But it appears his influence may not be enough this time around.
Like Ferguson, Gill has also remained a non-executive director since he stood down as CEO in 2013. The businessman has a great relationship with Ferguson and now they, along with former Old Trafford favourite Robson, can have an input in different aspects of the club again.
The report claims the trio will advise on redeveloping their home ground and training base. But they will also have an input in football matters, though Murtough will still have the deciding say in that regard.
It is a big move from Arnold just six months into his reign as CEO. He replaced former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at Old Trafford.