First big move: Sir Jim stuns Manchester City by roping in former Barca man

Sir Jim Ratcliffe outside Manchester United stadium Old Trafford.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United are set to appoint former Barcelona man Omar Berrada as their new chief executive.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to buy a minority stake in Manchester United is yet to be ratified by the Premier League. However, it hasn’t seemingly stopped the Ineos chief from making his first big decision which has an immense potential to make considerable trembles in Manchester’s football landscape.

According to The Athletic, the City Football Group chief football operations officer has agreed to join United as their new CEO. The appointment would bring an end to the club’s search for Richard Arnold’s successor.

Berrada is one of the most appreciated and sought-after minds in football, having played a key role in the recent on and off-field success of the ‘noisy’ neighbors. Before City, he also worked at Barcelona for several years as a senior media business development manager and head of sponsorship.

He joins United on the back of an excellent record in both the football and business side of things. He worked closely with City director of football Txiki Begiristain and was involved in the signing of Erling Haaland in 2022.

It is added that Berrada was identified and pursued by INEOS but with ‘endorsement’ from the Glazers.

Needless to say, the true impact of the impending appointment of Berrada as the CEO at Old Trafford would not surface immediately and he’d need ample time and support from Jim Ratcliffe’s team to tackle countless issues at the 20-times English champions.

Regardless, roping in such a highly-rated figure from their fierce rivals is certainly a massive statement from the new decision-makers in the red side of Manchester.