Home » Richard Arnold facing intense pressure to resign from Manchester United

Richard Arnold facing intense pressure to resign from Manchester United

by Darragh Fox

Richard Arnold, the man at the heart of Manchester United’s internal investigation into Mason Greenwood, is facing increasing pressure to resign from his role at the club.

United’s Chief Executive Officer was ultimately responsible for deciding the club’s decision on the future of Greenwood, who has not featured at Old Trafford since his arrest in January 2022.

The forward was subsequently charged with attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour. However, the Crown Prosecution Service chose to drop the case in February 2023.

At this point, United began their internal investigation into the allegations, intended to dictate their employee’s future. This process reached a dramatic culmination yesterday with the news that Greenwood would no longer play for the club and would be leaving Old Trafford.

It constituted a complete reversal, however, from the plan Arnold has initially settled on, one of reintegration for Greenwood into the first-team squad. This exposure led to an intense backlash against the decision from internal and external sources to Old Trafford.

Reports suggest this mounting public negativity was the fundamental factor driving United’s change of mind, not ones of morals. Indeed, Arnold went as far as publicly declaring his belief Greenwood “did not commit the acts he was charged with.” An extraordinary admission which The Athletic has called “problematic in the extreme.”

The manner in which United’s Chief Executive Officer has handled this situation has placed him firmly in the public eye.

The Telegraph reports Arnold is now “facing calls to resign” as an admission of his guilt in the investigation.

A list of relevant entities were drawn up in United’s initial proposal to reintroduce Greenwood to the senior squad; individuals or organisations the club considered would have significant public sway on the matter. These included politicians, journalists, football pundits and domestic abuse charities, with each name on the list given a designation of “supportive”, “open-minded”, or “hostile” to Greenwood’s reintegration.

These charities, concerned with the welfare of abuse victims, were designated “hostile” by United officials.

Jamie Klinger, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, an organisation formed in the aftermath of the Sarah Everard murder, believes this callous approach ensures Arnold and his advisors should quit their roles.

Barney Chilton, co-founder of Red News, a long-standing and influential United fanzine, echoed Klinger’s words on social media:

 “Arnold’s statement and handling of this leaves so much to desire [sic]; surely it should have also been a resignation letter?”

Gary Neville didn’t name Arnold directly but criticised the club’s hierarchy for not delegating this investigation to an independent panel: “It’s been well above their grade of experience and ability.”

Neville believes “authoritative leadership” was required to handle a complex situation effectively, and “Manchester United don’t have that.” The criticism of Arnold is explicitly implicit.

Old Trafford has often been where rampant public opinion causes dramatic policy changes. In the case of Greenwood, this produced the correct decision after five months of incorrect action.

In the context of Richard Arnold’s continued tenure as the club’s Chief Executive, his position looks increasingly shaky.

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