David Gill to step down as Manchester United's chief executive

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LONDON. February 20. KAZINFORM Manchester United have announced that David Gill will step down as chief executive on 30 June with Ed Woodward, the executive vice chairman, taking over.

The 55-year-old Gill joined United's board in February 1997 as finance director and will remain a director of the club, while Woodward takes on his responsibilities.

Gill, who was appointed the vice chairman of the FA in October 2012 and has been nominated as its candidate in May's Uefa executive committee elections, said: "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. It has been a very hard decision because I love this club and, as the fans' banner says, it is, 'more than a religion'.

"However, I have always been conscious of the fact that, as a member of staff, I was always just a temporary custodian of this marvellous institution. 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.

"I'm delighted Ed has accepted the role. I have worked with him for more than seven years and in that time he has built up knowledge of football matters, which will hold him in good stead for the future, Kazinform has learnt from the Guardian.

"I am looking forward to continuing my involvement on the club board. And I hope to be able to make a contribution to the game on a wider national and European level."

Sir Alex Ferguson said: "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.

"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.

"Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt, that he believes it is time for the club to move on. If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it."

Woodward called his appointment a "great honour", adding: "I am particularly humbled to have the chance to work alongside the greatest manager in the history of the game. Alex's experience and track record are incomparable and I look forward to having the opportunity to support him in shaping his squad in the future and maintaining the club's position at the pinnacle of the sport."

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

"I am very pleased he has agreed to remain on the board, so that his experience and counsel are not lost to us. I hope that the decision he has made will be to the benefit of the game in Europe as a whole, as he seeks election to Uefa's executive committee."

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