Manchester United have announced Aberdonian Patrick Stewart as the club’s new interim chief executive.
The former Aberdeen Grammar School pupil replaces Richard Arnold who has left after only two years in the role.
Man Utd fans will be hoping Mr Stewart’s connections with the Granite City can bring the club some good fortune.
He becomes the latest in a long line of Scots to grace Old Trafford, following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson, Gordon Strachan, Archie Knox and Martin Buchan.
He joined Man Utd in 2006, becoming their chief legal officer and general counsel, responsible for overseeing the club’s legal and regulatory affairs, and managing relationships with key stakeholders, such as the Premier League.
In his 17 years at the club so far he has seen a Champions League win, the club’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange and Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Who is Patrick Stewart?
Mr Stewart attended Aberdeen Grammar School from 1984 to 1990.
He completed his LLB at Glasgow University before working as a solicitor in the late 1990s at both Burness Paull and Maclay Murray & Spens.
He made the move into the world of football in September 2001 as part of UEFA’s marketing agency for the Champions League – a role he held until moving to Old Trafford.
There he was responsible for negotiating media and sponsorship deals providing him with tools to then join Man Utd.
Mr Stewart became one of the first in-house lawyers at a Premier League club and was tasked with setting up a legal department.
It’s understood he signs off almost everything associated with the club, whether it be a record-breaking commercial deal or a first-team player’s contract extension.
As well as his work with UEFA, he has also held a position at the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2019. He is one of 14 arbitrators who deal specifically with football issues across the world.
‘Club’s foundations remain stable’
Mr Stewart said his focus will be on making the club stronger on and off the pitch.
He said: “Together with my leadership team colleagues, my job will be to ensure that the club’s foundations remain stable while we embrace changes that can make us stronger over the long term, on and off the pitch, and to support the search for a new permanent CEO.”
Man Utd confirmed Mr Stewart will continue his existing role as general counsel, with Mr Arnold providing transitional support until the end of December.
A search process will be carried out for a new permanent chief executive.
A major shake-up is anticipated at Man Utd once Sir Jim Ratcliffe acquires a 25 per cent stake from the current owners the Glazers who took charge in 2005.