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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has sacked the man responsible for Man United’s worst financial mistake



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Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Manchester United have parted ways with two senior staff at Old Trafford in yet another interesting move from INEOS.

Richard Arnold and John Murtough have both departed their roles at United since Ratcliffe and his team took charge. Omar Berrada and Dan Ashworth will take over their roles.

However, important changes behind the scenes this week saw the club confirm the departures of interim CEO Patrick Stewart and Chief Financial Officer Cliff Baty at the end of the current season.

Batty joined the club in 2016, and he will be replaced by Roger Bell, INEOS‘ former CFO.

His departure is not surprising, considering the moves that INEOS has made so far, but it is also significant, with Batty being one of the key men behind United’s worst financial crime in recent years.

The club are still suffering from the wage problems they created for themselves under the Glazer ownership, with new contracts on high wages being offered out too often for players who were simply not good enough.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Baty’s appointment as chief financial officer in 2017 contributed to the wave of ‘senseless’ contract renewals.

The report mentioned contract renewals such as Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling in 2018, Anthony Martial, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof in 2019, and Eric Bailly in 2021. It can be largely agreed within the fanbase that none of those players have been good signings overall for the club.

Baty worked around the logic that these new deals maintained asset value on the balance sheet. However, football doesn’t work like any normal business, and United have paid the price for such contract renewals.

It was further added that Baty helped lead the charge to try and tie down Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba on new contracts, but those three either rejected or walked away from negotiations.

Interestingly, this is the first season in many where United have not confirmed a mid-season long-term contract extension. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had the option for one additional year triggered in his current deal in January.

However, INEOS are looking to change things and fix the problems which those under the Glazers created.

And while Baty’s departure has been announced as “mutual consent,” the trend is clear with Ratcliffe at the helm, and there are likely to be even more “mutual” departures in the coming months.