Poaching Omar Berrada – one of Man City’s inner circle – is such a coup for Manchester


  • Omar Berrada has joined Manchester United as their new chief executive
  • United’s recruitment of the 46-year-old is a serious coup for Sir Jim Ratcliffe
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe should target Thomas Tuchel, he’s got unfinished business – It’s All Kicking Off

Omar Berrada used an interview with the EU Business School to reveal a side of his character that has no doubt played a part in the bold decision to quit Manchester City and become the new chief executive of Manchester United.

‘A common theme of my career has been to take risks and try things. To be part of a journey which can go well or go badly but you learn,’ said Berrada in 2021, adding that he moved to City from Barcelona in the first place because he wanted to ‘go out of my comfort zone’.

No one could accuse Berrada of being afraid to take risks after it emerged over the weekend that he is leaving City for United, in a move that signals Ineos’ intent following Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s arrival at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe and his sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford are determined to appoint ‘best in class’ to the key positions at United, and it’s a measure of their ambition that they have targeted one of City’s inner circle.

When a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling went in City’s favour in July 2020, a photo emerged of Berrada among the club’s top brass celebrating at the training ground with Pep Guardiola. One can only assume that United are comfortable he will not be implicated in the 115 Premier League charges still hanging over City.

Omar Berrada has left his role at Manchester City to become Man United's new chief executive

Omar Berrada has left his role at Manchester City to become Man United’s new chief executive

Fluent in five languages, Berrada has strong contacts throughout the industry and a ‘collaborative’ approach

Fluent in five languages, Berrada has strong contacts throughout the industry and a ‘collaborative’ approach

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford are determined to appoint ‘best in class’ to the key positions at United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford are determined to appoint ‘best in class’ to the key positions at United

Poaching the 46-year-old, who has risen to the role of chief football operations officer for the 13 clubs owned by City Football Group, is undoubtedly a coup for United — albeit not a mortal blow for their neighbours, who have moved on from high-profile exits in the past.

City like to see themselves as the Harvard of football and United’s move for Berrada is testament to that, even though he is unlikely to be able to start his new job until the summer.

Berrada has certainly assembled an impressive c.v. since dropping out of engineering college in Massachusetts. He graduated at the EU Business School and became head of sponsorships at Barcelona, leaving Catalonia for City in 2011 before either chief executive Ferran Soriano or director of football Txiki Begiristain arrived in Manchester.

Over the next 13 years, he became a key aide to both men as City conquered the Premier League and Europe.

Berrada learned from Soriano’s commercial acumen as well as Begiristain’s football expertise, closing the deal for a number of big signings including Erling Haaland.

With no sign of Soriano stepping aside and a suggestion that City’s group chief operating officer Roel de Vries is viewed as his long-term successor, Berrada accepted United’s offer.

Berrada accepted United’s offer that will see him cross Manchester to join City's rivals

Berrada accepted United’s offer that will see him cross Manchester to join City’s rivals

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Fluent in five languages, Berrada has strong contacts throughout the industry and a ‘collaborative’ approach that Ineos hope will drive United forward.

Sources describe a man who doesn’t have a big ego but is not short of ambition or bite. Privately, he has spoken about City dominating Europe for years to come. Publicly, he was not afraid to challenge Jurgen Klopp in 2019 for claiming City live in a transfer ‘fantasy land’.

No sooner had the announcement been made on Saturday night than some of his historical posts on social media that were mildly anti-United began to surface. The glare of the spotlight will be more intense now.

Berrada knows he is stepping out of his comfort zone again, but it hasn’t worked out too badly for him so far.





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