Jean-Claude Blanc is the favourite to succeed Richard Arnold as Manchester United‘s CEO following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority investment in the club.
Ratcliffe has paid the Glazer family £1.3 billion for a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils, and will be granted ‘sporting control’ at Old Trafford.
Although Erik ten Hag’s job as manager is thought to be safe for now, a handful of roles are set to be filled immediately, with Dan Ashworth and Paul Mitchell favourites to appointed as technical director and sporting director respectively.
And, according to reports, they will both be working under former Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain executive Blanc going forward.
What experience does Jean-Claude Blanc have?
Blanc has been chief executive of Ineos Sport – the group controlled by Ratcliffe – since 2022, overseeing their entire sporting portfolio, which includes French club Nice and the Mercedes F1 team among others.
Prior to that, he spent 11 years at PSG, overseeing the arrivals of stars of the world game including Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, and has previously been described as ‘the Lionel Messi’ of sports business.
His career in sports management took off 20 years ago, and he was variously in charge of the Winter Olympic Games, the Tour de France and the French Open, the latter of which he is credited with greatly improving their development with an extra weekend of Grand Slam tennis among other innovations.
Perhaps his greatest success was at Juventus, however. First joining the club as a board member following the Calciopoli scandal in 2009, which saw Italy’s record champions relegated to Serie B, Blanc renegotiated all existing contracts and had the club. breaking even when they secured promotion the following year.
Agrego a este hilo el desaparecido estadio Delle Alpi (👥️ 67,230 )de Turin inaugurado para el mundial de Italia 90 demolido en el 2006 para levantar el Juventus Stadium o Allianz Stadium en el 2009 (👥️ 41,500) pic.twitter.com/ATMDt86RJG
— Escalona📸 (@diarioelclamor) December 28, 2023
What can Man Utd expect from Jean-Claude Blanc?
It remains to be seen if Blanc will forego responsibilities for Ineos’ other sporting interests, but it seems likely he will focus solely on the sporting project at Man Utd, such is the scale of the club and the task at hand.
Blanc was central to Juventus’ move to their new, eponymous, stadium in 2011 – it includes a mall and is the only Italian stadium owned by the club and not the city. United may own Old Trafford, but a rejuvenation of the Red Devils’ famous but faltering home can be expected.
Speaking to L’Equipe about Blanc, an INEOS team member said: “He’s brilliant. He’s a super pro who’s excellent at building relationships. His arrival is fantastic for us.” United will hope the same proves true for them.