Peter Kenyon: Former chief executive played key role

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The damning report into transfer transactions at Manchester United will make uncomfortable reading for Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of the club throughout the period, who was questioned as part of the review.

The damning report into transfer transactions at Manchester United will make uncomfortable reading for Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of the club throughout the period, who was questioned as part of the review.

Sources close to the Manchester United board last night said that Kenyon, who is now chief executive of Chelsea, was heavily involved in the transactions that came under scrutiny in the report. A spokesman for the club yesterday added, however, that a number of people had responsibility for the dealings with agents.

Kenyon, a United fan, came to Manchester United from the sports clothing company, Umbro. He is said to have injected ruthless commercialism into running the football club and exploiting the dedication of its army of fans. He is widely credited with helping to elevate Manchester United into one of the biggest sports brands in the world. This included securing marketing deals with Vodafone and Nike, as well as a mechandising agreement with the New York Yankees.

On leaving the club last September, Kenyon said he had put the infrastructure in place at Manchester United to make it one of the most financially successful clubs in the world.

That so few checks and balances took place over dealings with agents on his watch, however, is bound to lead to questions over his actions and will not help convince Chelsea fans, who are sceptical about him because of the way he has treated the club's popular manager, Claudio Ranieri. When contacted by The Independent yesterday, Kenyon said he had not yet seen the report and was not prepared to comment on any of its findings before seeing it.

Sources close to the Manchester United board were being careful yesterday not to criticise Kenyon, but they accepted that, as chief executive at the time, he would have been "more involved in the transfer dealings under scrutiny than any other member of the United plc board." Manchester United would not allow Kenyon to start work immediately at Chelsea after he was poached bythe Londoners' new owner, Roman Abramovich, and he had to take time out on gardening leave.

At Chelsea's last match of the season, Kenyon sat uncomfortably as the crowd sang for their admired coach for most of the second half. Kenyon was also booed by both set so fans at Old Trafford earlier this month when Chelsea played his former club.

Comments