Premier League English

Omar Berrada joining Manchester United won’t derail Manchester City

Manchester City are apparently not in any way finicky about Omar Berrada’s departure and appear to be in no rush to announce a successor due to the different structure in place that sets them apart from other clubs in all the various leagues.

Following up on Jim Ratcliffe’s creating a stir talking about knocking people off their perches, Manchester United made a statement of intent by poaching Omar Berrada from Manchester City to be their new CEO.

This was then immediately followed up with the pinching of Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth to lead their recruitment, with Southampton director of football and former City academy boss Jason Wilcox also being targeted. It certainly looks like a serious recruitment drive has already begun to try and catch up with City after a decade of dominance by the latter.

Meanwhile there has been no big announcement at the Etihad to replace Berrada, who’s currently on gardening leave until the end of the season. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if there may not even be one as City are an entirely different kettle of fish in the way they have built their success to such a level of consistency that a major departure doesn’t necessarily equate a cavernous hole having opened up with a legion of demons emerging. Berrada leaving would certainly have impacted the club to some degree, but certainly not to the extent of leaving a huge dent that is irreparable.

Similarly numerous players and staff have left without necessarily having been replaced. Case in point was when Guardiola lost his long-term assistant Domenec Torrent at the end of the 2017/18 season and still won the league with 98 points the following year without replacing him.

It is also to City’s credit and a testament to their management savvy that the club subscribes to promotion from within as well, with Rodolfo Borrell, Carlos Vicens and Enzo Maresca all prime examples of Guardiola assistants who had previously been in the club’s academy. This also applies to the operational side of the club, with extended opportunities made readily available by the City Football Group umbrella.

Berrada is himself is a cavalier example of how one can progress through the ranks at City, having risen from an initial role in charge of sponsorships to end up as COO – making himself integral to the work of Txiki Begiristain, Ferran Soriano and Brian Marwood – to reach the summit of a department with 130 people under him.

The impact of Berrada’s departure and absence has been effectively mitigated by channeling his work into multiple desks since his resignation at the beginning of the year, hence obviating the necessity for hiring another heavy-hitter to replace him immediately because that just isn’t City’s style. Time will be taken to assess if the change is impacting them adversely while determining what is most needed moving forward.

Berrada himself would be most aware of how City would function going forward after his departure.