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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Profile: Peter Kenyon
By Andrew McKenzie

Peter Kenyon
Peter Kenyon's expected departure from Manchester United to become chief executive at Chelsea will bring to an end three years of unrivalled success at Old Trafford.

Since taking over from Martin Edwards in the hot-seat at Old Trafford in August 2000 the club have continued their dominance of English football.

But two Premiership titles in three years tells only a very small part of Kenyon's time at the club.

More importantly for the long-term future at United was Kenyon's success in persuading manager Sir Alex Ferguson to ditch his retirement plans in 2001 and lead them into a brave new era.

Under Kenyon the club ripped up their policy of cautious spending and tossed aside their rigid wage structure.

The club spent big to bring in Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron - who he recently sold to Chelsea - and Rio Ferdinand in order to try and compete with the best in Europe.

Despite the spending sprees no club have ever been better off financially than United are at present.

Kenyon has helped turn the club into the most financially secure in the world and the biggest brand in football.

They could even afford to lose their biggest asset in David Beckham to European rivals Real Madrid for 25m this summer.

Kenyon is an astute businessman who made his name as chief executive of sports manufacturers Umbro before leaving his post to become deputy chief executive of United in 1997.

He was part of the negotiations as United secured huge deals with Vodafone and Nike and set up a ground-breaking merchandising arrangement with the New York Yankees.

Kenyon has also helped United raise their profile to phenomenal levels in the lucrative Asian market.

Having money is not necessarily a route to automatic success
Peter Kenyon
In contrast to Edwards, Kenyon appeared to enjoy the spotlight and built up a rapport with fans who were often given short shrift by the previous regime.

Kenyon was not afraid to share his views on the game and attracted criticism after suggesting the answer to football's current cash problems was for smaller clubs to go part-time.

His decision to leave Man Utd is even more of a surprise as he is a self-confessed United fan.

Born in the Greater Manchester area, Kenyon, who was a decent amateur player, watched United lift the European Cup at Wembley in 1968.

And earlier in the summer there was no sign that he was about to join Roman Abramovich's army when he dismissed the threat Chelsea posed on United's role as England's premier club this summer.

"We are not worried - why should we be?" said Kenyon. "Having money is not necessarily a route to automatic success.

"I am quite sure they will become a bigger force but it is our intention to keep Manchester United at the top, and we have the infrastructure in place to make that happen."

He will now attempt to recreate that infrastructure to make things happen at Stamford Bridge.

Will Man Utd suffer without Peter Kenyon?
5847 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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