Man City chief explains sense of ‘pride’ following Omar Berrada’s Man Utd appointment

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The former Manchester City executive is set to take over at Manchester United next month.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has said he feels a sense of pride when his staff are pinched by other clubs.

The Premier League champions have become industry-leaders in many football sectors over recent years, and not just on the pitch. The club’s youth teams continue to excel, last year a record £712m revenue was posted, while the executive structure is admired by many sides across the country.

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Indeed, so impressive is the City hierarchy that Sir Jim Ratcliffe spoke in glowing terms about the club when his purchase of a minority stake in Manchester United was confirmed in February. The Ineos chief has also targeted current and former employees from City to form his new ‘best-in-class’ structure at Old Trafford.

Omar Berrada will become United’s new CEO next month once his gardening leave has finished, Jason Wilcox has already been appointed, while this week Toby Craig also joined United. All three previously worked for City, while Southampton, Newcastle United, Arsenal, West Ham United have pinched staff in recent years.

That’s not to forget the likes of Mikel Arteta and Enzo Maresca who were part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching group and are now in charge of Arsenal and Chelsea. All of this, according to Al Mubarak, is proof that City are doing something right off the pitch.

“Frankly, [it makes me feel] proud. It tells you we are very good at what we do at every level. When you see, and I use the word graduates, players at the academy level, players at the first-team level leave and go and have successful careers,” the 48-year-old said in his end-of-season interview.

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“Coaching staff, medical staff, physios, senior executives that are being sought after by the best teams in the world. I think if anything, that's testament that we're on the right track. It confirms a) that we're doing it right, b) the people, c) that we have a system, that we have great leadership, that we have great management and a system that continues to produce talent at every level.

“Every aspect of the business of football, from coaching to playing to managing. When you look at people that get an offer for a great job at another club, of course you understand. It’s natural people will take other challenges. 

“But I think one thing that I will hopefully always feel is that when they leave, they leave with appreciation for the time they spent at the club. They leave with respect for how this club has helped them in their careers and they'll always have, I think, a positive memory of the time we spent. 

“We stay friends. I think that's important. So, you know, I understand that of course we're going to defend and the people that we want to keep, we will do everything we can to keep. Sometimes we can't win them all. But, it's the natural evolution.”

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