MUFC choose Hitchenor to headhunt senior post

Manchester United has appointed Hitchenor Wakeford Executive Search to help grow its commerci

Manchester United has appointed Hitchenor Wakeford Executive Search to help grow its commercial team at Old Trafford.

The Manchester-based executive search and selection company's initial brief is to headhunt a business development manager who will report directly to Michael Bolingbroke, chief operating officer at one of the world's biggest football clubs.

David Tunna, director of the Hitchenor Wakeford Group, which employs 22 people in offices across Manchester and Leeds, said: "We are pleased to be acting on behalf of such a high profile client and this role will provide significant challenges and rewards for the right person. We're looking to develop a close relationship with the club and we are delighted to have been appointed to search for such a key senior management position."

Tunna added that his team were seeking an associate chartered accountant and/or MBA with demonstrable leadership ability and an excellent track record of success.

"This individual will possess strong commercial and analytical skills to identify new revenue opportunities and manage key external relationships with all the club's partners, including Nike and AIG," he said. "In addition, the successful candidate will deliver strategies in respect of the soccer schools, club tours and the corporate side of football."

Adrian Hitchenor, chief executive of Hitchenor Wakeford, told Recruiter that the Manchester United deal was the result of hard work and a track record of building a reputation for sourcing quality candidates.

He said: "Manchester United has seen our track record with Nike and Umbro, and the likes of Grant Thornton and KPMG, and are comfortable that we are capable of delivering the right candidate."

Hitchenor said Manchester United is run like a FTSE 250 company with "very credible people running an engine room". He added: "It has to be very methodical. You have to be well organised, briefed, professional and systematic."

The sporting sector is following in the footsteps of the public sector and recruiting experts in industry to manage, which they were not doing 10 years ago.

Hitchenor, which is also headhunting for Asda Walmart and several other high profile football and rugby teams, says the firm is continuing to expand its sport and leisure recruitment division as well financial services, oil and gas and energy employment services.

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