Chelsea ‘snap up Man Utd executive’ who had Gary Neville seething | Football | Sport


Manchester United media guru Phil Lynch is set to join Chelsea after previously being told “to get the f**k away” from the fans and players by Gary Neville. Lynch arrived at Old Trafford in 2017 and was charged with overseeing United’s output on MUTV, as well as the club app and social media channels.

The chief executive of media was initially credited for helping the Premier League side engage with a global digital audience, and his role soon expanded to oversee the use of concepts like crypto and NFTs. But in 2021, he infuriated club icon Neville with a video explaining how he sought to influence the views of fans on players.

“We pull, twice a day, fan sentiment graphs for every one of our players,” said the American. “We have certain thresholds that alert us when we see fan sentiment going one way – be that a personal issue, an on-pitch performance issue and when that happens, we then start to work with the player and his team individually to try and counter that narrative a little bit.”

That triggered the ex-right back into a response on social media. And he accused Lynch of sounding more like a politician than a Premier League football club executive.

“Creating Robots on and off the pitch!” he posted. “Get the f**k away from them. It’s a football club. He makes controlling fans sound like he’s trying to win a general election!”

But according to Mail Sport, Lynch will be taking up the role of global head of digital for BlueCo, the US-based consortium that acquired Chelsea in 2022. American co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali at Stamford Bridge have already recruited compatriots in new chief executive Chris Jurasek and Tottenham commercial boss Todd Kline.

The switch is reportedly not due to the arrival in Manchester of Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The INEOS chief has already set about his own overhaul of club personnel, targeting the likes of Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth.

Lynch’s move will trigger memories of fans of Peter Kenyon’s infamous move back in 2003. After six years at United, and claiming to be a lifelong fan of the club, the Englishman switched to Chelsea and duly courted controversy.

He was instrumental in the club’s audacious attempt to hire Sven-Goran Eriksson while the Swede was still in charge of England. Kenyon was also accused of tapping up Arsenal left back Ashley Cole before his move to Stamford Bridge.

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