By Daniel Hunter
Manchester United chief executive David Gill is to step down from his position on June 30th.
The current Premier League leaders confirmed that Gill, who has been at Old Trafford since 1997 when he joined as finance director before going on to take the chief executive role in 2003, will step down. He will however remain as a director of the club.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward will assume Gill's responsibilities.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me."
He added: "If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it."
Gill said: "It has been the greatest privilege to serve Manchester United," said Gill.
"I have worked alongside the finest manager in the history of the game and been part of what I consider to be the best club in the best sport in the world.
"It has been a very hard decision because I love this club and, as the fans' banner says, it is 'more than a religion'.
"I've experienced some incredible highs, such as the Treble in 1999 and the Premier League and Champions League double in 2008, and lows, like losing the title with the last kick of the season last year. But that is what makes this club and this sport so compelling."
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