Tag Archives: Ed Woodward

Ed Woodward to step down as Manchester United’s Vice Chairman

Ed Woodward is set to step down as Manchester United’s Chief Executive at the end of 2021 following the controversy surrounding the European Super League proposal.

It was reportedly due to be announced at the end of this current campaign following eight years in his role, but it is understood that the 49-year-old played a significant role in the build up to the widely unpopular Super League announcement this past Sunday, so confirmation of his resignation was subsequently brought forward.  Plans for this league proposed by United and 11 other ‘leading European clubs’ have now been called off. 

Woodward’s association with the Red Devils began in 2005 when he helped the Malcolm Glazer buy the club as an adviser. He then took charge of United’s commercial and media activities in 2007 before being named executive vice-chairman in 2013, replacing David Gill. 

The vice-chairman has come under increased scrutiny in recent years over the perceived failings of United in the transfer market. 

During his tenure managers David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho had all reportedly had issues with Woodward following his failed pursuits of the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines and Gareth Bale. Van Gaal even went as far as describing him as ‘an evil genius’. To address this the club has recently undergone a restructure by appointing John Murtough as football director and Darren Fletcher as technical director.   

In addition, the Glazer family’s ownership has always been a contentious among United’s fan base. Speaking on Sky’s Monday Night Football regarding his old club’s current owners and inclusion in the European Super League, Gary Neville said: 

“They have stepped over the mark. They are scavengers and need booting out of this football club and booting out of this country. We have got to come together. It might be too late, there’ll be people at Manchester United, fans 15 years ago who will say it’s too late. It’s never too late, we have got to stop this. It is absolutely critical we do.”

It is already rumoured that Richard Arnold could perhaps replace the outgoing Woodward ahead of the 2021/22 season, amongst United’s fans on Twitter, however, Gill’s name has already been trending far and wide in the hope that he can bring back the glory days to Old Trafford again.

What now for Sergio Romero?

Following the proposed transfer to Everton falling through this summer, the announcement that goalkeeper Sergio Romero has been rather unceremoniously left out of Manchester United’s Champions League squad this season certainly capped a rather frustrating week for the Argentine international. 

To add insult to injury the Toffees ended up signing Robin Olsen from Roma instead after the proposed move for Romero was blocked. 

Romero’s wife Eliana Guercio subsequently took to social media earlier this week saying:

“Sergio deserves the opportunity to go to another club and he has shown what he can do.

“He helped the team reach three semi-finals and then he was left on the bench for them and the side ended up losing them all.

“It is time for them to return the opportunity and let him go. Respect for once!”

The games that Guercio was referring to were the semi-final losses to Chelsea and Sevilla respectively, while the Argentine was also left on the bench for the two-legged Carabo Cup semi-final tie with Manchester City, having played in the earlier rounds of the competition.

So this begs the question, where could the former Sampdoria keeper go now? The 33-year old’s options are certainly limited after the closure of the International Transfer Window

Romero could potentially move to a side in the Championship but this, however, would clearly be a significant step down for a goalkeeper, who just three years ago helped Jose Mourinho and The Red Devils to lift the Europa League. 

The second option would be to look for a transfer to America and the MLS, as their window is still open until October 29.

The issue, however, with this particular move would be that a large majority of the season has already been played and with the play-offs in December, the Romero would find himself waiting until March 2021 when the new campaign begins. 

The only other alternative, therefore would be sit tight until January and make do with the fact that he is now the third choice keeper in a United squad that contains David De Gea and Dean Henderson, who has recently signed a bumper new contract with the club. 

Indeed, this shambolic and rather avoidable episode is just the latest in a number of significantly poor decisions by the Red Devils, in particular Chief Executive Ed Woodward and transfer negotiator Matt Judge in the transfer market.

Where do you think Romero will send up? Give us your thoughts in the comments below…

Manchester United warn of long-term economic effect of COVID-19 virus

On this day 21 years ago, ITV’s Clive Tyldesley uttered those famous words in Barcelona:

“Sheringham and Solskjaer has won it!  Manchester United have won it.”

Subsequently, The Red Devils lifted the Champions League for only the second time in their history, in so doing they completed the famous 1999 treble consisting of the Premier League, FA Cup and the prestigious European Trophy.

Fast-forward to the here and now, Manchester United has forecast that annual revenue would fall for the first time in five years after its failure to qualify for this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United say the coronavirus pandemic has cost them an initial £28 million – and expect the final figure to be far higher.

Manchester United’s Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said:

“Our third-quarter results reflect a partial impact that the pandemic has had on the club but the greater impact will be in the current quarter and likely beyond.

“These are unprecedented times and we must recognise that this crisis will not disappear overnight.

“However, our club is built on a solid foundation. We remain firmly optimistic about the long-term prospects for the club once we have worked our way through what is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the 142-year history of Manchester United.”

United, however, do have history of coming back from adverse situations, most notably the Munich air disaster that affected Sir Matt Busby’s ‘Busby Babes’ in 1958.

One of the clubs best ever a player at the time, Duncan Edwards, was among them.  That year they would go onto to some how make the FA Cup final and just 12 years after that fatal incident they would lift their first European Trophy in 1968.

Chief financial officer, Cliff Baty, estimated the lockdown cost United £23 million in the final two weeks of March because of the postponement of one Premier League away fixture (worth four million pounds at Tottenham Hotspur), a home Europa League last-16 tie against LASK (Linzer Athletik- Sport- Klub), the FA Cup quarter-final at Norwich City, broadcasting reductions plus the closure of the Old Trafford megastore, Red Cafe and United Events.

The managing director, Richard Arnold, said:

“The economic ramifications from this global pandemic will continue to resonate for years to come, but we remain optimistic about the long-term outlook for the sponsorship business and our ability to remain a leader within the market.”

United are also waiting on the Football Association to make some crucial decisions that could have a big impact on their interim future.

The Football Association will remain determined to get the FA Cup, which is up to the quarter-final stage, played.

Wembley Way is quiet due to the current crisis. If the FA Cup does get back up and running this season then Wembley Way will still be silent when the final is played. The idea of football returning without fans and an empty stadium will be a quite a different feeling for the players.

That might be as good a reason as any to cancel it. Will winning the FA Cup when no fans are there to celebrate really feel like winning the FA Cup at all?

For now United’s teams are waiting to hear how their chances of lifting a trophy this season are going to be affected by football’s new terrain.

Article written by Subeer Suri