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.