It has been a very eventful 48 hours for Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward. On Monday, it was announced that there would be a new league called the European Super League. The announcement received massive backlash from fans and ex-players around the continent.
Premier League‘s ‘big six’ in Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur agreed to join the newly formed league after the end of the current season. Top clubs from Italy and Spain also agreed. This would have resulted in these clubs leaving their domestic leagues and the Champions League. Fans of respective clubs were furious with their club’s decision and took to social media to express their anger.
24 hours later, teams started to understand the unrest among fans and decided to opt out of the league. At the time of writing, all six of the Premier League clubs have pulled-out and made their decision official.
Manchester United made an even bigger announcement, moments after making it official about the club leaving the Super League, by saying that Ed Woodward has left the position of executive vice-chairman of the club.
Woodward on leaving United:
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, Juventus’ Chairman Andrea Agnelli and Ed Woodward were the main architect of the European Super League. But the collapse of the league has seen the trio put into immense pressure to leave the roles of their respective clubs.
And the pressure got to Ed Woodward, as he announced his resignation from Manchester United. In a press release from the club, Woodward said:
“I am extremely proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s greatest football club for the past 16 years. The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year. I will treasure the memories from my time at Old Trafford. During my period, we won the Europa League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.
I am proud of the regeneration of the club’s culture and our return to the Manchester United way of playing. We have invested more than £1 billion in the squad during my time. And I am particularly delighted with the progress the players have made under the astute leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching team in the last two years.”
What next for United?
The Red Devils will finish the current season without much fuss. But the summer transfer window is where when the problem might arise. Woodward was key to signing players for the club. And his resignation will leave a gaping hole.
The club did appoint John Murtough as Director of Footballer and former player Darren Fletcher as Technical Director in March. But they need someone who can take Woodward’s position before the summer transfer window.
The favourite for the position is Ajax’s chief executive Edwin van de Sar. The former United goalkeeper has done very well as an executive for the Dutch club, bringing youth players and promoting them to the first team.
United will assess their options at the end of the season, before making any decision. The Glazers’ future at the club will also be a huge factor in selecting a new executive vice-chairman.