Ed Woodward has resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman and will leave at the end of 2021.
Woodward’s resignation comes after Manchester United were heavily criticised their own supporters for agreeing to join a breakaway European Super League.
“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,” he said in a statement.
It is understood he leaves on good terms with the Glazer family, with co-chairman Joel Glazer adding: “Ed Woodward has served the club with great distinction. On behalf of everyone at United I would like to place on record our sincere thanks for his tireless work and dedication.”
What has been said?
In a statement Woodward said that he was “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”.
He added: “The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.
“The last 16 months have brought so many unique challenges and the club’s work in the community and around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic has been heroic.
“The financial impact on football clubs has been severe, but United have been one of the most robust and resilient in the face of extraordinary financial pressures.”
Why has he resigned?
Woodward’s decision to resign as Manchester United executive vice chairman comes after a tumultuous 48 hours following the announcement of a breakaway European Super League.
Legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson was among those to voice his opposition to the decision. “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football,” he told Reuters.
“Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest.”
The club were also heavily criticised former player Gary Neville on Sky Sports, while current players Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw all made their displeasure known.
What is his legacy?
Woodward was promoted to executive vice-chairman in 2012, replacing David Gill.
He presides over a series of big-money signings but United did not win the Premier League while he was in his post and he proved an unpopular figure with the club’s supporters.
What next for the Super League?
Plans for a European Super League now hang a thread after Chelsea and Manchester City withdrew from the planned breakaway tournament on Tuesday night.
15 clubs had announced that they were ‘founding members’ of the new tournament on Sunday.
But the double withdrawal plus the news of Woodward’s departure from Manchester United, another founding member, means the breakaway tournament now hangs in the balance.
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