The backlash from Manchester United fans caused the Premier League giants to withdraw from the European Super League. The decision made by the club’s owners did not brew well with the fans, who staged protests against the owners. The fans are now demanding more control over the governance of the club, possibly looking to bring in the 50+1 rule of the Bundesliga.
Amidst this controversial air, Executive Vice-Chairman of the club, Ed Woodward announced that he will leave the club at the end of the year. The English accountant and banker is effectively overseeing the club’s operations and is responsible for its decisions. However, as per reports, Woodward will get to choose the next Executive Vice-Chairman when he resigns from his post.
Super league lasted 2 whole days, 3 clubs out, Ed Woodward resigns. Class pic.twitter.com/7xprXnWKl1
— Daniel Craig Holmes (@DanielCHolmes7) April 20, 2021
WOODWARD WILL LEAVE
David Gill and Peter Kenyon were the people that occupied the post that Woodward holds now. They were all appointed from within the Manchester club’s power hierarchy like Woodward himself. Managing Director Richard Arnold currently occupies the same role Woodward did before he became the Vice-Chairman. Hence, he could be one of the probable candidates to replace Woodward when he leaves.
— Rameck Gisanintwari (@RGisanintwari) April 20, 2021
“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.
“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 a period when we won the Europa League, the FA Cup and the League Cup,” said Woodward.
“We have invested more than £1 billion in the squad during my time here 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.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2021
WOODWARDS TAKES THE BULLET
Although Woodward was the main influence for the player acquisitions for the club over the season, this summer could be different. Football Director John Murtough might be the man in charge of the summer transfer window. Darren Fletcher, the Technical Director will be the other important figure this season when it comes to transfers. Matt Judge, the director of football negotiations, will be responsible for sorting out the contracts of the incoming players.
An open letter from Joel Glazer to all Manchester United fans.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2021
Reports indicate that staff at Old Trafford were ‘gutted’ to find out that Woodward will leave. Some have even reported saying that he has ‘taken a bullet for the Glazer Family.’ There is a belief that Woodward is being made the scapegoat over the European Super League incident. Words around the club suggest that Woodward genuinely opposed the idea. However, there is little to no proof of the rumours or comments. Woodward is deemed to have misjudged the situation and knows he has made a mistake.
There have already been two protests against American owners of the club regarding the breakaway Super League. Fans on Thursday afternoon broke into the club’s stadium and demanded to speak with the owners. The manager, Ole Gunner Solskjaer and some of the players resolved the situation.
Another protest took place on Saturday when thousands gathered in front of Old Trafford demanding the Glazer family to sell their share in the club. Banners were put up with signs that read ‘Glazer Out’ and ‘50+1’.
We will not be participating in the European Super League.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2021
Edward Gareth Woodward assumed the current role in 2012 when Sir Alex Ferguson resigned as the club’s Manager. A billion dollars were spent under Woodward’s reign; however, the club was not able to win the Champions League or Premier League since. A change in personnel may well prove to be a turning point for the club. The lack of any major silverware has also been a cause of disruption among fans for many seasons now. Arguably the most followed Premier League club has found it hard to live up to its name since the departure of Ferguson. The Super League incident has burst the bubble the owners have tried to create. The supporters would like to see the removal of the American owners rather than Woodward’s departure.
— United Journal (@theutdjournal) April 24, 2021
Manchester United have a chance of winning the Europa League this season. They are also on course to finish second in the league. Ole and his men will try and keep their focus amidst the events that are unfolding at the club.