Ed Woodward is to step down as Manchester United’s government vice-chairman, the Premier League membership have confirmed.
The 49-year-old will vacate the highest operational position within the Outdated Trafford boardroom on the finish of 2021 amid controversy surrounding the failed European Tremendous League proposal.
“I’m extraordinarily proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s biggest soccer membership for the previous 16 years,” mentioned Woodward.
“The membership is effectively positioned for the longer term and it will likely be troublesome to stroll away on the finish of the yr.”
There have been recommendations Woodward was not consulted about United’s intention to grow to be a founding member of the Tremendous League, which was set to have Pink Devils proprietor Joel Glazer as a vice-chairman.
However talkSPORT understands there was no fallout between Woodward and the membership’s homeowners – and that stepping down on the finish of this yr was at all times his plan.
The Tremendous League, which proposed United and different ‘main’ European golf equipment would at all times compete and by no means face relegation, is now set to be scrapped after widespread protests amongst soccer followers.
Solely on Monday, United resigned from the European Membership Affiliation and Woodward stepped down from his position with UEFA.
The president of European soccer’s governing physique, Aleksander Ceferin, not too long ago accused Woodward of performing like a ‘snake’ over the Tremendous League proposal.
“If I begin with Ed Woodward,” Ceferin mentioned in a scathing assault on the motion.
“He referred to as me final Thursday night saying he’s very happy with and totally helps the reforms and the one factor he need to discuss was FFP [Financial Fair Play], when clearly he had already signed one thing else.”
Woodward’s affiliation with the Pink Devils started in 2005 when he acted as an adviser to assist the Glazers purchase the membership.
Initially handed the reins of United’s industrial and media actions in 2007, Woodward grew increasingly more influential after rising the membership’s world worth dramatically.
Appointed government vice-chairman in 2012, he oversaw quite a few big-name signings.
However he drew criticism from managers and followers alike for a perceived failure to enhance the squad through the post-Sir Alex Ferguson period.
The Pink Devils have didn’t win the title since Woodward assumed all obligations for soccer operations from David Gill in 2013, though they’ve managed to carry the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League within the final 9 years.
Former Pink Devils boss Louis van Gaal expressed considerations about Woodward’s industrial actions hindering the membership, whereas Jose Mourinho publicly accused the manager vice-chairman of vetoing his switch listing when he was United supervisor in 2018.
Ten greatest signings of Ed Woodward period
10. Anthony Martial – Monaco, £36m, September 2015
9. Juan Mata – Chelsea, £37m, January 2014
8. Nemanja Matic – Chelsea, £40m, July 2017
7. Fred – Shakhtar Donetsk, £47m, June 2018
6. Bruno Fernandes – Sporting CP, £47m, January 2020
5. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace, £50m, June 2019
4. Angel Di Maria – Actual Madrid, £60m, August 2014
3. Romelu Lukaku – Everton, £75m, July 2017
2. Harry Maguire – Leicester City, £80m, August 2019
1. Paul Pogba – Juventus, £89million, August 2016
In January 2020, his Cheshire house was attacked by a bunch of disgruntled supporters, who chanted that he was ‘going to die’.
Earlier than Outdated Trafford’s doorways had been shut because of the pandemic in March 2020, chants calling for Woodward and the Glazers to go had been widespread throughout United’s house video games.
Man United are, although, starting to point out indicators of a brighter future below Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – the fourth supervisor of Woodward’s reign.
The Norwegian has led United by means of to this season’s Europa League semi-finals and second within the Premier League, placing them on the right track for back-to-back top-four finishes for the primary time since Ferguson stepped down.
On Woodward’s exit, government co-chairman Joel Glazer mentioned: “Ed Woodward has served the membership with nice distinction. On behalf of everybody at United I wish to place on file our honest thanks for his tireless work and dedication.
“His contribution to the membership has been large, and he’ll at all times be welcome at Outdated Trafford as part of the Manchester United household.”
Ed Woodward’s full assertion
“I’m extraordinarily proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s biggest soccer membership for the previous 16 years.
“The membership is effectively positioned for the longer term and it will likely be troublesome to stroll away on the finish of the yr.
“I’ll treasure the recollections from my time at Outdated Trafford, throughout a interval once we gained the Europa League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup. I’m happy with the regeneration of the membership’s tradition and our return to the Manchester United method of enjoying.
“We’ve got invested greater than £1bn within the squad throughout my time right here and I’m significantly delighted with the progress the gamers have made below the astute management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his teaching workforce within the final two years.
“I’m certain that with the adjustments we’ve got made on-field and to the teaching and soccer workers lately this nice membership will quickly be lifting silverware once more. It deserves to.
“I desperately wished the membership to win the Premier League throughout my tenure and I’m sure the foundations are in place for us to win it again for our passionate followers.
“Our world-famous academy is flourishing once more, with 34 gamers progressing into the primary workforce since 2013, and it has been a pleasure to observe skills equivalent to Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Axel Tuanzebe flourish within the first workforce setting. Within the years to come back the membership’s manufacturing line of younger expertise will proceed to push established first workforce gamers for his or her locations. That competitors bodes effectively for the longer term.
“We’ve got additionally established Manchester United ladies and their progress is additional proof of the demand for fulfillment at this nice membership.
“The final 16 months have introduced so many distinctive challenges and the membership’s work locally and all over the world through the Covid-19 pandemic has been heroic.
“The monetary affect on soccer golf equipment has been extreme, however United have been one of the vital strong and resilient within the face of extraordinary monetary pressures.
“I wish to thank United’s passionate followers for his or her help through the good and dangerous instances. I do know this has been a difficult interval in our historical past, however your help for the workforce has by no means, ever been doubtful.
“Lastly, it has been a pleasure to work with so many magnificent, gifted and hard-working folks.”