Ed Woodward RESIGNS from his role as Manchester United executive vice-chairman in wake of huge backlash to European Super League as Big Six scramble to pull out of breakaway league
- Ed Woodward will leave Manchester United after backlash over the ESL plot
- United were one of 12 clubs to sign up to the European Super League
- However, widespread criticism has seen some clubs withdraw from the plans
- Woodward, a divisive figure among fans, will leave his post at the end of the year
Manchester United have confirmed that Ed Woodward will leave his position at the end of the year as the chief executive becomes the first victim of the collapsed European Super League.
Woodward was a key figure in the fiercely controversial plans for the new breakaway league, with his links to US investment bank JP Morgan helping to secure the £4.3billion in financing.
But after Manchester City and Chelsea’s shock decision to pull out of the ESL, the plans began to crumble and Woodward swiftly left the role he has held for eight years.
Ed Woodward has resigned from his position as executive vice chairman at Manchester United
The United chief was behind the plot to create the controversial European Super League
United cannot confirm the news until the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange later on Tuesday night, but they have not denied that he has gone.
There are suggestions that Woodward was planning to step down at the end of the year but it has been brought forward because of the possibility of leaks.
However, it is hard to get away from the fact that Woodward’s departure comes so soon after his part in one of the most controversial and despised moves in the history of football.
‘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 an official statement.
United stars held a Zoom call with Woodward to express their discomfort with the bold plot
Bruno Fernandes expressed his disappointment at the plans by responding to Daniel Podence’s anger at the Super League via social media
‘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 EFL Cup. I am proud of the regeneration of the club’s culture and our return to the Manchester United way of playing.’
United talisman Bruno Fernandes was the first player representing a Super League club to speak out against the plot on Monday, saying ‘dreams can’t be bought’ on social media.
Sportsmail also reported that some members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad were angered after they found out about the breakaway European Super League – and their own employer’s central role in it – via the media on Sunday.
Insiders have disclosed that some also felt Solskjaer was thrown under the bus when left to face questions from Sky after the story had broken during their 3-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday.
They made their feelings known and the executive vice chairman delivered a briefing via Zoom to explain the club’s position at their training base.
Sources say the reception among many of the squad was ‘lukewarm at best’.
Woodward helped the Glazers purchase the club, and the Americans were a driving force behind the European Super League alongside Liverpool and Arsenal’s owners
Woodward, who recently moved to London from Manchester, is said to have told the squad they were acting in the club’s best interests.
‘Some of the players were seriously unimpressed,’ a source explained. ‘Not only that they were left to find out by the media about what had happened but that their manager was left to face the press when the owners had concocted this.
‘Woodward attempted to appease them but the response was lukewarm at best. It hasn’t gone down well with many of them.’
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