Is Ed Woodward reversing his decision to leave Manchester United?

Many controversial figures have worked with Manchester United in the last decade, but Ed Woodward is notable.

The club’s executive vice-chairman announced in April 2021 that he’d be stepping down from his role at the end of the same calendar year. It was a move that sent joyous shockwaves through the fanbase.

But in the latest update, it’s revealed that there is more to the story than we first thought.

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What’s the latest development?

Reportedly, Ed Woodward is in talks with Manchester United to take up a consultancy role after he leaves in December 2021. It wouldn’t be an official position, per se, but it would still give him the ability to liaise with the Glazers about certain decisions they may take.

It has since emerged that it’s “common” to strike such a deal to avoid a clean break altogether.

How have Man United fans reacted?

In a word: negatively.

Ed Woodward has been executive vice-chairman since 2012. After Sir Alex Ferguson left just one year later, he attempted to maintain United’s position as one of England’s elite.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho all attempted to make waves as managers under Woodward. They had their flaws but ultimately, the decision to hire and fire them – and the timing of it – is part of his job description.

We’re talking about a man who was a former investment banker at JP Morgan. As a “man of the people”, it wasn’t going to work.

Why do the Glazers want Ed Woodward around?

When Malcolm Glazer and his family took over Manchester United in 2005, Ed Woodward was one of their primary advisors. From then on, they had a close working relationship, with Woodward first hired as a financial planner.

Through the protests and the hard times, the Woodward/Glazer connection has been ever-present.

Why did Ed Woodward announce his departure?

Ed Woodward was instrumental in the formation of the controversial European Super League in early 2021. Alongside a host of elite clubs, Woodward conspired to create a competition featuring the biggest teams on the continent.

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Manchester United supporters felt completely and utterly betrayed by a man they already disliked. They wanted him out, and eventually, even Ed Woodward himself knew his position was untenable.


Featured image credit: Getty