Ed Woodward has resigned as the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United following the backlash over the controversial European Super League.
Sources told the media outfit that Woodward’s decision came after the backlash over the European Super League.
The 49-year-old former banker replaced CEO David Gill as chairman of the Red Devils back in 2013 and has faced enormous criticism during his time at Old Trafford, having failed to win the Premier League during his reign.
Despite the enormous criticism he faced over his stewardship of the club, it is his decision to sign Manchester United up to the Super League which has proved to be his final undoing.
According to talkSPORT, Woodward handed his resignation today in response to the massive outcry and backlash over the Super League, which would have robbed football of its sporting competitiveness and fairness.
Although still unofficial, Woodward was believed to be planning to leave his position at the end of the year but that has now been brought forward, with United said to have ‘heard the voice of the fans’.
The news will be made public after the New York Stock Market closes at 9pm GMT tonight. United and their American owners, the Glazers, were believed to be one of the driving forces of the breakaway league, which would have seen the 12 founding members unable to be relegated and just five ‘open’ slots for other clubs.
Woodward’s ties to the Super League were particularly strong, with JP Morgan – the United chief’s ex-employer – having signed up to fund the breakaway league.
The proposed Super League was treated with anger and outrage from fans, pundits, governing bodies, players and politicians alike, with Uefa and the UK government threatening to do everything in their power to prevent it from ever happening.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are all thought to have U-turned on their participation in the Super League, and United are now likely to follow after Woodward’s resignation.
There is speculation that Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is also set to resign, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez – who was believed to have originated the idea for a Super League – facing enormous pressure to step down.
Prior to the announcement of the Super League on Sunday evening, United’s legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson – who is still a director at the club – spoke out against the plans.
‘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.’
A number of United’s players – Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw – all made posts on social media criticising the Super League plans.