ED WOODWARD has officially stepped down as Manchester United executive vice-chairman after nine years.
The club confirmed he would leave in 2021 but his stint ended on January 31 with Richard Arnold taking over at midnight.
Woodward, 50, joined the Old Trafford boardroom team back in 2005 after playing a key role in the Glazer family’s takeover.
And he took on the role as executive vice-chairman when David Gill stepped down as CEO in 2013.
In that time, Woodward trebled the value of the Red Devils. United were worth around £800million in 2005 and latest calculations totalled a staggering £2.4billion.
On top of that, retail, merchandising and licensing earned United £130m in 2013.
By 2020, the last commercial year pre-pandemic, that figure was £279m.
Last year it was still £232m despite a season behind closed doors.
But despite the commercial success, on the pitch things have not gone quite to plan.
Since Woodward took over as the main man, which coincided with Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, United have won just three trophies.
David Moyes’ tenure failed, Louis van Gaal won an FA Cup but was axed after just two seasons, Jose Mourinho won a League Cup and the Europa League in 2017 before three barren years under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In that time, there have also been plenty of poor transfer decisions with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay, Fred, Harry Maguire and others failing to justify their hefty fees.
Woodward endured a strained relationship with the fans and came under heavy fire for signing up to the breakaway European Super League last year. “I will treasure the memories from my time at Old Trafford”
Unlike the Glazers, he was actually against the idea and ultimately quit in the fallout from the failed division.
Announcing his exit, Woodward said: “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.
“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.
“We have invested more than £1bn 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.”
He said: “I am honoured to have the chance to serve this great club and its fans. I am determined to return that honour in any way I can.”
Joel Glazer, executive co-chairman, said: “I would like to thank Ed for his tireless work on behalf of Manchester United during his nine years as executive vice-chairman and 16 years with the club.
“We are now looking forward to Richard and his leadership team opening a new phase in the club’s evolution, with ambitious plans for investment in Old Trafford, the strengthening of our engagement with fans, and continued drive towards our most important objective – winning on the pitch.”
Woodward will officially leave Manchester United in April this year.