Ed Woodward: The executive vice president of Manchester United will step down at the end of 2021

Manchester United Executive Vice President Ed Woodward
Ed Woodward has been in the role since 2013

Manchester United executive vice president Ed Woodward will step down at the end of 2021.

It comes amid widespread criticism of the proposed European Super League (ESL), with Manchester United being one of six first-league clubs to initially sign up for the plan.

United’s rivals Manchester City withdrew from ESL on Tuesday, and Chelsea also plans to do so.

Woodward, 49, has been in that role since 2012.

He was supposed to leave at the end of the year, but a decision was made to announce his departure.

“I am extremely proud to have served United and it has been an honor to work at the world’s biggest football club in the last 16 years,” Woodward said.

“The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to leave at the end of the year.”

After plans for the ESL were announced on Sunday, Woodward resigned his role on Uefa’s professional football strategy council.

Woodward made a significant contribution to the debates over the renewed Champions League on Friday.

Uefa hoped for a new Champions League with 36 teams, which it was agreed on Monday, would prevent any ripping off the Super League, but a controversial competition was announced on Sunday.

Uefa President Alexander Ceferin criticized Woodward, saying United United was “very pleased” with the reforms when they last spoke on Thursday night.

Ceferin added that Woodward only wanted to talk about financial fair play, but “apparently he has already signed something else.”

Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer will be vice-president of the Super League.

BBC Sport was told that the agreement between Woodward and the owner of the Glazer family was friendly and there was no relegation.

The announcement was made due to the appearance of a leak.

“On behalf of everyone at United, I would like to write our sincere gratitude for his tireless work and dedication,” Joel Glazer said.

“His contribution to the club has been huge and he will always be welcome at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.”

The move will sever long-standing ties between Woodward and the Glazer family.

Woodward played a major role in ending their controversial 2005 takeover.

However, after replacing David Gill as CEO in 2013, he was heavily criticized for the club’s failure to challenge for a Premier League title and, sometimes, shambolic transfer policies.

Woodward made the decision to remove David Moyes in less than a year of his six-year contract as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho were also fired for failing to meet expectations.

Current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed in December 2018, and Woodward sided with the Norwegian despite his inconsistent form.

“I am particularly delighted with the progress the players have made under the strong leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching team over the last two years,” Woodward added.

“I’m sure with the changes we’ve made on the field and in the coaching and football staff in recent years, this great club will soon be raising silver again. It deserves it.”

Woodward’s house in Cheshire was attacked by a group chanting that he would “die” in January 2020, even though Woodward was not at home at the time.

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