Manchester United FC

The reason behind Ed Woodward's Manchester United resignation

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Apr 21, 2021, 1:26 PM GMT+1
Ed Woodward will leave his role at the end of the year
Ed Woodward will leave his role at the end of the year | MICHAEL REGAN/Getty Images

Ed Woodward resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman on Tuesday after underestimating the backlash from supporters over the club's involvement in the ill-fated Super League.

Since the breakaway competition was announced on Sunday evening, it has been widely condemned across football. Fans, players and managers alike have been critical, while FIFA, UEFA and the domestic leagues threatened sanctions.

Top Six Club Badges on Football Shirts
The Big Six are not looking so Super right now | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Following this, the proposed Super League imploded on Tuesday evening with all six of the Premier League clubs involved withdrawing and their European counterparts set to follow imminently. In the midst of the chaos, it was also announced that Woodward - one of the architects of the plans - would be stepping down from his role at the end of the season.

Initially, United briefed that his exit had nothing to do with the Super League and the pair were parting amicably. However, the Manchester Evening News have since reported that Woodward left after being shocked by the strength of supporter opposition to the plans.

A source said the executive vice-chairman was left 'spinning' by the backlash, which led to him tendering his resignation on the phone to Joel Glazer on Tuesday lunchtime. As reported by the Times, Glazer tried to convince him to stay but Woodward insisted that his mind was made up.

Although United's initial statement suggested he would leave at the end of 2021, he has now fallen on his sword and will leave following the culmination of the current campaign.

His reign in charge of the Red Devils has been marked by off-field commercial growth, offset by underachievement on the pitch. Since Woodward was elevated to the board in 2012, United have invested heavily in the squad, signing the likes of Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Romelu Lukaku for eye-watering fees.

Despite this, their trophy haul has been meagre, with the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup their only pieces of silverware. There is no love lost between Woodward and the supporters with most fans glad to see the back of him.