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Woodward to step down as Man Utd vice chairman

Official: Ed Woodward to step down as Man Utd chairman as European Super League plans backfire

April 20, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
An extraordinary turn of events has apparently resulted in one of the most powerful men in European football vacating his post.

Ed Woodward is on the verge of vacating his post as the executive vice chairman of Manchester United, the Premier League club confirmed on Tuesday. After joining the club in 2012, the businessman and investment banker is set to end his tenure at the end of the year amid the European Super League backlash.

On Tuesday night, it became apparent that the breakaway competition for some of Europe's elite clubs was set for its demise after football fans and stakeholders massively protested against its implementation. The 12 founding members; Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan, Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, all received flak as FIFA, UEFA and the domestic leagues rose to coerce them into reversing the decision made.

Before the close of the day, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City emerged as the first among the pack who were ready to withdraw from the agreement. Soon after, it was revealed in the UK media that Manchester United's Ed Woodward was also set for an exit after nine years of service at the club. The exit announcement was, however, deemed as unrelated to the collapse of the ESL plans with a number of the news outlets claiming that he was set to leave at the end of the year anyway.

In the same vein, talkSPORTS have debunked claims that the Red Devils' vice chairman had a fallout with club owner Joel Glazer. According to rumors, he was not notified of the later's decision to make the club join the European Super League where he was going to serve as a vice chairman.

Manchester United have since issued a statement confirming the news of Ed Woodward's imminent exit, sparking immense celebration across the club's fanbase on social media. The departing executive vice chairman's statement reads as follow: "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.

"I am sure that with the changes we have made on-field and to the coaching and football staff in recent years this great club will soon be lifting silverware again. It deserves to.

"I desperately wanted the club to win the Premier League during my tenure and I am certain the foundations are in place for us to win it back for our passionate fans.

"Our world-famous academy is flourishing again, with 34 players progressing into the first team since 2013, and it has been a pleasure to watch talents such as Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Axel Tuanzebe flourish in the first team environment.

"In the years to come the club's production line of young talent will continue to push established first team players for their places. That competition bodes well for the future.

"We have also established Manchester United women and their progress is further evidence of the demand for success at this great club."

Meanwhile, Juventus have denied claims that club president Andrea Agnelli has resigned while Manchester City have told organisers that they do not wish to be part of the Super League anymore. The Citizens released a statement confirming that they have formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for the breakaway league.

"Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League," the statement read.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur have also withdrawn their participation, leaving only the clubs from La Liga and Serie A in the proposed competition. 

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