Ed Woodward has resigned from his role as Manchester United executive vice-chairman.
But he will not depart until the end of 2021.
The announcement of his decision comes on a seismic evening in football, with the European Super League coming crashing down around its founding members.
United, along with their fellow Premier League ‘Big Six’ clubs and six other sides, were one of the clubs to establish the controversial breakaway competition.
Woodward was not given a role in the European Super League but he is believed to have played a key role in the build up to its announcement on Sunday.
United sources were keen to stress to Mirror Football that Woodward’s decision was not down to the Super League and that he had indeed been planning to exit at the end of the year all along.
His exit is understood to be amicable with the owners.
Woodward has been associated with Manchester United since 2005, when he advised Malcolm Glazer on his takeover of the club.
He was named executive vice-chairman in 2012 and faced regular criticism from fans over his dealings in the transfer market.
But that was nothing compared to the vitriol reaction to United’s decision to help form the European Super League.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin opened up on how he felt betrayed by Woodward on Monday, labelling the former United chief a “snake” and a “liar”.
“If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thursday evening saying he’s very satisfied with and fully supports the [Champions League] reforms and the only thing he want to talk about was FFP, when obviously he had already signed something else,” declared the UEFA president.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust, meanwhile, issued a damning statement of their own, hitting out at their club’s greed.
“These proposals are completely unacceptable and will shock Manchester United fans, as well as those of many other clubs,” the statement began.
“A ‘Super League’ based on a closed shop of self-selected wealthy clubs goes against everything football, and Manchester United, should stand for.
“To bring forward these proposals without any fan consultation, and in the midst of a global pandemic when people should be pulling together not serving their own selfish interests, just adds insult to injury.
“When Sir Matt Busby led us into the European Cup in the 1950s, the modern Manchester United was founded in the tragedy and then triumph that followed. To even contemplate walking away from that competition would be a betrayal of everything this club has ever stood for.
“We urge everyone involved in this proposal including Manchester United to immediately withdraw from this proposal.”
United’s involvement with the Super League was also heavily criticised by legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who told Reuters: “Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football.
“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.”
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