Ed Woodward has resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman, sources have told ESPN, after eight years in the role.
The former JP Morgan investment banker, who succeeded David Gill as the man in charge of United’s day-to-day operations in 2013 had been planning to step down at the end of the season, sources have said.
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But while sources at United have said that Woodward’s decision is not related to the controversial attempts to lead the club into a breakaway European Super League, ESPN has been told that the likely collapse of the plan in the wake of Chelsea and Manchester City attempting to withdraw on Tuesday has in fact accelerated Woodward’s decision.
At a meeting of the 14 Premier League clubs not involved in the breakaway talks on Tuesday, sources said that it was made clear that some senior figures of the six rebel clubs would not be welcomed by some rival club officials.
As a result, Woodward’s position at Old Trafford left him and the club exposed to being isolated by Premier League counterparts.
Sources told ESPN that Woodward plans to continue until the end of the season, which finishes on May 23, before severing his ties at Old Trafford.
Woodward was hired by United’s owners, the Glazer family, after leading their takeover of the club while with JP Morgan in 2005.
He was credited with transforming the club’s commercial revenues before replacing Gill, but during his eight years in charge, United have won just three major trophies, with Woodward sacking three managers in that time.
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