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21st Apr 2021

Joel Glazer tried to talk Ed Woodward out of quitting Manchester United

Danny Jones

Joel Glazer rarely speaks but the prospect of losing his chief conspirator was enough for the fat cat to find a tongue

Following the announcement that Manchester United’s vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, will, at last, be leaving the club at the end of the season, it is thought that owner, Joel Glazer, tried to talk him out of it till the very last.

As reported by The Times, Ed Woodward is believed to have offered his resignation early yesterday morning, following the immediate backlash and mass outrage in the 24 hours that followed the announcement of The Super League. Glazer apparently called him back hoping he would reconsider, but Woodward felt it was time and made it official later that evening.

In the piece written by Paul Hirst, he also goes on to insist that “the 49-year-old was one of the main backers of the project”, along with, obviously, the club’s American owners. He has been with Manchester United for 16 years and played an instrumental role

Woodward was selected by JP Morgan to broker the deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-owning buyers back in 2005 and has remained “close to the Glazers” ever since, being inserted as Head of Commercial and Media Operations two years later and then replacing David Gill as chief exec when he retired in 2012.

Ben Ellery (who also co-authored the piece) recently published an adjacent article covering the leaked Super League documents, which detailed various aspects of the proposed breakaway competition, suggesting that plans for this particular project could date back to 2016 – if not further.

It has also been said that Woodward has described helping engineer the Super League breakaway as “one of the biggest mistakes of his professional career and he regrets it”, and that he “will spend the remainder of his time at United trying to build bridges with the 14 Premier League clubs who were left out of the ESL proposals”.

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