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Ed Woodward will step down as Manchester United executive vice-chairman on February 1 – as Richard Arnold becomes the club's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Woodward was expected to leave the club in April, but has decided to bring forward his departure after owners the Glazers chose Arnold as his successor.
Woodward spoke to United co-chairman Joel Glazer and told him it was best he stood down now to allow Arnold to get on with the job in hand at Old Trafford. He will remain on the football club board until the end of this season.
The announcement comes with United languishing in seventh place in the Premier League table and interim boss Ralf Rangnick battling to salvage something from what could be another season without silverware.
Woodward, 50, replaced David Gill in the top job at United in 2013 and went on to oversee a controversial, rollercoaster ride in charge of the club.
He hired and fired four managers during his time at the helm, including David Moyes, who succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson following his retirement in 2013 but lasted just 10 months in the job before being sacked.
After Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all came and went.
Woodward sanctioned huge spending sprees on some of the world's biggest stars that saw United sign the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani, Harry Maguire, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez and Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Old Trafford in the summer on a deal making him the highest paid star in top flight history.
What have been your favourite moments of Ed Woodward's reign at Man Utd? Comment below
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But despite this, United failed to come close to winning the league title again and have not challenged for the biggest trophy in English football since Fergie retired almost a decade ago.
Woodward's reign was effectively over last April when he suddenly quit because of the huge backlash the controversial European Super League proposals caused.
Woodward exclusively revealed to Starsport he had no choice but to resign after "underestimating" how fierce the opposition would be to a doomed plan that sent football into meltdown.
He decided to fall on his own sword after realising he had made "one of the biggest mistakes of his professional career".
Woodward was instrumental in driving forward plans for England's 'Big Six' to become part of a breakaway league involving 12 of Europe's biggest clubs.
But the deal sparked huge controversy within the game, leaving it facing its biggest ever crisis and Woodward quit after telling Glazer United had made a serious error of judgement – and that he could no longer back the club's plan to be involved in the ESL.
Prior to this, in 2020, his Cheshire home was attacked by a group of United fans with fireworks, forcing him to sell the property and move his family to London, where he is still based.
Arnold joined United as commercial director in 2007 before being promoted to group managing director and was the Glazers' overwhelming choice to succeed Woodward.
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
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