Ed Woodward is back! Unpopular former Man Utd executive takes first job since departing Old Trafford
- Woodward criticised for his transfer policy & ESL participation
- Announced his Old Trafford departure in February 2022
- Lands his first job since leaving United at an e-sport firm
WHAT HAPPENED? Unpopular former Man Utd executive Ed Woodward has taken on a new, interesting role as a non-executive director at an esports company EStars - focused on using esports for educational purposes in the Middle East. This is, of course, Woodward's first job since he departed Man Utd following a 16-year, much-maligned, tenure at Old Trafford.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: A qualified chartered accountant with the experience of working as an investment banker at a reputed firm like JP Morgan, Woodward joined Manchester United in 2005, and excelled in the club’s commercial operations which resulted in him being promoted to vice-chairman in 2012.
However, he became a scapegoat for large sections of Manchester United’s fan base during the relatively unsuccessful post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, with his transfer dealings heavily criticised. He was also slammed for his participation in the European Super League idea before retracting their plans to join the breakaway league following intense fan backlash.
In February last year, Woodward announced he would leave his role at Old Trafford. He was replaced by Richard Arnold last year and has kept a low profile ever since then. But now, Woodward is back after opting to join EStars – an award-winning educational esports company – as their new non-executive director.
WHAT THEY SAID?: On EStars’ official website, Woodward said: “When you put together esports, education and a dynamic region such as the Middle East, where curriculum decisions can be made faster than Europe, it is a recipe for success.
“Joining the team is an easy decision when you add the exceptional leadership and entrepreneurial energy of Mags [founder Mags Byrne]. I’m excited about EStars delivering a path of learning for the next generation in the (relatively) new industry of esports.”
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WHAT NEXT FOR ED WOODWARD AT ESTARS? Woodward isn't the only name familiar to Premier League fans providing his services to the e-sport company, which was founded in 2017 and has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. He will be working alongside former Newcastle United and Norwich City goalkeeper, Tim Krul, who is on the company’s board.
Woodward, 51, will certainly be hoping for a less stressful stint in his new role away from the limelight after almost becoming public enemy number one in his previous job.