After almost nine years of being in charge, Woodward has resigned as Manchester United Executive Vice President. But what has he achieved at Old Trafford’s?
If the matter could be reopened, Ed Woodward would likely make many more choices at Old Trafford than he made before.
None of this is surprising considering United has not won a Premier League trophy in the eight-and-a-half years that he has been at his helm. And on a de facto basis, they have never even come close to winning the title.
They won the UEFA Cup and FA Cup, respectively, but they never managed to challenge the Premier League title. Nor did they overcome their losing status in the Champions League.
This poor return means that he will walk out of Mayfair’s office at the end of this month with regrets about not achieving the goals he set for himself when he was appointed.
Retrospectively, Woodward is still not able to get out of his failed summer transfer window.
David Gill was just leaving United, and Woodward had offered to fill the vacant role. But what he didn’t know was that Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary manager, was also looking to leave the coaching position.
Woodward acknowledged that Scot’s abrupt departure made his tenure difficult and that he was disappointed that he could not work with the man she considered a ‘genius.
He could have done his job for the first few months with Ferguson’s assistance.
The fans lost patience quickly with him after he left the club’s tour of Australia just before the start of the 2013-14 season. Red Devils supporters expected him not to rush to bring in the team. They believed that at least one of the top players was coming to the Theatre of Dreams.
Woodward brought in Fellaini against all expectations. This deal was so poor that it was almost a disaster.
Woodward was a banker by trade, so he quickly became the victim of every United bad transfer.
Privately, the 50-year-old executive Vice-President admitted that his tenure at the club will be remembered for its failures to win major trophies. He believes it all comes down to poor reinforcements.
He was unable to find the right manager for the job and failed to sign the right players at the right moment.
It seems that Woodward’s appointment of Lokomotiv Moscow sport and development manager Rangnick as interim team manager suggests that he needs to be fully informed about the club’s management succession plan.
Although Solskjaer was identified by the club as their preferred choice, the Red Devils could have made a better decision earlier in the season. The Red Devils wouldn’t be in such dire circumstances and would have been able to resolve the club’s long-standing issues.
Woodward admitted privately that United could have won the 21st league title if they had appointed a different manager.
He admires Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, who were both the Red Devils’ arch-rivals while he was in charge.
Sources close to the club have spoken out about the difficulties they faced, including the fact that they failed to get these two top managers to Old Trafford while they also missed Conte’s appointment.
However, United’s problems with player recruitment cannot be attributed solely to Woodward if he takes the primary responsibility for failing to appoint the right manager.
United needed to make many changes after Ferguson’s departure. Ferguson and Gill were the glue holding the club together. They were the glue that held the club together.
The club recognizes that Ferguson’s replacement, David Moyes, was not the best choice because there wasn’t enough ground to support him. Louis van Gaal was then appointed. Woodward acknowledged that Moyes was given too much control when signing players.
He is responsible for many of the most disastrous signings in the post-Ferguson era, including Di Maria (PS67.5m), Rojo(PS16m), Memphis Depay (30.6m), Schneiderlin (31.5m), and Martial (454m).
Woodward had hoped to achieve a 70% success rate in transfers but admitted that only three of the 10 deals made under Moyes or Van Gaal could be considered successful.
United spent the same amount as Mourinho while he was working for United. They brought in Lukaku (PS76m), Pogba(PS89m), Fred, (PS47m), and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. However, they also made poor acquisitions.
Before Solskjaer was hired, many of the names listed above could be dismissed as outrageous spending and not the solution to the club’s problems.
United has been trying to invest in young English talent. However, the Red Devils still spent more than PS1 billion under Woodward’s rule, and the team is “miles” behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
Woodward openly admits that United will have to deal with the consequences of poor transfer deals during his tenure as head in the years ahead, even if he is gone.
They have struggled to get rid of sub-standard, overpaid players that left them with a squad that is too big to compete for the most important titles.
Woodward understands that he wants to be clear that he’s not the only one responsible for reinforcements. He believes that it will save him from some of his most recent insults and even the death threats.
It is evident that Richard Arnold, the new chief executive, will be more laissez-faire in his handling of football matters.
Woodward is to blame for the failures at Manchester United that led to Woodward’s departure.
Woodward had supported the creation of a European Super League by partnering with Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus. He was negotiating with all parties but negotiations soon collapsed. Woodward acknowledged that he didn’t agree with the final proposal and decided to withdraw.
Woodward may have lost it. Fans have raised questions about his football knowledge and his ability to play such an important role in the club’s plans.
Woodward acknowledges that he made mistakes but feels he brought a lot to the club.
While he did not like the reaction of the fans by focusing too heavily on the commercial aspect, it allowed the club to secure the funds necessary to sign players without having to ask the owners for financial backing. Cynics will argue that this only benefits the Glazer family.
Woodward was disappointed that the commercial success did not have enough impact on the competitive side. However, he maintained that the board must fight for every penny and would be proud to leave the club has increased revenues.
His time at Old Trafford was marked by the club’s response to the epidemic, the freezing ticket prices, and increased fan engagement.
No matter how successful his commercial dealings were or how much improvements were made to his reinforcements process, most people will only view his tenure as a failure.
Woodward’s era ended with five managerial posts and no major trophies over eight and-a-half years.