Ed Woodward can't rewrite history, his Manchester United reign has been a colossal failure

A frankly bizarre article was published in the MEN this week which cannot be left unaddressed.

It was a puff-piece praising Ed Woodward, as if written by Woodward himself.

It had the cheek to claim Woodward was leaving United ‘in a better place’ than when he found it.

Not only is this wilfully misleading, it’s straight up untrue.


A colossal failure

Woodward took over as chief executive in 2013, when Manchester United were reigning champions.

United had won the league in five of the preceding seven years up until this point.

In the eight years since, United have not won a single title.

That should be enough right there to debunk the argument, but we’ll keep going.

United have made the Champions League knockout stages in just two of the eight years.

Woodward has been through four managers during this time, and at times it has seemed like he stuck with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer simply to save himself the embarrassment of having to start all over again.

During this time Woodward has presided over a number of embarrassing transfer sagas, from the farce at the start in 2013, to the infuriating summers of 2018 and 2020.

His spell might even end up being defined by re-signing Paul Pogba for a record fee and then letting him leave on a free transfer next year. He even oversaw a period in which Liverpool won the Premier League title, with United more than 30 points behind them.

If the MEN piece wants to point to improved scouting structures which exist in 2021, you have to ask why it took Woodward eight years, and several attempts, to get it right. United would have moved with the times with or without him.

David Moyes was quite clearly the wrong man for the job in 2013, but he was also hamstrung by having a total amateur in charge as chief executive.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Woodward has been at United since 2005

Woodward has been a part of United’s downfall for a lot longer than 2013.

He helped facilitate the Glazer takeover in 2005 in the first place.

Quite simply to suggest he left United in a better place than he found it is untrue.

Back in 2005 United were debt-free; now the club owe hundreds of millions and that figure rises every single year.

The Glazer ownership has been a disaster and Woodward has played his part in that. Old Trafford needs serious investment and Carrington is at risk of being left behind by more ambitious mid-tier top flight clubs.

Woodward will leave United officially on December 31, and it is long overdue. In fact it can’t come quickly enough.

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