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dismissed 'Laughable' - Claims Ed Woodward quit Man United over Super League objections ridiculed


Ed Woodward is stepping down at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ed Woodward is stepping down at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ed Woodward is stepping down at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

Reports claiming Ed Woodward quit his role as Manchester United executive vice-chairman as he objected to the club's participation in the European Super League have been dismissed by a Premier League chief executive.

Woodward was believed to be fully involved in negotiations over the Super League, which blew up in humiliating fashion earlier his week after the six English clubs were forced to withdraw following an angry public backlash to the plan.

Confirmation that Woodward was leaving United came just as the Old Trafford club were announcing their intention to withdraw from the Super League, 48 hours after they confirmed they were fully signed up members.

A story broadcast by Sky Sports on Thursday claimed Woodward was stepping down from his role at United as he objected to the club's decision to join the Super League.

Yet that claim has now been dismissed as laughable, with Sky Sports reporting the senior club leader in the Premier League has dismissed that notion as he stated: "He was involved in it from day one."

It has also emerged that Woodward met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street last week, but it is understood the Super League was not discussed and that duplicity may partly explain why Johnson was so quick to confirm he would do all he could to stop the breakaway when it was announced.

Meanwhile, a prominent United's supporters group has vowed to do all it can to end the Glazer family's controversial ownership of United.

Lord Jim O’Neill and Sir Paul Marshall have written to Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer calling for the ownership to loosen their grip on the club in the wake of Super League debacle.

The Old Trafford giants were taken over by the Glazer family in 2005 and are in the eye of a storm, having become one of the 12 founding members of the breakaway competition announced on Sunday.

The idea unravelled in a matter of days, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward resigning, United pulling out and co-chairman Glazer writing to fans admitting “we got it wrong”.

Lord O’Neill – who attempted to oust the Glazers in 2010 as part of the ‘Red Knights’ – and Marshall have since sent a letter asking for the Glazer family to put their words into action.

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The letter, shared by Manchester United Supporters Trust chief executive Duncan Drasdo, read: “In many ways, this (Super League) episode is the culmination of your 16 years ownership of the club and is perhaps the strongest example of how you seem to have been persistently out of touch with the club, spirit, indeed, very purpose of Manchester United.”

The letter says that if the Glazers “want to put things right with the entire Manchester United community” then they should announce to the New York Stock Exchange that they are “converting all the equity ownership in Manchester United PLC into one class of shares, each with the same voting rights”.

O’Neill and Marshall said they should announce plans to sell the collective family stake down to a maximum of 49.9 per cent, among other suggested actions.

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