Ex-Man Utd chief Woodward lands new gig with Tim Krul as takeover saga continues

Ed Woodward Resigns Amid Collapse Of European Super League

Former Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has landed his first new job since leaving the club last year as the club’s takeover battle edges towards its conclusion. The ex-United supremo left the Red Devils in February 2022 to bring an end to his 16-year association with the club, and he is now looking forward in his career after being hired to work alongside Newcastle cult hero Tim Krul in the world of esports.

In a surprising move, Woodward has left football behind to focus on a new venture with  as a non-executive director for EStars, which is described as an “educational esports company”.

Founded six years ago, EStars is based in the Middle East and is focused on providing school education about the gaming industry, with a reputation for hosting over 100 events in esports.

The 51-year-old will see a familiar face on the board, as Norwich goalkeeper and former Netherlands international Tim Krul linked up with the Abu Dhabi-based firm in 2017 after investing as a shareholder. In the same announcement, it was announced Gavin Petken would be joining in an identical role to Woodward.

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In a statement 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. I’m excited about EStars delivering a path of learning for the next generation in the (relatively) new industry of esports.”

Woodward was criticised for the majority of his reign at United after spending hundreds of millions on failed transfers and overseeing the reigns of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In the period between Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and his own exit, United failed to win the Premier League and won just three trophies. 

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He was replaced by Richard Arnold who took on the role of managing director in a shake-up of the United hierarchy, a process that began not long after the club entered into the breakaway European Super League before withdrawing 48 hours later.

It was initially suggested last year that Woodward could play a key role in helping negotiate the terms of the takeover due to his close ties with the Glazers. However, the American family opted to appoint financial firm Raine to handle the bidding process.

As it stands, Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the two parties left in the running having made it through to the third round of the process, with reports suggesting the INEOS CEO is the ‘preferred bidder’ for the Glazers.

And it seems Woodward will be not be involved at all as the club handles its first transfer of ownership since 2005.

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