Reuters (MANCHESTER) – Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, one of the leading figures in the breakaway European Super League project, has tendered his resignation to the Premier League club, according to multiple media reports.
Woodward’s decision to leave his position came after reports that Chelsea and Manchester City were pulling out of the planned breakaway which has received intense criticism and opposition.
The Manchester Evening News said Woodward would stay in his role until the end of the year despite offering his resignation.
United have been one of the leading clubs involved in the breakaway project and Woodward was singled out for criticism by the head of European soccer’s governing body Aleksander Ceferin.
The Super League, which 12 of Europe’s top soccer clubs announced on Sunday that they planned to launch, argued it would increase revenues to the competing clubs and allow them to distribute more money to the rest of the game.
However, the sport’s governing bodies, other teams and fan organisations say it will increase the power and wealth of the elite clubs and the closed structure of the league goes against European football’s long-standing model.
Unlike Europe’s current elite Champions League competition, where teams have to qualify through their domestic league, the founding Super League teams would guarantee themselves a place in the new competition every year.