Ed Woodward

Edward Gareth Woodward (born 9 November 1971) is an English accountant and investment banker who is the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United F.C., and effectively the chief executive overseeing the club's operations.[2][3]

Ed Woodward
Edward Gareth Woodward

(1971-11-09) 9 November 1971 (age 48)[1]
Chelmsford, Essex, England
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
TitleExecutive vice-chairman
Spouse(s)Isabelle Nicole Caprano (m. 2001)[1]


Woodward attended Brentwood School in Brentwood, Essex from 1983 to 1989.[1][4] He went on to study Physics at the University of Bristol graduating in 1993. He later qualified as a chartered accountant in 1996.[2]


Woodward began working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the accounting and tax advisory department in 1993, before joining J.P. Morgan & Co. as an investment banker in the mergers and acquisitions department in 1999.[1]

In 2005, Woodward advised Malcolm Glazer and the Glazer family during its successful takeover of Manchester United. The Glazer family then recruited Woodward to join the club in a "financial planning" role.

In 2007, Woodward was given charge of the commercial and media operations of Manchester United. It was in this role that Woodward is credited for United's success in tying up lucrative sponsorship deals with companies around the world. In 2005, the club's commercial revenue was £48.7 million. In 2012, it stood at £117.6 million.[5][6]

Woodward was appointed to the board of directors and named executive vice-chairman of Manchester United in 2012. After the retirement of CEO David Gill the following year, Woodward was promoted to the top operational role at Old Trafford in a restructuring of the club's boardroom. Woodward was succeeded by Richard Arnold as the club's commercial management director.[7]

In August 2016, Woodward secured the transfer of Paul Pogba for a record breaking fee of €105 million, making him the world's most expensive footballer at the time.[8]


Woodward's first transfer window in 2013, in which Manchester United completed the signing of Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini from Everton but failed to acquire other transfer targets, was described as being "disastrous" by The Daily Telegraph.[9] After the window closed, some fans demanded the sacking of Woodward.[10]

In July 2014, the newly appointed Manchester United coach, Louis van Gaal complained that Manchester United's excessive commercial activities could hamper the team's success and hoped there could be some balance to that.[11]

After the 2018 summer transfer window, it was speculated in the media that Woodward had vetoed the transfer targets given to him by then manager José Mourinho at the end of the 2017–18 season. This created tension in the club, with Mourinho and the United fans alike criticising Woodward for the lack of improvement in the squad.[12]

In January 2020, Woodward's Chesire home was attacked by a group of disgruntled Manchester United supporters chanting that he was 'going to die'. This followed similar chanting at Old Trafford during recent Manchester United home games, at which supporters have called for Woodward and the club's owners, the Glazier family, to leave. [13]

Personal life

Woodward supported non-league Chelmsford City in his youth.[14] His father was a fan of both Derby County and Manchester United, and was present for the latter's victory in the 1968 European Cup Final at the old Wembley Stadium.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "WOODWARD, Edward Gareth". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Management". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  3. ^ ""You can't replicate Manchester United"". ICAEW Economia. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Famous OBs". Brentwood School. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Manchester United owner's move to promote Ed Woodward finalises the 'Glazerfication' of Old Trafford". The Daily Telegraph. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Man Utd's Ed Woodward: the man behind the Glazer financial plan". BBC Sport. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Ed Woodward assumes responsibilities at MU". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Paul Pogba joins Manchester United". juventus.com. Juventus. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Humiliation for Manchester United as new chief executive Ed Woodward learns the hard way". The Daily Telegraph. 3 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Manchester United fans call for Ed Woodward to be sacked". Daily Star. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Louis van Gaal fears Manchester United are too big for their own good". The Guardian. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  12. ^ Taylor, Daniel (10 August 2018). "Manchester United veto José Mourinho's transfer wishlist". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Ed Woodward: Man Utd executive vice-chairman's home comes under attack". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Man Utd's Woodward carries burden of finding Moyes' successor". Financial Times. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.