Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Woodward Leaps into the Spotlight as United's Chief

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Woodward Leaps into the Spotlight as United's Chief

Article excerpt

HIS only claims to fame so far are being a namesake of a deceased actor and a neighbour of Gary Lineker, but Ed Woodward will now become a household name in the football industry.

The 40-year-old will be David Gill's successor when he takes on his role in the summer, but retains the title of esxecutive vice- chairman in the shake up at Old Trafford.

Having advised on the business plan of the club when he joined the Reds in 2005 and developing a new commercial strategy, Woodward will now become Old Trafford's main man away from the playing side of things.

A former investment banker with JP Morgan, who it is believed was a central figure in the club's listing on the New York Stock Exchange last year, Woodward (right) holds the purse strings and will work with manager Sir Alex Ferguson on transfer policy.

Based at the club's London commercial office, he has overseen the recent boost in United's worldwide sponsorship deals, six of which were responsible for a 29 percent rise in commercial revenues according to the club's latests financial figures.

"This appointment is a great honour," said Woodward, a physics graduate from Bristol University who'll take the reins on July 1.

"Manchester United is a glorious football club. We have wonderfully loyal fans, a deeply rich history and tradition but also aren't afraid to lead and to innovate.

"When allied to the dedication and loyalty of our staff, the talent of our players and the incomparable skills of our manager, it has been a very successful combination, which we are all committed to maintain.

"I am particularly humbled to have the chance to work alongside the greatest manager in the history of the game.

"Alex's experience and track record are incomparable and I look forward to having the opportunity to support him in shaping his squad in the future and maintaining the club's position at the pinnacle of the sport. …

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