Edward Gareth Woodward
9 November 1971
|Alma mater||University of Bristol|
|Spouse(s)||Isabelle Nicole Caprano (m. 2001)|
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.
Woodward attended Brentwood School in Brentwood, Essex from 1983 to 1989. He went on to study Physics at the University of Bristol graduating in 1993. He later qualified as a chartered accountant in 1996.
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.
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.
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.
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. After the window closed, some fans demanded the sacking of Woodward.
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.
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. Fans complained that the club was focused more on brand development than footballing success. This was emphasised with the announcement of a brand deal with Chivas Regal whisky on 8 August, a day before the transfer window shut, which was announced with a video clip that the club usually reserved for the announcement of new players.
Woodward supported non-league Chelmsford City in his youth. 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.
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