Man Utd fans in Ed Woodward plane protest ahead of Liverpool game

Ed Woodward plane protest Man Utd vs Liverpool 2019-20
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The United Way arranged for the plane to pass over the stadium against Liverpool as part of a protest against the executive vice-chairman's tenure

Disgruntled Manchester United fans arranged for a plane to fly a banner over Old Trafford ahead of the club's game against Liverpool criticising the record of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The United Way arranged for the plane to pass over the stadium as part of a protest against Woodward's tenure, with many fans believing the club have gone backwards on the pitch and over-prioritises their commercial fortunes.

The stunt recalled a similar protest against the ill-fated reign of David Moyes in 2014, with supporters still believing that their concerns are not being listened to by the club hierarchy.

A statement from the group said:

"Ed Woodward – A Specialist In Failure

"It’s been over a year since these words were etched into the sky above Turf Moor, during which time the value of Manchester United has plummeted by over £1.5 billion. This all but confirms the validity of the statement, about a man who once said that: “Playing performance doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business.

"With the walls starting to close in at one of the world’s biggest football clubs, currently languishing two points above the relegation zone with no reprieve in sight, Woodward’s desperation has led to an unusual number of briefs being made to the media. Arguably his most ridiculous comment involved reassurances that football takes priority over commercialism, claiming that it’s a “myth” that non-footballing people are making the footballing decisions, with “brilliant” people running the footballing side of the club.

"Despite this being obviously untrue to anybody with an ounce of common sense, these claims are directly contradicted by the experiences of ex-manager Louis van Gaal, brought up in an interview a few months earlier. According to Van Gaal: “At Manchester United, Ed Woodward was installed as CEO – somebody with zero understanding of football was previously an investment banker. It cannot be a good thing when a club is run solely from a commercial driven perspective.” Even if we assume that what Woodward has said is true (which is refuted by plenty of evidence), there are many words that could be used to describe individuals who have led the richest and most successful club in English football to its current predicament. “Brilliant” is not one of them.

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"Woodward goes on to use a number of meaningless buzzwords and catchphrases to develop the illusion that an effective plan is in place. “Fast, fluid football,” for a club that couldn’t buy a goal from open play. “Hard work,” “discipline” and “respect,” about a group of sub-par players who are happy to down tools during their weekly 90-minute social media breaks. A “cultural reboot” that has seen seven players leaving with only three replacements brought in, resulting in the club’s worst start to a season in over 30 years, with a mere five wins in the past 23 matches. Judging by the subsequent reduction in the wage bill, it seems as if a “cultural reboot” is just Woodward-speak for yet another money-saving exercise to benefit the Glazer family.

"Even briefs intended to reassure fans about the recruitment process achieve the opposite effect. With allegedly over a dozen individuals analysing reports from 32 scouts on hundreds of footballers in multiple countries, all for a single position, the question remains. Why are we in this situation? At best this is a textbook case of “too many cooks,” but the likelihood is that, despite all the leaks and briefs, the footballing side of the club remains as broken as it has been throughout the past six years of Woodward’s failing tenure.

"It takes some doing to ensure that the dominant force in English football not too long ago is now 500-1 to win the league, but only 5-1 to finish in the bottom half. That’s what happens when a football club is run by a man who exists for no other reason than to fill the pockets of the Glazer family. Woodward’s at the wheel, stuck in neutral, rolling backwards towards the cliff edge. It’s time for him to go."