Former Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is in the frame to advise potential buyers of the club

Former Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been approached by groups seeking to buy the club, asking him to act as a consultant for their potential purchase.

The former JP Morgan banker is available to work on the deal after standing down from the United board in February, more than nine months after resigning. He was initially retained in an advisory role at United, but is no longer contracted to the club.

The 51-year-old would be an invaluable sounding board for potential buyers, given he spent 17 years at Old Trafford and still has an excellent relationship with the Glazers, although his involvement in any bid could invite a backlash from United supporters.

Woodward became a lightning rod for hostile fans unhappy with the Glazers’ ownership towards the end of his time at the club.

His house was attacked by protesters, with one frightening incident two years ago involving flares and smoke bombs being hurled at the family home in Cheshire.

Woodward walked away from a career in accountancy and banking to join United, having acted as an adviser to the Glazers when they bought the club in 2005.

Having worked in United’s commercial department, which he made the most lucrative in world football, he was appointed to the board in 2012 before taking over the day-to-day running of the club the following year after the retirement of David Gill.

In addition to his relationship with the Glazers, Woodward was criticised for United’s perceived failings in the transfer market, with an outlay of £1.22billion on new players in nine years and only £363million recouped in sales, not to mention their failure to win the Premier League.

The ill-fated attempt to join a European Super League was the final straw, with Woodward announcing his resignation shortly after the project collapsed in April 2021.

He remains respected in other football and financial circles, however, with interested parties contacting him about bidding for United in recent weeks.

Apple were linked with a £5.8bn bid on Thursday in what would be the American tech giant’s first foray into sports club ownership, while Spanish billionaire and founder of clothing chain Zara, Amancio Ortega, is also reportedly talking to United about an offer.

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister has also called for organisations within his country to enter the bidding for United and Liverpool after the Public Investment Fund purchased Newcastle last year.

‘I hope so, if there are investors and the numbers add up and it makes a good business,’ Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal told Sky News. ‘Then the private sector could come in, or companies could come in, from the kingdom.

‘The Premier League is the best in the world. It’s the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone.’

The minister also wants a Saudi Pro League club to sign free agent Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, who was released by United this week following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan. ‘Who wouldn’t want him in their league?’ he said.

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    Kyrgios, 27, elected not to represent Australia at this year’s Davis Cup, with Lleyton Hewitt’s team falling just short of ending their 19-year drought after being defeated by Canada in the final.

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    And now Kyrgios has addressed his controversial decision and insisted that it wasn’t purely based on the lucrative payday he is set to receive.

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    Ebanie Bridges hits back at ‘skanky stripper’ sledge from Shannon O’Connell

    Ebanie Bridges has taken Shannon O’Connell’s latest sledge in her stride, brushing off claims she is a ‘skanky stripper’ ahead of their huge world title fight this weekend.

    The bantamweights meet in Leeds on the undercard of Josh Warrington v Luis Alberto Lopez on Saturday night, in what is regarded as the biggest fight in Australian women’s boxing history.

    Bridges, a former ring girl who has gained attention by wearing lingerie at her pre-fight weigh ins, won the IBF bantamweight tile in January.

    Title challenger O’Connell has long campaigned for a shot at Bridges’ belt and in an attempt to get the Blonde Bomber’s attention, has launched several sledges in the 35-year-old’s direction.

    ‘I don’t know that I’d call her a beauty queen,’ O’Connell said earlier this year. ‘More of a skanky stripper or something, I don’t know.’

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    Bridges added that she believes O’Connell is ‘bitter’ and jealous of her success since signing with British promoter Eddie Hearn.

    ‘She sounds a little bit bitter when she talks, but hey, I might be too a little bit,’ Bridges said. ‘Shannon saw me at my first amateur fight. I’ve done what I’ve done in three years.

    ‘I’m getting her her biggest payday, which is probably all of her pay put together in one fight, and I’ve done that in a couple of years. And it’s because of me, it’s because of what I’ve built, how hard I’ve worked and the brand I’ve brought.’

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    Conor McGregor issues grim warning to old rival Dustin Poirier as pair talk up FOURTH UFC fight

    Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier could be on a collision course for a fourth fight after the old rivals traded barbs on social media.

    McGregor, who has not been back in action since breaking his leg in their trilogy fight last July, responded to ‘Diamond’, who asked: ‘You done filming Roid House and ready to get slapped around again!?’

    The Irishman replied: ‘Ye I’m in Amsterdam jacked like van damn. You weren’t just hurt pal. You were scared hurt don’t forget it.

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    Poirier will be aiming to make a swift recovery and return to training, having beaten Michael Chandler by submission in their UFC 281 clash last month.

    A fourth fight against McGregor would be one for the fans to savour, given the unsatisfactory resolution to their trilogy.

    The Louisiana native comprehensively beat the Dubliner in their rematch before the leg break put an end to the third bout, even though Poirier had been on top until that point.

    Debate has swirled around who McGregor could have his comeback fight against, with Chandler pushing hard for it.

    But Poirier would make sense, and appeal to both McGregor and the UFC.

    The Irishman has put on plenty of muscle mass so it remains to be seen if he can make the lightweight limit.

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    Jenas slammed by fans for praising Minamino’s time in Germany… despite him never playing there!

    Jermaine Jenas has been blasted by fans for hailing Takumi Minamino’s spell in Germany – despite the Japanese star having never played there.

    The BBC pundit, speaking as Minamino played during Japan’s World Cup last-16 exit against Croatia on Monday afternoon, praised the winger’s performances in the country.

    Monaco forward Minamino, 27, has played for Cerezo Osaka in Japan, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Liverpool, and Southampton (on loan) in England, and now in France – but never Germany.

    It is likely Jenas got confused between Austrian Bundesliga side Salzburg and their sister outfit RB Leipzig in Germany.

    But frustrated fans quickly took to social media to point out that highly-paid pundits like Jenas should know their stuff.

    One said: ‘According to Jermaine Jenas, Minamino’s “time in Germany” went well. Takumi Minamino has never played in Germany.’

    A second simply added: ‘That’s embarrassing.’

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    One tweeted: ‘Why do we allow ex players who clearly have no clue, co-commentate on games? Jenas discussed Minamino’s time in Germany, where he has never played.’

    A fifth continued: ‘Jermaine Jenas just said Takumi Minamino played really well “during his time in Germany” – he’s never played for a German club… Jenas gets paid £200k a year for this level of “expert” analysis.’

    Another said: ‘What a numpty Jermaine Jenas is. Minamino never played in Germany because RB Salzburg is in Austria,’ followed by a face-palm emoji.

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  • 1 час, 8 минут назад 06.12.2022Sport
    Former Premier League star Ashley Westwood reveals why England can win the World Cup in Qatar

    Ashley Westwood played for big-name clubs including Sheffield Wednesday during his 403-game career in the top flight of English football before coaching sides in India and Malaysia – so it’s safe to say he knows his football back to front.

    Here he tells Daily Mail Australia why his country is primed for its best run at the World Cup title for decades, the shortcoming that could see the Three Lions fail to hoist the trophy for the first time since 1966 – and what the Socceroos have to do to go one better than their stunning run to the Round of 16 in Qatar.


    It’s definitely the strongest chance we’ve had for a couple of generations. Look at the players: Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford – every single one of them would get a start in most teams because they’re exciting players who can be matchwinners on their own. They can score a goal out of nothing from their own work, they don’t have to be on the end of a perfect team goal.

    Gareth Southgate will get heavily criticised if he doesn’t get to the latter stages with those stars. Yes, they had a few sticky results before the World Cup and they didn’t do enough to take the game away from Italy in the Euro 2020 final. That’s always been the thing with England; they have plenty of attacking stars but can play too conservatively.

    But in this World Cup the difference is Jude Bellingham. He’s an attacking midfielder, so we don’t have the two holding midfielders as we did in the past with Declan Rice and your Jordan Hendersons. So they’ve been freer with their attacking play, as you saw against Iran and Senegal. The criticism is they never truly get the shackles off and play to win, they play not to lose, and that’s always been the frustrating thing from an England perspective. But in a tournament like the World Cup you can’t be gung-ho in every game.

    It’s a double-edged sword – do you entertain and try to win 4-2, or do you do enough to stay in the match, stay in the tournament? Teams can lose and still win the WC. They always say normally to win a Word Cup you have to win a penalty shootout, which the flip of a coin. The English fan likes to be entertained, but at the end of the day you can’t argue with Southgate’s record, he’s the most successful England manager in 50 years.


    England are the side that’s best placed to take advantage of the big jump in the amount of extra time at the World Cup, and the switch from four substitutes to five.

    They’ve brought the most valuable squad to Doha. If you look at the players who haven’t always got a look-in – Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, James Maddison – they’re all $170million stars who aren’t even in the starting line-up.

    They’ve got seven to eight really strong attackers, so they’ve got the luxury of putting players on who won’t weaken the side. Instead, England bring them on to make an impact, to make the team stronger.


    We struggle for central defenders. The two at the minute are picking themselves because there’s not enough competition. We may see him tweak the system and go to a back three when Kyle Walker’s fully fit.

    I’ve heard Southgate mention that the No.6, the Declan Rice position, there’s a huge shortage in that across the country. The England Football Association are looking into the development of the academies to see where these defensive midfielders have gone. The position is kind of getting phased out in England, possibly because everyone wants to be entertained.

    If Declan Rice gets injured we have Henderson to an extent, but he’s not really in the Rice mould. We still have problems with our culture, our academies in England because we’re not producing those No.6s these days.


    It’s the physicality of the players. They’re huge specimens. Everyone seems to be six foot, six foot two, and your little Lionel Messis are few and far between these days. Everyone is pretty robotic with their structure and their size, speed and strength. The physical output players produce is standing out despite the humidity and the heat in Qatar. You need to have everything in a player, in the Jude Bellingham mould, to get to the top. This has been developed around the world for years and now the physicality is reaching its peak.


    The Asian nations have really made their mark at this tournament with the Socceroos, Japan and South Korea all making the Round of 16. But compared to many of their competitors in Asia, the Australians are lagging behind.

    Look at the Japanese league, which started at around the same time as the A-League. There are now three strong leagues with J1, J2 and J3. They have huge infrastructure, most of the top clubs own their own training ground, their own purpose-built stadium. And there’s promotion and relegation, in contrast to Australia.

    In the United Arab Emirates they have the investment and the owners to attract the best players, the best foreigners, which improves standards. I know from my time coaching in India, you get foreigners and they improve the local players. It would be the same for Australia. There’s a lot of work to be done. It all comes down to what the owners are prepared to spend, and what they can get back in revenue.

    The battle to keep young talent is intense. The registration fees in Australia can be $2,500 and upwards just play football, which is the opposite of how it works in superpowers like England.

    It’s hard to keep the Australian players here. In leagues like Malaysia, Thailand, India – and they’re the smaller ones – there’s a lot of Aussie players there, earning a good living. You go to the bigger ones like Japan, Korea, the UAE, and they start earning some serious money. It’s hard to compete with and it’ll take a long-term plan to sort it out.

  • 1 час, 8 минут назад 06.12.2022Sport
    Cristiano Ronaldo row overshadows Portugal’s World Cup clash with Switzerland

    Cristiano Ronaldo has an uncanny knack of making everything about him – and the build-up to Portugal’s World Cup last-16 game against Switzerland has been no exception.

    Coach Fernando Santos couldn’t hide his anger at Ronaldo’s sulky reaction to being subbed off during the final group game against South Korea.

    And Santos stopped short of confirming his captain would be in the starting line-up for Tuesday night’s game, even if he insisted the matter had been resolved behind the scenes.

    All of which led to Ronaldo dominating the front pages of the Portuguese sports dailies on the morning of the match.

    Record and A Bola actually used the same picture of Santos and Ronaldo crossing paths as the 37-year-old forward was subbed off after 65 minutes of that concluding group match.

    ’10 + Ronaldo’ was Record’s headline, hinting perhaps at a fissure between Ronaldo and his team-mates which may yet derail their whole World Cup campaign.

    They pull out some of the quotes from Santos from his press conference on Monday.

    On Ronaldo’s frustrated reaction to being taken off, in which he allegedly used vulgar language towards his coach, Santos said: ‘I did see the images, yes, I didn’t like it. Not at all. I really didn’t like it.’

    But Santos also said: ‘Everything is finished, full stop, regarding that issue.’

    It suggests that Ronaldo will keep his place in the starting line-up to face Switzerland but some friction can’t be ruled out.

    A Bola, meanwhile, go with the headline ‘burning ears’ and talks of Santos issuing a ‘reprimand’ to Ronaldo for his actions.

    They add that Ronaldo will remain in the starting line-up but that, for the first time, his ‘ownership’ of a spot is being questioned.

    The same newspaper published a fan survey on Monday in which 70 per cent of respondents want him to be dropped.

    Newspaper O Jogo went with a very similar picture of Ronaldo and Santos from Friday but the headline ‘Winning is the best medicine.’

    They say that the friction between the pair has dominated the lead-up to Portugal’s crucial first knockout game and also quote the less-than-impressed Santos on Ronaldo’s actions.

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Sport Former Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is in the frame to advise potential buyers of the club