Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes was involved in the heated discussions with Ed Woodward, reports say. The Red Devils squad were furious after the announcement of the European Super League. And the club have since confirmed they won’t be taking part in the competition that has sparked global outrage.
Manchester United have had a good season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, for all their victories on the football pitch, they’ve made a giant mistake away from it.
United, as well as five other English clubs, all attempted to join a European Super League earlier in the week.
They believed they could earn millions in extra cash from the ring-fenced competition, with an injection of money sorely needed particularly after the coronavirus crisis.
But, after a big fan backlash, they backed down.
United players, led by skipper Harry Maguire, aired their grievances at Woodward for trying to broker the scheme.
And The Athletic say Fernandes was involved, too, with the Portugal international making his points in ‘characteristic fashion.’
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United squad members reportedly felt the competition might jeopardise their participation in the Premier League.
And they weren’t assured by what Woodward said in response, with the 49-year-old then tendering his resignation shortly afterwards.
There was said to be no bullet points to persuade the players to get on board.
And some who had experienced football further down the English pyramid were worried about what a Super League would mean for the futures of teams in the Championship, League One and League Two.
Meanwhile, Woodward announced his decision to step down by saying: “We have invested more than £1bn in the squad during my time here and I am particularly delighted with the progress the players have made under the astute leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching team in the last two years.
“I am sure that with the changes we have made on-field and to the coaching and football staff in recent years this great club will soon be lifting silverware again.
“Over the past few days, we have all witnessed the great passion which football generates, and the deep loyalty our fans have for this great club.
“You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.
“Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.
“We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable throughout the pyramid for the long-term. However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go about it.
“In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions –promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.
“This is the world’s greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days.
“It is important for us to put that right.
“Manchester United has a rich heritage and we recognise our responsibility to live up to its great traditions and values.
“The pandemic has thrown up so many unique challenges and we are proud of the way Manchester United and its fans from Manchester and around the world have reacted to the enormous pressures during this period.
“We also realise that we need to better communicate with you, our fans, because you will always be at the heart of the club.
“In the background, you can be sure that we will be taking the necessary steps to rebuild relationships with other stakeholders across the game, with a view to working together on solutions to the long-term challenges facing the football pyramid.
“Right now, our priority is to continue to support all of our teams as they push for the strongest possible finish to the season.
“In closing, I would like to recognise that it is your support which makes this club so great, and we thank you for that.
“With best regards, Joel Glazer.”