Sunday, September 20, 2020

Protest banner flown over Turf Moor as United fans turn on Woodward

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Sep 2018

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A plane carrying a banner calling for Ed Woodward to leave Manchester United has been flown over Turf Moor ahead of their Premier League clash with Burnley.

The banner, bearing the message ‘Ed Woodward A Specialist In Failure’ was seen flying over the stadium in the hour before kick-off on Sunday.

It is a reference to Jose Mourinho’s description of former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as “a specialist in failure” while he was at Chelsea back in 2014.

The flyover was reportedly due to take place ahead of Monday’s 3-0 defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford but was postponed due to light restrictions.

It is the first such protest by Red Devils fans since a plane carrying a ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’ message flew over Old Trafford in March 2014, calling for the sacking of then-manager David Moyes.

The United faithful have become increasingly angry towards executive vice-chairman Woodward and the club’s owners, the Glazer family, in recent months.

Supporters have largely taken the side of under-fire manager Mourinho in the wake of a disappointing transfer window, in which Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant were the only signings.

Mourinho is said to have been incensed by Woodward’s refusal to sanction bids for new centre-backs including Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld.

United have spent close to £400million since Mourinho’s arrival in May 2016, but there is a sense he was undermined during the transfer window by Woodward’s reluctance to release funds, especially since the manager was given a new contract only in January.

Mourinho is under intense pressure to improve results on the pitch following back-to-back losses to Spurs and Brighton and Hove Albion, but some United fans stayed to applaud him on Monday and the visiting contingent were heard chanting ‘Mourinho’s red and white army’ after the plane flew by on Sunday.

Most reports in the UK media have suggested Woodward is in no rush to dismiss a third United manager in his time at the club, despite suggestions of a breakdown in their relationship.

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