Man Utd chief Ed Woodward ‘visited Downing Street days before Super League launch’

23 April 2021, 00:25 | Updated: 23 April 2021, 10:31

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Labour is calling for Downing Street to release details of a meeting involving Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward days before the launch of the European Super League.

Mr Woodward is understood to have been in No 10 for a meeting with officials rather than Boris Johnson.

But The Independent reported Mr Woodward was introduced to the Prime Minister following the meeting with No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield on Wednesday last week.

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Downing Street insiders insisted the talks did not cover the breakaway European competition and "the Prime Minister was not in that meeting".

News of the competition involving Manchester United and five other English teams, along with sides from Spain and Italy, broke on Sunday night.

Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: "The Prime Minister and his ministers made very public and vocal condemnation of the European Super League.

Johnson hits out at plans for breakaway European football competition

"The public would therefore expect the same message to have been delivered in any private meetings.

"Downing Street should release the minutes in order to clear up any confusion and avoid accusations of hypocrisy."

The Independent reported Manchester United sources as saying Mr Woodward's talks with Mr Rosenfield were "around Covid restrictions and the return of fans to stadiums".

The proposed league swiftly and spectacularly unravelled and Manchester United announced Mr Woodward would leave by the end of the year following a backlash by fans, the football authorities and the Government.