A NEW era at Manchester United will begin later this month when David Moyes and Ed Woodward sit down together to begin the process of forging a partnership intended to keep the club at the head of English football.
With the notable exception of Peter Kenyon, who he blamed for missing out on Ronaldinho in 2003, Sir Alex Ferguson has enjoyed productive relationships with the men charged with running the mighty Old Trafford machine.
But current chief executive David Gill is also leaving this summer, meaning both halves of a partnership that began almost ten years ago will no longer be around to steer United through the choppy waters that inevitably lie ahead, no matter how successful Moyes becomes.
However, Woodward, a 40-year-old former Brentwood School scholar and investment banker, insists he can work with a man who grew up on the outskirts of Glasgow and joined Celtic when he was just 17.
“In David Moyes, we have secured the services of an outstanding manager who has all the skills to build on the phenomenal legacy we have in place,” said Woodward.
“I have no doubt he will bring an energy and commitment to deliver winning football that is part of the fabric of this club. In this respect, he is cut from the same cloth as the Old Trafford greats who go before him.
“I have been very impressed by David’s personal and managerial traits, which reflect the Manchester United values.
“I have no doubt that he will embrace, and soon become an integral part of, United’s unique culture and heritage.”
United’s owners, the Glazer family, have tended to shy away from publicity and have been content to let Ferguson and Gill get on with running the day-to-day business of winning football matches, whilst they find ways of maximising commercial income, which they have done in a manner never previously witnessed in the English game.
Now, though, the biggest footballing decision that they will ever have to make given Ferguson’s tenure, is open to scrutiny. And they are confident that they have snared the right man.
“The search for a new manager has been very short,” said co-chairman Avie Glazer.
“Alex was very clear with his recommendation and we are delighted that David has agreed to accept the job.
“He comes to us with excellent credentials and a strong track record.
“I know he is keen to get started and Ed will be sitting down with him as soon as the season is over to discuss plans for the summer and beyond.”