Woodward has joined the board of educational esports company EStars as a non-executive director. EStars is “at the heart of the fastest-growing sport in the world”, using esports to bring classmates together, both during and after school hours, to foster great academic goals, inclusion, diversity and positive outcomes.
Ex-Newcastle, Netherlands and current Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul has been a shareholder in the company since its inception in 2017 and Woodward explained his decision to accept the new role.
He said: “When you put together esports, education and a dynamic region such as the Middle East, where curriculum decisions can be made faster than Europe, it is a recipe for success.
“Joining the team is an easy decision when you add the exceptional leadership and entrepreneurial energy of Mags [founder Mags Byrne]. I’m excited about EStars delivering a path of learning for the next generation in the (relatively) new industry of esports.”
Having qualified as a chartered accountant and then worked at JPMorgan as an investment banker, Woodward joined Man United in 2005 to oversee their commercial operations, having advised the Glazer family on their purchase of the club. He was appointed to the board of directors in 2008 and became executive vice-chair in 2013 when David Gill retired.
He became an incredibly unpopular figure at Old Trafford due to his association with a Glazer regime that fans turned against and despite the £1bn he sanctioned in transfer fees, his tenure is regarded as a failure, with the club struggling on the pitch – in relative terms at least – in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
It has been mooted that he could help the Glazer family negotiate any potential sale of Manchester United as the takeover saga drags on.