An estimated 20 to 30 hostile balaclava-clad United fans incensed at the way the club is being managed threw flares at the gated property of Ed Woodward’s mansion ahead of Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United. Offensive graffiti was also sprayed on the perimeter fencing surrounding executive vice-chairman’s Cheshire home.
Former England striker Gary Lineker, in his response to a video on Twitter, has condemned the ‘The Men in Black’ – as this particular group of militant balaclava-clad United fans prefer to be called – who attacked Ed Woodward’s home with flares as “absolutely disgusting”, drawing attention to the fact that Woodward and his wife have young twins:
“If this is genuine then it’s absolutely disgusting. The man has young twins, FFS.”
Just seen a video surface of United fans allegedly firing Flares at Ed Woodward’s House, Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/sjXTRqOSPy
— Madman Mason (@MadmanMason3) January 28, 2020
It was fortunate that Woodward and his family were not at home when the attack happened or the consequences could have been grievous, to say the least. After news of the shocking incident emerged, United immediately released a statement and threatened the thugs with lifetime bans.
The statement read:
“Manchester United Football Club have tonight been made aware of the incident outside the home of one of our employees. We know that the football world will unite behind us as we work with Greater Manchester Police to identify the perpetrators of this unwarranted attack.”
“Anybody found guilty of a criminal offence, or found to be trespassing on this property, will be banned for life by the club and may face prosecution. Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage and intent to endanger life is another. There is simply no excuse for this.”
The brevity of this outrageous attack on Woodward’s home is of grave concern amidst the growing deluge of fan protests that has been targeted at club owners, the Glazers, and Ed Woodward, where the latter was the subject of repulsive death chants during United’s recent win over Tranmere. Woodward was key in playing the role of an adviser when the controversial leveraged buy-out of Manchester United was pushed through almost 15 years ago.
The Glazers have purportedly taken dividends in excess of £1.3billion out of Old Trafford and to service loans. Manchester United are currently more than £200million in debt which has come as shocking news to many, especially the fans, as record revenues were announced in the years since Woodward took over from David Gill early 2013. This has spurred United’s legions of loyal fans to anger and turned the tide against the owners and Woodward in particular, attributing the club’s current dismal state of affairs to the executive vice-chairman’s gross management imprudence and colossal blunders, particularly in the area of football administration.
Where once Sir Alex Ferguson was able to succeed in his continued quest for titles and silverware until his retirement in 2013, this once grand, austere club is now floundering and have finished in the top four just twice,not to mention having been unable to mount a bid for the Premier League title.
United fans were actually heard chanting about killing Woodward during the Red Devils’ FA Cup victory over Tranmere at the weekend. This is highly worrying as the video that emerged on social media on Tuesday evening of the hooded thugs hurling red flares over the gate of the United executive vice-chairman’s house featured the chilling caption:
“Ed Woodward’s gonna die.”
Read Part 2 by Ng K Hong tomorrow on Football Tribe.