The £1 billion deal that could cost Ed Woodward his job

Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward is under huge pressure to get a £1 billion deal with shirt suppliers Nike done and dusted.

United’s new chief executive has been taking plenty of heavy fire over the last week following transfer deadline day, which saw the Old Trafford side miss out on the arrivals of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Fabio Coentrao from Real Madrid.

However, he can alleviate plenty of that frustration if he manages to pull off the record deal with Nike which would see them continue as United’s current shirt supplier from the 2015/2016 season onwards.

As things stand the deal isn’t yet completed with Woodward under time pressure to get things sorted out by this winter. Reports show that clothing companies need around 18 months notice if they are required to deliver a new kit range.

That means United have to get the deal done by this winter with their current £303 million agreement with Nike due to expire at the end of the 2014/2015 Premier League season.

The benefits of the £1 billion deal are self explanatory and would further strengthen United’s financial standing in the modern game and their ability to buy the best players and pay competitive contracts.

However, with the deal not officially signed off, the consequences for Woodward could be very severe.

The magnitude of this deal makes it very significant for United as it will be a signal to their main rivals of the sort of financial pulling power they are capable of and will retain in the immediate future.

Considering the pressure and criticism Woodward is already under from various sections of United supporters, if he messes this deal up, the fans will reiterate their calls for his head and his job could be at risk.

He’s also set the benchmark in terms of the ten figure price which fans will now be expecting to happen.

Negotiations go both ways and there is still a very good chance that United could be forced to concede a reduce price, lower than £1 billion which will now feel like a failure.

While it would still mean a mega money deal for United, it has the potential to feel like a failure in the respect that they wouldn’t have pulled off a ten figure deal.

Woodward was always going to find things difficult at Old Trafford because he’s following one of the best chief executives the club has ever had in the form of David Gill.

He may have been partly responsible for transfer deals not going through last Monday but he can save face if he manages to get this deal done for the club. However, United fans calling for him to hand in that resignation may get their wish if this deal collapses like those transfer deals on deadline day.

What do you think? Can United pull off the £1 billion deal?

image: © brostad

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