As Florentino Perez’s Super League dream imploded on Tuesday night news emerged from Manchester United – one of the 12 teams to make a dramatic U-turn – that Ed Woodward would be standing down.
The former accountant has been at Old Trafford since 2013 and is the current executive vice-chairman, but his role in both the formation of the controversial league and United’s temporary involvement left him with little other option.
UFC superstar Conor McGregor seized the opportunity to revel in the drama with a tongue-in-cheek tweet to his 8.6million Twitter followers.
“Hey guys,” wrote the Irishman. “I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?”
The tweet went down well on the social media platform as fans looked for some light relief in what has been an arduous week.
But could McGregor actually buy Man United? In short, no.
Dubliner McGregor has been fighting in the UFC since 2013 and has participated in eight PPV fights during this time.
In 2017, he stepped into the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather and banked a cool £61million after tax upon signing the contract.
McGregor has a brand outside of the sport and earns money through his endorsements with Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, EA, Burger King and Reebok.
The 32-year-old also owns the Irish whisky brand, Proper No.12, which Forbes estimates has brought in a huge £34.5million.
McGregor is set to earn even more money when his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier goes ahead in July.
But if he was to step away from fighting right now his net worth stands at an estimated £181million.
It’s an absolutely huge amount, but in terms of buying a football club – especially one the size and stature of Manchester United – it’s a mere drop in the ocean.
Manchester United was valued at £3.05billion by Forbes on April 13, making them the fourth most valuable club on the planet.
It was the first time the Red Devils had fallen out of the top three places since ratings began in 2007, with Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as German titans Bayern Munich, all ranked above them.
Nevertheless, United remain the most expensive club in England.
United’s recent announcement that they would be joining the European Super League – with JP Morgan ready to bankroll the competition with a £4.3billion injection – saw their share price spike on the New York stock exchange by more than £180million – an increase of nine per cent.
The Red Devils were set to inherit a huge £255million just for signing up as a founding club.
But since Man United’s U-turn on Tuesday, the club’s share price has fallen by six per cent, at the time of reporting.
So, as aforementioned, McGregor has some way to go before he can afford to buy United. What’s more, Woodward – who will continue in his role until the end of the season – has been firm on the club’s stance on selling in recent years.
A rumoured takeover bid from Saudi Arabian royalty emerged in 2019, for instance, but this was immediately knocked back.