Ed Woodward has found himself a new gig in artificial intelligence, as Manchester United, once again, begin the search for the person to fill the role he vacated.
He previously served as the Executive Vice Chairman at Old Trafford, albeit he was an immensely unpopular figure with the club’s fans. He left the Premier League outfit and saw Richard Arnold, who had served alongside him, take on the difficult job.
Arnold’s departure has been announced less than two years after he stepped up to the role with United, who are set to go through major ownership changes as Sir Jim Ratcliffe comes aboard, now looking for another senior figure. Woodward meanwhile has been appointed as a Strategic Advisor and Non-Executive Board Member for AI company SentientSports.
Woodward said on his next challenge: “I am excited to be joining the SentientSports board and working alongside Ryan and the team. The blend of sports and AI technology at SentientSports is truly cutting-edge. With some of the industry’s leading AI talents involved, I see tremendous potential for innovation and expanding global digital fanbases.
“I’m thrilled to be part of such a dynamic company with the potential to revolutionise the global digital sports landscape.”
SentientSports, founded in 2020, aim to be a market leader in employing causal AI technologies which will transform fan engagement within the sports arena. They aim to help professional sports clubs create digital global fanbases and D2C revenue streams.
SentientSports has tested their models with over 30 professional teams in Europe and America – some of those being Premier League and Football League outfits, who have used their AI technology to analyse data and recruit players.
It was Woodward’s recruitment and decision making at Old Trafford that copped particular criticism. He stepped up to his senior role when Sir Alex Ferguson left and his actions in the transfer market saw him heavily scrutinised with United continuing to spend big on players who underwhelmed.
His managerial appointments also failed to yield much silverware. Jose Mourinho was bought in and given a new contract just months before he was sacked. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the manager’s job temporarily but good form saw him given the role, but he left without winning any trophies.