Outgoing Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward has been about as popular around Old Trafford as the season review video from 1988-89.
With the curtain set to fall on what can best be described as a chequered career at the Old Trafford helm, it seems as though he’s going out with a bang.
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The exit-bound exec has been forced to deflect startling rumours that he is actually the criminal mastermind known as “H” in the BBC hit drama Line of Duty.
Series creator and United fan Jed Mercurio is believed to be “fuming” that word has got out linking the soon-to-be-former United supremo with one of the great unsolved mysteries of the 21st century.
Our sources in the North West have been busy scuttling around Old Trafford trying to find out if there is any truth in these rumours.
“Whoever thinks that Mr Woodward has the capability of running a vast underground criminal network that has kept viewers intrigued for six seasons is sadly misguided, ” an Old Trafford source said.
“This guy couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery.”
“We’re talking more Dr Evil than Blofeld,” said another.
However, the story seems to have gathered pace in the past 24 hours when we received an anonymous tip-off that the head of AC12, the team that has been trying to catch “H” for what seems like 20 years,
— BBC One (@BBCOne) April 26, 2021
Ted Hastings was seen getting into a taxi outside Piccadilly train station apparently heading for Old Trafford, a story which has subsequently been “rubbished” by a spokesman for Cross Country Trains who told us; “How can you expect someone on a Policeman’s salary to be able to afford one of our day return fares?”
However, we tracked down the taxi driver who picked Hastings up who explained to us that, “When I asked him to say “Mother of God,” he simply said, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey – would you just keep your eye on the road, son'” before explaining he was in Manchester investigating a possible multi-million-pound fraud.
“You ever heard of this ‘Fred’ character? He claims to be a Brazilian, but he’s fooling nobody.” he said.
“And we believe the disappearance of a Dutch 24-year-old in the Manchester area could also be related to the case. Goes by the name of Donny.
“He’s just completely vanished without trace.”
Though with more media following Ed Woodward’s movements, a local restaurateur went public earlier today claiming he had hosted the United chief when he went out dinner AC-12’s DI Steve Arnott.
Later reports suggested it was actually Juan Mata.
“It’s really just the beard I think,” said the bemused Spanish midfielder when asked about the mix-up.
With this being the most anticipated TV event since Game Of Thrones melted its reputation in a cloud of CGI dragon flame and Kings Landing rubble, the possible revelation of the series’ nemesis could scupper BBC hopes of a record audience on Sunday evening – and prove a distraction for in United’s pursuit of finishing within 10 points of Manchester City, as they take on Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
We tried to get a take on it all from boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær ahead of the weekend’s big showdown and the Norwegian was quick to play down the story.
“Only halfway through season one,” he said. “Trying my best to ignore the tittle tattle around Carrington as most of his players are bang up-to-date. Besides Paul, who’ll watch nothing if it’s not on Tiktok.”
We didn’t then have the heart to tell him that we only wanted a soundbite regarding Sunday’s team selection.
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