Departing Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward was facing a players revolt as he battled to keep the club's Super League idea on track.
It was announced on Tuesday evening that Woodward would be resigning from his position.
Club sources said that Woodward was planning to leave at the end of the year anyway — and is set to remain until then — but the announcement had been brought forward to avoid leaks, reports the Daily Mail.
However, it is hard to see how Woodward's departure is not linked to the despised European Super League which began to crumble on Tuesday when Manchester City and Chelsea initiated moves to pull out of the venture, before all six English clubs confirmed their intention to stay away.
Woodward was a key figure in fiercely controversial plans for the new breakaway league, with his links to US investment bank JP Morgan helping to secure the £4.3billion in financing.
Woodward was due to travel from London to Manchester for meetings on Thursday but it remains to be seen if that is still the case following Tuesday night's news and the dramatic collapse of the Super League project.
The United chief held an emergency video conference call with the players from his Mayfair office on Monday after news of the venture broke over the weekend.
United captain Harry Maguire challenged Woodward and was not the only player to voice his displeasure, with others in the dressing room following suit.
Some had raised the prospect of refusing to play in the ESL should the club take part, and Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw subsequently posted their opposition to the project on social media.