The modern Manchester United

by Aiden Daries


Manchester United’s status as being ‘the best club in England’ is slowly dwindling away as they are set to go eight consecutive seasons without lifting the coveted Premier League trophy.

Manchester United’s last league title was back in 2013 under former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Since then, United have not been considered title challengers. Despite the board's best efforts to bring in world class managers, such as the likes of Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal, they have been unsuccessful in their pursuit of the league title.


So what is exactly going on at Manchester United?


Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward and owners the Glazer family have been thought of as the reason for United’s decline. The Glazers took over United in 2005 and achieved much success with the club. The reason for this however, was down to then chief executive David Gill and former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson was believed to have had control over the club because of his strong influence within.


Ed Woodward arrived as chief executive in 2013 after replacing David Gill. Many looked at this appointment with raised eyebrows considering Woodward was an accountant and was perceived to have no real knowledge of the game.


Ed Woodward (left) with Manchester United owner, Avram Glazer (middle) and financial officer, Cliff Baty (right)

Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the owners' backing of the managers thereafter has been somewhat incompetent.


David Moyes, the man that took over the reins from Sir Alex was asked to pack his bags after less than a year in charge of the club.


Louis Van Gaal was then called in to be his replacement and guided United to a fourth place finish in his first season in charge. There were not many leaders inside the dressing room in his first season as the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra had all departed before his arrival.


The board, however, managed to acquire Angel Di Maria and Radamal Falcao, but the pair soon departed a season later. The question of whether these were Van Gaal’s first choice signings was beginning to circulate.


I believe that these top name signings of Di Maria and Falcao were nitpicked by the Glazers as a way to increase their revenue via the shirt sales.


In Van Gaal’s second season in charge the board looked to turn away from backing the manager, despite €50 million youngster Anthony Martial having been brought through the Carrington doors. A host of other young talents were bought as well, but not one stand out player was signed in the Dutchman’s second season; a season where United was looking to improve on their fourth place finish.


I believe that the board’s incompetence and lack of backing the manager in his second season in charge led to his sacking.


Jose Mourinho, a serial winner, was brought in and the same scenario occurred with the Portuguese. The Glazers backing of the manager in their first season, and lack of backing in their second has led to the downfall of Manchester United.


I do not believe that that these current owners or chief executive of Manchester United have any knowledge of football. One of the biggest clubs in the world has owners who act like they are running a business, with an accountant as their chief executive.


Manchester United Football Club is currently being run like a business and not a football club. Louis Van Gaal stated than the club was being run like a commercial department and not a football one, which highlights the level of incompetence from the top of the club. He has also come out saying that he never really got his top targets. Jose Mourinho was also frustrated at the lack of business during his time in charge at the club.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Manchester United thus far has seen an improvement in the team, but this looks to be papering over the cracks and covering up a deeper issue within United.


A lot needs to change at the club, starting with the board and chief executive. Having a knowledge of the game is a must for these businessmen and bankers. A director of football that can work alongside the manager is another key factor in helping improve the club. If United continue their ‘plan’ of backing managers, sacking them, and waiting for Champions League football in order to receive their revenue, United fans are looking at a future that might just mirror these past eight years.

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