Manchester United owners are nowhere to be seen as the team continues to struggle.
15 years ago, Joel Glazer picked the first products in the club store. A £27 blue away shirt. Plus some ‘I love Man United‘ T-shirts. And rushed off for his next engagement. His brother, Avie, reached for an £18 plastic United rucksack.
Joel said the next day in the Old Trafford International Lounge. After gathering 550 staff. From the club painters to chief executive David Gill. For a 15-minute briefing which proved predictive in the sparkle of all that has emerged.
‘Our view is that this club has such a rich history and tradition that we’re not looking to change,’ said Joel. They have denied all media interviews about United from that day until this. It is the Glazers’ absentee reputation and neglect. An apathy to any suggestion that the club might need to change. Recent times have been devastating. Fellow Americans Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have produced such remarkable strategic oversight down at Liverpool.
The Past & The Present
At 8 am every Friday, David Gill would meet Ferguson at the Carrington training facility. At which gaps in the squad and ongoing talks about targets would be discussed. Football success is about the decision and they all trusted each other.
After Ferguson left, coaches with no time for many of the players they have inherited. Ed Woodward frequently shipping players in and out in big digits. Lacking football knowledge to cope.
There are occasional rays of sunshine. The latest summer window was arguably United’s best in the recent past. The emergence of stop-gap striker Odion Ighalo occurred. Who spent the past three seasons in China. On £165,000-a-week wages, it seems like a catastrophe.
Transfer Market Meltdowns
United are torn between craving to send a statement to the market that they will not overpay. And a need to spend.
They paused for an entire window to buy Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. They signed him for the exact price. The same anxious decision-making applied to the signing of Harry Maguire.
Liverpool were hindered in their attempt to buy Virgil van Dijk from Southampton. Raised the offer by £15m. Van Dijk was at Anfield in no time.
Now is the point of greatest opportunity to introduce a director of football. Authorizing responsibility to a board director who understands the game. It would offer Woodward greater reason for retaining the duties of Solskjaer, who has struggled.