The 47 year-old lashed out at criticism surrounding the club’s transfer decisions ahead of their crucial tie against Liverpool on Sunday.
Manchester United’s CEO Ed Woodward has come out in open rubbishing claims that non-footballing people have a say over transfer decisions and the recruitment strategy of the team. He put his weight behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and insisted that the Norwegian would be backed with further reinforcements in the upcoming transfer windows.
Ed Woodward said: “There is a myth that we have non-football people making football decisions, and I think it’s insulting to the brilliant people who work on the football side in this club. Many of the senior staff on the football side of the club have been in their roles for over 10 years. Some of our scouts have worked with us for more than 25 years.”
“We’ve expanded our recruitment department in recent years and we believe this now runs in an efficient and productive way. Player recommendations and decisions are worked on by this department and by the first-team manager and his staff, not by senior management,” stated Woodward, according to Evening Standard.
“Ole’s vision maps exactly to the core three football objectives we have. We must win trophies, we must play attacking football, and we must give youth its chance.”
Woodward has come under severe criticism in recent times due to the club’s flawed transfer strategy that left Jose Mourinho disappointed in the summer of 2018. Even in the previous summer, it is believed that the club fell short of a couple of more signings and this has been a norm that United have fallen prey to recent times.
There appears to be little thought put behind developing a road-map and Ed Woodward has been held culpable by the masses for converting Manchester United into a club that focuses more on the commercial aspect of the game and not of the footballing side. However, the former commercial banker had strong views on this issue as well.
He said: “The reality of Manchester United is we are a club in two parts. First of all, we are an incredible 141-year footballing institution with all that history, all that legacy, all that tradition and that tradition of success. That can never, ever change. We need to keep that protected.”
“Then, like other football clubs, our commercial business allows us to reinvest in the football side. It’s how these two interact with each other at Manchester United that results in us having a competitive advantage in this area. What’s important is the commercial side is never allowed to take priority over the football side.”
However, any follower of the club who has noticed how the proceedings have taken place in recent times, it is not that difficult to decode that Ed Woodward is providing a cover-up, excuses as such for his own shortcomings ever since have taken over the administrative and commercial side of the club in 2013.
“There’s a lot more we need to do in that but that’s coming in the next few years. We know this is a strong competitive advantage for us and an area that we’ll continue to focus on and invest in. But this remains the heart of the club.”
“The middle section of last season, after Ole’s arrival, feels most relevant to what we want to achieve and where we want to be.”
“We saw a team playing fast, fluid football, with a clear representation of the style and philosophy the manager wants.”
Despite Woodward’s claims of the team playing an attractive brand of football, none of it seems to be true considering how Solskjaer’s side is placed on the 12th spot in the table with nine points from eight matches that includes only two victories so far.
“Ole has also instilled the discipline back into an environment where we may have lacked it in recent years. He is building a squad that respects the club’s history, in which players work hard and respect their team-mates. No-one is bigger than the club.”
“The changes we saw over the summer have resulted in a very young squad. But it’s also a squad, with the players and the culture that provides a base camp for us to build and grow from as we start our new journey.”
The team would next face Liverpool, the table-toppers who have won each of their matches so far in the upcoming weekend. Considering their recent form and so that of Jurgen Klopp’s teams, it isn’t difficult to decipher who would be the overwhelming favourites in this particular encounter.