Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has hit back at critics who blamed him for errors in recruitment and accused him of prizing financial success off the pitch ahead of progress and glory on it.
“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.”
Ahead of what traditionally is the biggest match of their season, Manchester United are prepared to be patient and back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to reverse a slump that’s seen them win just five times in their last 23 games, with a meagre two Premier League victories so far this season, a run that leaves them just two points off the relegation places.
Woodward appointed the Norwegian as permanent United boss in the wake of the club’s Champions League win over PSG in March, and is sticking by his man despite their bid for a first away win since that trip to Paris. Whatever happens on Sunday against Liverpool, Solskjaer will remain at the helm.
“The reality of Manchester United is we are a club in two parts,” said Woodward.
“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.”
STORY BY: ISAAC MORTEY