Let’s take a walk down memory lane, all the way to the summer of 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson has just retired after 26 glorious trophy laden years at Manchester United & so has the CEO of United, David Gill. Taking their positions were former Everton Manager David Moyes and Ed Woodward respectively. Ed Woodward has somehow managing all finance and transfer market for United, according to Manchester Evening News.
— Man United Source (@1ManUnitedNews) July 25, 2018
One of the reasons both the appointments have been so disappointing are, firstly Moyes who previously managed Everton for 10 years, constantly played dull, defensive and boring style of football at United. He had never won a trophy as opposed to United under Sir Alex that were swashbuckling, free flowing, inventive, scoring Fergie time goals and winning boat loads of trophies. Adding to that Moyes showing videos of Phil Jagielka defending to stalwarts such as Rio Ferdinand & Nemanja Vidic didn’t help his cause either. Humiliating losses at home to Liverpool, Newcastle and Man City meant that Moyes was shown the door within just ten months of his appointment.
Woodward on the other hand, was a former Accountant & Investment Banker. He was mainly instrumental in helping the Glazer’s takeover of Manchester United. In 2007 Woodward was given the role of Commercial and Media Operations Chief and his impact was stunning. In 2005 United’s commercial revenue was 48.7 million pounds, fast forward to 2012 that number skyrocketed to the massive 117.6 million pounds. Adding to that deals with brands such as Gulf, AON, Chevrolet, Adidas, 20th Century Fox, Aeroflot and the latest partner being Kohler who are now United’s Sleeve sponsor, are just a few brands that have helped United become the commercial giant it is today.
According to Forbes magazine, United are now the worlds most valuable football club with a value of roughly 5 Billion Dollars, pipping the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. No doubt a large credit of this commercial success goes to Ed Woodward. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that United haven’t won the league since 2013 and the Champions League since 2008. No major trophies still hasn’t hampered the commercial value of United, all thanks to Ed Woodward.
But here’s where Woodward has failed where David Gill had succeeded, players such as Nemanja Vidic & Patrice Evra brought for £7m & £5m respectively went on to acheive legendary status at the club. So did the big money signing of Rio Ferdinand paid off so spectacularly because David Gill worked wonders in the transfer market.
Woodward on the other hand has had disaster after disaster in the transfer market. Famously in the summer of 2013 when United were linked to the likes of Gareth Bale, Thiago, Toni Kroos & Cesc Fabregas, but ended with overpaying for Marouane Fellaini. Woodward’s signings of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Luke Shaw have all been disappointing. This summer United were strongly linked with Gareth Bale again but again they had to shift their attention towards likes of Perisic and Rebic.
Woodward’s failure can be summed up in the following sentence, that even after Woodward spending millions every transfer market, United’s best player is David de Gea, signed by Sir Alex.
United need a head of transfers, someone who understands players, their strengths, weakness and how they can fit into the “United way” of football. Sporting Director or Managing Director who can be responsible for only United transfer market and Woodward managing finance at Old Trafford, will be beneficial for club manager Jose Mourinho and us.