I would like you to read the media headlines below from this season and explain to me why both you and Jose Mourinho are still in a job at Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho is out of his depth as our manager which I can see, all United fans can see, and even the dogs in the street can see and yet, for some inexplicable reason, you appear incapable of seeing! Maybe a trip to Specsavers is in order? They are doing a 2 for 1 offer at the moment which has to represent excellent value for money unlike the value we fans are receiving from our team’s inept performances this season. And the latter is not entirely the fault of so many of our overpaid and underperforming players including Romelu Lukaku who, despite scoring on Saturday, is lacking movement let alone confidence in a United shirt; Alexis Sanchez who on his United form no team in the Premier League would give a training bib to let alone a place in their side and then we have the enigma himself, although more a case of him thinking he is better than what he actually is, Paul Pogba (a definite case of regarding himself as a legend in his own mind). Sir Alex would never have bought Lukaku or Sanchez because they are just put simply, not Manchester United players, and as Rafa Benitez once uttered “That is a Fact!” As for Pogba, Sir Alex got rid of him for a reason and having watched his silly oversteps, his pirouettes, his 36 steps penalty approach, his touch letting him and his teammates down, him giving the ball away, him throwing his hands up in the air when he makes yet another error in play and that silly hairstyle, we all now know why! Sir Alex didn’t get much wrong during his 26 years in charge and he knew Pogba was not for us.
I saw you sitting at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Saturday night with that usual expressionless look on your face when we went behind to two early goals. For goodness sake you are the executive vice-chairman of the world’s greatest football club but in my opinion you lack emotion and passion for our club. Get angry when you see us concede a goal, get to your feet, wave your hands, even scratch your head but at least do something which gives some indication that you actually care! I have seen a Primary 1 United fan express more passion for our club than I have ever witnessed from you both orally and in writing. Maybe it is time you began scratching because your position at our great club is at the squeaky bum time of this season.
By allowing Jose Mourinho to give us the drab football he has served up all season is, in my opinion, nothing short of you abdicating your duties by permitting this languid, boring, lifeless and passionless style of play to tarnish the history of our great club. A lot of United fans rue the day Sir Alex retired. As for me, I rue the day David Gill decided to step down from his position as our Chief Executive and make way for you! You may be the Glazer family’s “Go To Man” when they need a sponsorship deal concluded, or when a corporate sponsor needs appeased, but I honestly do not think you have a clue about how much we the fans care about our club or that you even care about our feelings for that matter.
So my question to you Mr Woodward is when are you going to stop looking at our impressive balance sheet or worry about what the value of the club’s shares are on the Financial Times Index/New York Stock Exchange and take a look at how our club is imploding under your stewardship in the United Boardroom and under Jose Mourinho’s clueless tactics on the pitch. You arrived at Old Trafford as an accountant and an investment banker but those credentials mean nothing to us United fans. We don’t care about how the world of finance sees us or if we are the world’s richest or poorest football club. What we do care about is our history which, in my opinion, you are helping Jose Mourinho to tarnish by acting like an ostrich and burying your head in financial spreadsheets instead of acting like a Meerkat and taking a look at what is going on all around you and further on the horizon.
And when the day comes, and hopefully that inevitable day is not too far away, do not get carried away with having our great club as part of your CV by thinking that you will be able to follow a similar path to your predecessor. The FA, FIFA and UEFA are not easily swayed. And unlike you, David Gill, who I totally respect, was not loathed by a vast majority of Manchester United fans. I can only think of one other Director in the history of Manchester United who was disliked with so much intensity by the United faithful than that which you currently attract, and that is our former Chairman, Martin Edwards. However, I personally think Martin Edwards was unfairly treated because when he made way for Sir Roy Gardner in season 2002-03, his legacy was to leave us in an extremely strong financial position. During his tenure as Chairman the club’s annual profits significantly increased, going from £210,000 in 1980 to £39,345,000 in 2003, while Manchester United’s net value increased 400-fold from £2 million to £800 million over the same period
What will be your legacy? Helping the Glazer family/Red Football Limited to take control of Manchester United in 2005 and burden our great club with debt. As at 30 June 2018, the financial accounts of Manchester United Limited showed the club’s debt stands at £487 million. Manchester United was debt free prior to the takeover by the Glazer family/Red Football Limited and this was the first time Manchester United had debt since 1931.
Tell me who would want the latter to be their Manchester United legacy?
If you do not act now, as in this week, and replace Jose Mourinho then do the honourable thing and admit to the football world, “Mea Culpa,” and fall on that imaginary sword you may think you rule our club with, then your legacy may also be the executive vice-chairman who was at the Old Trafford helm when we endured our worst ever Premier League finish to a season in the 27-year history of the competition. We finished in 7th position the season after Sir Alex retired, 2013-14. Mark Hughes was sacked by Southampton this morning following his side’s 2-2 draw with us on Saturday. At least their owners, Gao Jisheng and Katharina Liebherr, and their Chairman, Ralph Krueger, had the courage to do what they think is best for their club. Tell me, why does our executive co-chairmen, Avram and Joel Glazer, as well as you, not display similar passion and courage and secure for us a manager who will once again have our team playing the “United Way?”
The recent published set of Accounts reveals that the 6 Glazer siblings were paid £18 million in dividends for the 2017-18 financial year (a total of £22 million was paid out in dividends to the Glazers and other financial investors) whilst the Glazers collectively scooped £23 million in dividends in 2016-17 and a further £20 million in dividends in 2015-16. Meanwhile, in the last financial year a total of £13 million was paid out in salaries to directors (including you) and senior executives at Manchester United, including Avram, Bryan, Darcie, Edward, Joel & Kevin Glazer (£12 million in 2016-17 & £11 million in 2015-16). Is it just me or does anyone else see a trend here – 11 years post the takeover £11 million was paid out, 13 years post the takeover £13 million was paid out, a £1 million rise per annum?
In fact why don’t you just do the honourable thing and walk out the door of Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho. You most definitely owe us United fans that much.
Mr Gill, please come back and place Arsene Wenger in charge for the remainder of this season! Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal in season 1996-97, and when he retired at the end of last season, The Gunners had never finished lower than 6th in the Premier League.
And Mr Woodward if you refuse to see the wood for the trees, I will be at Saturday’s game if you want to explain to me how you propose to make our great club the Kings of England once again and tell me all about your plans over a cup of tea. No prawn sandwiches are necessary!
A Passionate United Fan