The #Woodwardout Movement Needs A Rest

The #Woodwardout Movement Needs A Rest
Ed Woodward attending a Manchester United game

Manchester United: With each abysmal result by Manchester United the #Woodwardout movement gains more and more traction on Twitter.  The hate and fiery from the supporters is justified.   It’s just not aimed in the correct direction.  #Glazerout certainly gets it fair share of mentions, but it should receive all the supporters built up frustration.

Ed Woodward has been the executive vice chairman since 2012.  His background in finance and lack of soccer recruitment is an easy go-to for fans.  Shortly after Woodward was appointed chairman, United started a transition into the post SAF era.  After 26 years of stability and continuity the club has had anything but since.  Which is at the root of the problem. 

Managerial turnover

In the last 7 years they have had 4 full-time managers and allowed each one to be the director of recruiting.  Each manager decides which players will be signed to fit their desired playing style.  Successful clubs don’t keep changing directions every couple of seasons.  Successful clubs choose the direction and make the manager manage the philosophy of the club.  The constant managerial change only hits the reset button on the rebuild rather than the continuation of the rebuild.  Until they hire a technical director to oversea the recruitment of players United will continue having this problem as the merry-go-round of managers happens. 

The #Woodwardout Movement Needs A Rest
Supporters fly a #Woodward out banner protesting during a Manchester United game

Lack of spending?

Now we get to the elephant in the room, which is the lack of spending.  Woodward gets so much hate for not spending.  But is that really the case?  Woodward has spent a reported 705 million British pounds in transfers since taking over.  Under his watch, at the time, the Paul Pogba buy was the most expensive transfer of all time.  Not once has he never bought players for a manager.  Like all general managers of their sport they act under the orders provided by the owners.  It isn’t his money he gets to spend so he has to listen to the Glazer family.  In each transfer window Woodward negotiates deals and presents them to the Glazers for final approval.  It’s the Glazers who are tight with the money.  They are the ones not spending money, not Woodward.

Yankees Comparison

It’s the same scenario as the Yankees and last offseason of not signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.  Brian Cashman, GM of the Yankees, is given a budget and a ceiling on each player and once negotiations go above the owner set threshold he must back off from the deal.  Same goes at United. Don’t think that Woodward doesn’t want to buy players, but he can only spend under the direction of owners.  Use the current Bruno Fernandes transfer saga as an example.  Reportedly United are 5-10 million off from what Sporting CP wants for Fernandes and it’s Joel Glazer blocking the transfer from getting done.  It doesn’t get any clearer than that that it’s the Glazers that don’t want to spend. 

Finally, if Woodward weren’t doing his job properly then he would be fired.  If the Glazers wanted money spent on big time players or on several more players then Woodward would be doing it or they would get someone else to replace him to execute the priorities of the owners.  The lack of pressure on Woodward from within tells me he is doing everything correctly based on the expectations and desires of the owners.  So if the supporters want to be heard they need to up the #Glazerout movement with hurting them in the pockets.  Starting with refusing to attend home matches is a great start.

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Jason Mattis graduated from the University of South Carolina with his degree in journalism ('06). A sports bettor for 15 years, Jason covers the NFL, MLB, Soccer, and anything Buffalo Bills. He was the host of a nightly sports talk show and is happy to talk to anyone interested about betting on the next game.