Who, other than Mourinho, is making footballing decisions at the club?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by NinjaFletch, Aug 10, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Aug 10, 2018
    #1

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    So last night's clearly co-ordinated brief from the club that we had £100m to spend on a centre back if their name was Raphael Varane raised an obvious question to me.

    The entire principal of the way our club is run tasks the manager with identifying targets, choosing players, and telling the money men who he wants (we can argue about whether that is a good system or not, but there is another thread for it).

    However, in the past two windows, we've seen the club make two refusals to sign players that the manager wanted in Perisic and a centre half and, moreover, a refusal to sanction a sale of a player that the manager was clearly blasé about keeping in Martial. The respective merits of those decisions are not the topic of this thread, but what they clearly show is that when push comes to shove it is someone whose name isn't Jose Mourinho who gets the final say on footballing matters.

    And, well, who is that person? Is it Woodward alone, are there others at boardroom level who make these decisions alongside him? If so, who are they, and what experience do they have to suggest they can or should be making decisions about the squad?

    I suspect the answer to all those questions is unknowable, but I do wonder why people are so reluctant to us getting in a director of football who has these expertise rather than rely on the judgement of men whose experience of the corporate side of the business.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  2. Aug 10, 2018
    #2

    9 Stone Elvis Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes these are all valid questions and I don't think anyone here will have the answers in all honesty.

    The one thing that there is no doubt of in my mind. If you don't get the players the manager wants because you think the manager is wrong then there seems no real way back from that for me.
  3. Aug 10, 2018
    #3

    Cassidy No longer at risk of being mistaken for a Scouser

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Messages:
    14,824
    Agree
  4. Aug 10, 2018
    #4

    RedNed77 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,213
    Location:
    What's it to you???
    Sir Alex, he has the long term interests of the club at heart and is the most knowledgable person at the club. I would imagine a lot of our football decisions are heavily influenced by what he says if not directly.
  5. Aug 10, 2018
    #5

    Kapardin Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    7,571
    Location:
    Chennai, India
    Well, haven't we got something like an interior designer, a mechanic and other assorted oddballs on the board along with the Glazers?

    I reckon it is only Jose and Woodward making the decisions, with input from scouts. And frankly, our scouts are doing a terrible job of identifying under-the-radar targets.
  6. Aug 10, 2018
    #6

    Witchking Full Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,486
    Location:
    Angmar
    Jose's history works against him. To get short term success he will buy players in the 28-32 age bracket, might win the league and move on and leave the aging players for the new manager to overhaul.

    United are not the club to do that and it is surprising that everyone knew his methods and yet hired him.

    These issues were always going to happen.
  7. Aug 10, 2018
    #7

    Wumminator The Special One!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,809
    Location:
    Obertans #1 fan.
    Wait, doesn’t every board in the country decide whether the players are worth a certain amount of money? That’s how boards work. I imagine there is a vast scouting network which will inform Ed Woodwood of this. I don’t think Ed just goes on wikipedia and decides a player is too old.
  8. Aug 10, 2018
    #8

    Wumminator The Special One!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    15,809
    Location:
    Obertans #1 fan.
    Some people (here and in the boardroom) got swept away I think. We had people insulting Bobby Charlton for years here because he didn’t want Jose.
  9. Aug 10, 2018
    #9

    Kapardin Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    7,571
    Location:
    Chennai, India
    A guy who sold our club as Disneyland in his spiel to Klopp, I am just afraid he may be wacky enough to do that as well.:nervous:
  10. Aug 10, 2018
    #10

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,436
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    That occurred to me too but I can’t imagine we’ve been basing our stategy around input from a man recuperating from a serious brain injury over the course of this summer (although that would explain a lot!)

    EDIT: Please don’t crucify me for mocking Fergie’s illness. You can’t mention strategy at this club and brain injury without cracking such an obvious joke.
  11. Aug 10, 2018
    #11

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    Appointing a manager is an element of this which I didn't touch upon, but is equally valid. Mourinho was a fairly known quantity and many of the 'issues' (although I think most have been overblown) with him have been fairly foreseeable.

    If the club didn't want to sanction expensive signings for players at their peak then perhaps they shouldn't have appointed a manager who has a history of liking expensive players at their peaks?
  12. Aug 10, 2018
    #12

    FootyGirl88

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    4,747
    I think its Woodward alone - and clearly he's the wrong person for that job.
  13. Aug 10, 2018
    #13

    #07 makes new threads with tweets in the OP

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    16,064
  14. Aug 10, 2018
    #14

    Kostov Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Manager like all people, make mistakes. Sir Alex Ferguson thought Moyes can succeed him, he made a mistake in judgement, I'm sure he regrets it now and admits it.

    Mourinho can also be wrong, and his employee can think that he is wrong too, but feels that it's not a reason to sack a perfectly capable manager. Not sure why there wouldn't be a way back. People have different views and opinions every day at work, directors don't sack their employees because of that, neither the employees resign for the same reasons. They work over their differences.
  15. Aug 10, 2018
    #15

    9 Stone Elvis Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Scotland
    It doesn't matter who it is. You cant have the non footballing people making footballing judgements. if you have a board or an individual telling the football manager that his footballing targets wont be got as they aren't good enough in HIS opinion, then we are in big trouble. They can dictate the parameters based on finance and resale value and any other things in those areas but if the quote about the players identified not being pursued for football resons i.e not seen as good enough then that totally undermines the managers position, whether you agree or not.
  16. Aug 10, 2018
    #16

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    Well that's the question though. Is there such a network? Is it Woodward making those decisions? Should he be?

    Of course these are questions you can ask of many clubs, but I'm not interested in those clubs right now. I simply want to know if we can glean any insight into the decision making process when the manager and the cheque signers disagree and how or why those disagreements are resolved in the way they are.
  17. Aug 10, 2018
    #17

    9 Stone Elvis Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Scotland
    But when you have the non football men telling the football man that his football judgement is wrong where do you go from there?! Let the board pick the team?
  18. Aug 10, 2018
    #18

    cyberman Full Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    13,978
    Shouldn't Ed be in touch with the scouts if he's making judgements like this?
    Does he sit there watching YouTube videos judging if a player is worth the fee or can bring us success?
  19. Aug 10, 2018
    #19

    Witchking Full Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,486
    Location:
    Angmar
    Yes, we should not have gone for Jose. It is not hindsight, many were opposed to him coming in, knowing what baggage be brought.

    However, many thought that jose has changed. When he joined us, he was a more calmer thoughtful person. He himself believed that he had become more mature and I guess the United board thought so too while hiring him.

    I am speculating below.

    The club would have thought that Jose was never given a fair crack at building the team at other clubs, they would have asked him about his thoughts at what he would do at United and the answer would have been to build a team to go on for years with a couple of additions each year.

    Now with pep running away with the title, jose wants to get even and is ready for a short term plan to win the title and move on.
    Peresic, willian, mcguire, are extremely underwhelming names and I guess they were rightfully declined.

    My opinion is that Jose was and is the wrong fit, he currently still has players with excellent talent and should be able to challenge for the title and play good football.
  20. Aug 10, 2018
    #20

    Kostov Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Skopje, Macedonia
    I'm sure Woodward and the board know a few things about football, since they earn their living by managing the biggest club in the world. On that board of directors sit legends like Sir Bobby and Sir Alex don't forget.

    Also footballing men make mistakes about football all the time, and it's not like modern football revolves only around the pitch. Modern football has a business aspect that Jose might not agree with, but it's the part that keeps the club healthy and safe, and actually let him spend enormous money up till now. If Ed feels this one time is not OK, I trust his judgement.
  21. Aug 10, 2018
    #21

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    Then why give him a new contract in January then? I don't think we need to turn this into a Mourinho thread, but once you've given him a contract and committed to another season with him when all these 'issues' aren't even foreseeable but evident then surely you have committed to backing him and his vision for the club.

    Not to mention the fact that came in the week when the board did sanction the expensive signing of Sanchez. So where is the consistency there?
  22. Aug 10, 2018
    #22

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    According to the club's website neither Charlton nor Ferguson are currently on the board of directors.
  23. Aug 10, 2018
    #23

    9 Stone Elvis Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Scotland
    Its not his job. Sorry but it isn't. I have defended Woodward on here since I joined and by and large I believe he has done a fine job. If we didn't buy the players cos of money, that's fine (well its not, but its an explanation), if its age of players making them out of budget due to sell-on value then the same. If however you are telling the man who is paid millions of pounds a year to manage the team that his selections "aren't good enough in your opinion" then there is a big big problem. Whether he is correct or not is another matter and not the point. You are undermining the mangers judgement. Its not up to Woodward or Sir Alex or Bobby Charlton to question Mourinho's judgement of players. If that is the feeling then you must either trust him and buy the players anyway or change the manager and employ someone in line with your views.
  24. Aug 10, 2018
    #24

    Henrik Larsson Still logged in at RAWK (help!)

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    Swashbucklington
    Our head scout Ribalta, the guy from Juventus, has left after a year for Zenith fecking St. Petersburg. I think that's pretty telling.

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.c...r-news/man-utd-ribalta-transfer-news-14943526

    This article doesn't actually explain why he left, but I imagine something's not quite right here given his short stay and relatively quiet transfer window...

    Another problem: if people think the board is doing the right thing by not investing too much (in old players) and keeping the long term in mind, fair enough.

    Surely this means those people also want Mourinho to see out his contract until 2020 as long as he gets us in the top 4? Because you can't be praising the idea of keeping the long term in mind, and then judge a manager on short term perfomances simply because you don't like him.

    Another problem would be that Mourinho is on a massive contract, so unless he has a meltdown or has us outside the top 4, firing him would mean we might have to compensate him for around 20 million or possibly more, surely that's not keeping the long term financial interests of this club in mind either?
  25. Aug 10, 2018
    #25

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,436
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    Remember how we used to take the piss out of Chelsea when someone with zero footballing background/acumen started to try and stick his oar into decisions about who the club should sign?

    Mourinho must be getting a dreadful dose of Groundhog day right now...
  26. Aug 10, 2018
    #26

    Gandalf Greyhame Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,366
    Location:
    "Saving with hands is too mainstream." - DDG
    Good question in OP.

    We definitely know that someone in the club with a major say in things concluded that 'we weren't getting better footballers for that money'/'were unwise in letting a young talent like Martial go'. It's difficult to think of anyone who could undermine Mourinho's authority/judgement, but I hope to hell it wasn't Woodward who made that call, otherwise we're back in Madrid/Chelsea territory, and we know how that ended for Jose.
  27. Aug 10, 2018
    #27

    Camilo Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,512
    None of the players we were linked with this window were going to turn us into a force. We have talented players like Martial and Rashford half hanging around the starting 11, two CBs the Jose himself signed, Sanchez who hasn't really kicked on yet, Pogba who's yet to realise his potential..

    I don't think it takes a football genius to see that Mourinho still has a lot to prove with the team he has. He's spent an awful lot since arriving here, and whilst we're not the strongest 11 on the planet, we should be better.

    The board are of course invested in making United a better team, but they have to be smart about it. If Jose's wanting older players with only another couple of seasons of top football left in them, and the board (and lets be honest, most of us fans) can't see us winning big in those two years with those players, then I think they're quite right to disagree with Jose. Are we going to win the League of Champions League with Willian and Toby in the 11? I doubt it. We'd play the same football as last year. It's a big season for Mourinho - he needs to improve our performances massively, and if he does that he'll get big money next summer. Time to earn that wage Jose.
  28. Aug 10, 2018
    #28

    9 Stone Elvis Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Scotland
    Totally agree. You have to give the manager freedom to manage, even being the least charitable you can be to Mourinho, he has to be allowed to fail due to his own mistakes, or at the most charitable he must be given all the means to succeed. Anything else is just allowing excuses for falling short to be made.
  29. Aug 10, 2018
    #29

    Kostov Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Skopje, Macedonia
    They aren't? I though different, and I'm surprised that it says so on our website? Who sit on this famous board of directors then? Since I have no idea in all honesty.
  30. Aug 10, 2018
    #30

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,436
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    I can't stand the bloke - and have more or less come to the conclusion that he's not the man for the job - but if we're stuck with him for another season then the least the club can do is back his decisions in the transfer window. We're not even talking massive sums of money, in the grand scheme of things. Not compared to the spending of the clubs he's been tasked with finishing ahead of. Conversely, if the board aren't happy with him then get rid. I'd be absolutely fine with that. As it stands they've more or less sabotaged his season to make some kind or strange point about how they don't agree with the footballing strategy of someone they appointed to be in charge of our footballing strategy. Madness.
  31. Aug 10, 2018
    #31

    JK-27 Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Messages:
    649
    The whole basis for this idea that the board had £100 million to spend and wanted Varane, and that they vetoed Jose's other targets is a unnamed media 'source'. We don't definitely know anything. How many times have 'sources' turned out to be talking shit?

    Jose is telling the truth when he says the media are making out like we got relegated, and are worse than Liverpool and Spurs, despite them finishing below us in the league. And this board would rather believe a lying media then our own manager. It beggars belief. And you call yourself fans?
  32. Aug 10, 2018
    #32

    Moonwalker Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,161
    I don't think Fergie likes Mourinho, but I think he dislikes the idea of not trusting the manager tenfold more. That's actually one of his strongest principled and well documented stances. I'd be shocked to learn he's contravening signings even implicitly.
  33. Aug 10, 2018
    #33

    Henrik Larsson Still logged in at RAWK (help!)

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    Swashbucklington
    Scary part for me is that if the board stays congruent to their 'keeping the long term in mind and do what's financially best' they might actually be fine with keeping Mourinho until his contract is due in 2020, as long as there are no meltdowns and we get Champions League football this season. This would make us a de facto Arsenal.

    Because from their long term perspective our manager has delivered Champions League football twice, won a couple of trophies, got us to the highest league position since SAF retired, for all the boring shitefests there have also been good performances against top teams...

    What are they going to do if we finish top 4 this season? Fire Mourinho, pay him a huge severance package, and appoint another manager which is always very risky? Keeping him would make a lot more sense then.
  34. Aug 10, 2018
    #34

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    I have no idea, media reports name both as director frequently, but according to both the club website and companies house neither are:

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02570509/officers
    http://ir.manutd.com/corporate-governance/board-of-directors.aspx

    The Premier League website, however, does list them as directors, alongside David Gill.

    https://www.premierleague.com/clubs/12/Manchester-United/directory

    I'm not sure what any of that means if I'm honest.
  35. Aug 10, 2018
    #35

    Kostov Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Skopje, Macedonia
    It's not about sell-on value, when have we bought someone thinking about how much we will sell him? It's about what we get in footballing services for our investment. Spending 100m on Pogba and 75m on Willian or any other 30 year old is not the same, unless it's a player of rare talent such as Ronaldo/Bale. The club has showed it's willing to splash the cash if the deal is right.

    And you don't know for sure how the transfer part is managed between Ed and Jose. You don't know if up till now it was only Jose choosing on who to splash millions of pounds. And I for one hope it has been because they both agreed on the same targets, if the club said NO this time, it's because it has a valid reason. And if Jose was so unhappy with that, he can fill out his resignation as soon as tonight and be done with it. The best interests of the club might not be the best short term interest of Jose Mourinho, and I can live with that.

    EDIT: And also I don't think the leak last night was to undermine Jose, but to calm the fans about the reason why we didn't buy anyone, and I think Jose knew about it therefor he was very settled with the idea in the presser. Since we don't have a DOF we can't tell for sure how the players are chosen, or whether someone can interfere with Jose. I suspect it's a compromise, otherwise Jose would have made a bigger deal out of it.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  36. Aug 10, 2018
    #36

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,436
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    I'd say he's absolutely fuming at the various briefings given to the press by the club undermining his successors since he retired.
  37. Aug 10, 2018
    #37

    Andycoleno9 Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2017
    Messages:
    4,515
    Location:
    Croatia
    Like in many other things, solution is somewhere in the middle. First of all and the most important thing is that manager and only manager decides is some player is good or not. Board can decide about price and future consequences. They can say is it worth to pay 60 mil for 30y old defender or 30y old winger. I can understand both sides here. Toby alderweireld would be fantastic solution for this squad. He can play on highest level next 4 years. He would cost aprox. 80 mil in that 4 years. Willian the same. Is it good business?
    I really don't know. One minute i think yes, it is good business. Next minute i think it is stupid. Or to say it better; fan in me says yes, older objective person says no.
  38. Aug 10, 2018
    #38

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16,004
    Last night's briefing was as predictable as it was pathetic. Probably up there with 'we've just decided we want a number 9 instead actually' on the same day Griezmann announced he was staying at Atletico.
  39. Aug 10, 2018
    #39

    Rockets Redglare New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    811
    I bet Woodward has never kicked a football in his life.
  40. Aug 10, 2018
    #40

    RedorDead21 Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,715
    Whoever decided to assign 100m for a CB whilst letting Ronaldo go to Italy for the same should be forever kept in the dungeons of Old Trafford. That will go down alongside letting Pep go to City in around 2-3 seasons time......
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.