Man Utd set to appoint Director of Football (when hell freezes over)

Ainu

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Based on what exactly? There is zero evidence to support he can make any good footballing decisions
Because it's at least slightly less of a footballing decision than appointing good managers with a consistent vision.
 

Cassidy

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Because it's at least slightly less of a footballing decision than appointing good managers with a consistent vision.
It isn’t really. The DOF has to also have a consistent vision. Probably getting that hire wrong is worse than getting the manager wrong. Reason being a bad DOF will prob get a few chances to pick a the wrong managers managers and players.

Fact is Ed needs sacking
 

JPRouve

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Can you trust Ed to hire a good DOF?
The way I see the board hired a good director of the academy when we needed one, I don't see why they wouldn't be able to do the same with a DOF. Managers are different, everyone struggles to find the perfect fit, the key is to be proactive and be ready to jump on the exceptional candidate when the timing is right, it may not be liked by certain fans but sometimes you have to prematurely get rid of a decent manager for a better one.
 

Cassidy

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The way I see the board hired a good director of the academy when we needed one, I don't see why they wouldn't be able to do the same with a DOF. Managers are different, everyone struggles to find the perfect fit, the key is to be proactive and be ready to jump on the exceptional candidate when the timing is right, it may not be liked by certain fans but sometimes you have to prematurely get rid of a decent manager for a better one.
The way I see it the board hired internally and got lucky

Our current heads of recruitment are the chief counts brought in by Moyes and LVG. They are also supposed to be part of the new transfer committee.

To elaborate our board has promoted staff who were brought in during failed regimes who brought in players we have already let go
 

Ainu

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It isn’t really. The DOF has to also have a consistent vision. Probably getting that hire wrong is worse than getting the manager wrong. Reason being a bad DOF will prob get a few chances to pick a the wrong managers managers and players.

Fact is Ed needs sacking
No, appointing managers with a consistent vision implies you need to have sufficient footballing knowledge to judge their visions. You can appoint an endless list of managers that have good references but don't match, and it will be a mess. However, appointing a DOF with good references at least gives you a higher chance of that person making informed footballing decisions. Does that mean any DOF with good references would be a good match for our club? Of course not, but the chance is a hell of a lot higher than Woodward getting the next manager right.

As for your last suggestion, if Woodward is sacked, do you trust the Glazers to hire a good CEO? Same principle, no?
 

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A mission statement and DOF is needed now! Look at other clubs, they change coaches and players, but everyone knows what to do.
Salzburg is the best example, they changed half the team, lost 6 starters, still have a team to win everything in Austria and fighting in the CL. I do not like Freund, but he did a great job, finding a new coach and new players, while improving the team. In Salzburg every youth team, FC Liefering and FC Salzburg use the same formations, tactics and style of play. A young player gets promoted and knows his job. A new player expects Salzburg to play Salzburg- style! They have a "Leitbild"!
At United the youth system is not structured well enough. New players and youth prospects do not know their jobs. Noone knows the playing style of Manchester United, because there is no United style anymore. Jose parked the bus, Ole tries to find his own style and the best players are lost in a system of confusion and adaptation!
 

JPRouve

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The way I see it the board hired internally and got lucky

Our current heads of recruitment are the chief counts brought in by Moyes and LVG. They are also supposed to be part of the new transfer committee.

To elaborate our board has promoted staff who were brought in during failed regimes who brought in players we have already let go
Well, hiring internally isn't a bad thing and if you look around DOFs are often hired/developed internally. I don't think that luck plays a role here, they interviewed candidates and hired the one that was seemingly the best fit. And the rest isn't really a point, you don't really expect to see the club erase everything every two years, people will stay and try to learn from past mistakes and successes.
 

Russky14

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Why would Woody give up his dual role with fellow Corporate Financier Matty aiding and abetting. Has anyone noticed that the revenue forecast for the current FYr estimates a drop of c60m from the recent results. You can all work out why. OK, this is revenue and not profit let alone realisable cash.

So does it not make sense now why we only purchased 3 players within a gross (not net) budget spend of c150m. Its called balancing the projected books. As an accountant its the sensible thing to do i.e. expectation of tepid performance = reduced income performance in various competitions. So on one hand there is a realisation that there is a project to be worked through. However, having supported this club for 40+ years the level of incompetency that the squad required 6 players in during the summer is truly beyond belief. We could all see that & as an accountant with a some semblence of football knowledge (there'a a hint as to our supremo), then cutting our cloth was the incorrect thing to do.

Again anyone with any nouse would have railed against Ole youth plan (if that was part of his plan). The game has moved on from the Class of 92, the EPL is even more competitive at all levels and too blood youngsters without virtually any of them playing against men in the championship or L1 is just plain crazy.

The squad is thread bare and the football economics today means that Atletico can spend 100m on a promising kid. Just think about that. 750m is required to get this current shell of a squad back challenging and it will take years unless the Motley Crew at the helm walk the plank.
 

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The way I see it, if a director of football comes in, his mandate and authority will be rather limited compared to some of his peers. I think Woodie likes his 'manager picks, I buy' approach too much and would not be willing to surrender that part of his job.
Woodward would still be in charge but the difference would be, instead of receiving a list every summer from the manager, he will be working with the technical director who will guide him in a better direction regards the best way to spend our funds with a mid to longterm strategy in mind. So even if the manager is sacked and the new guy comes in, we'd still have the technical director in charge with team balance/foundation/morale intact. The new head coach would be chosen by said technical director on the basis of the football philosophy and the type of players we recruit. He would also be someone that the players will turn to when things aren't going well regards play time etc and would be helpful in keeping confidence/morale healthy in the the squad which can only be good for the club and the Head Coach.

It's actually an absolute no brainer having someone with the vision/acumen/knowledge to come in and oversee the mess we find ourselves in.
 

Cassidy

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No, appointing managers with a consistent vision implies you need to have sufficient footballing knowledge to judge their visions. You can appoint an endless list of managers that have good references but don't match, and it will be a mess. However, appointing a DOF with good references at least gives you a higher chance of that person making informed footballing decisions. Does that mean any DOF with good references would be a good match for our club? Of course not, but the chance is a hell of a lot higher than Woodward getting the next manager right.

As for your last suggestion, if Woodward is sacked, do you trust the Glazers to hire a good CEO? Same principle, no?
I would hope they are good at hiring CEOs who are good at managing the clubs finances, which personally I do not think Woodward has done a good job at
 

Cassidy

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Well, hiring internally isn't a bad thing and if you look around DOFs are often hired/developed internally. I don't think that luck plays a role here, they interviewed candidates and hired the one that was seemingly the best fit. And the rest isn't really a point, you don't really expect to see the club erase everything every two years, people will stay and try to learn from past mistakes and successes.
They have been here 7-5 years and during that time our recruitment has been poor. Its the reason I do not believe our recruitment will get better because we still ultimately have the same people running the show when it comes to player identification.
 

Ainu

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I would hope they are good at hiring CEOs who are good at managing the clubs finances, which personally I do not think Woodward has done a good job at
Would you trust them to hire a CEO who would go on to make good footballing decisions? That's basically the same question as whether you'd trust Woodward to hire a DOF who'd make good footballing decisions.
 

Cassidy

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Would you trust them to hire a CEO who would go on to make good footballing decisions? That's basically the same question as whether you'd trust Woodward to hire a DOF who'd make good footballing decisions.
A CEO shouldn't have to make footballing decisions that go beyond the financials
 

Cassidy

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But he'd have to hire a DOF, which I earlier called less of footballing decision than hiring managers, which you didn't agree with.
No I didn't agree with the notion that Woodward should be making any decisions at the club
 

Ainu

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No I didn't agree with the notion that Woodward should be making any decisions at the club
So you would trust the board to get in a CEO who would then go on to make the right call on a DOF?

Edit: I disagree with your post by the way, you literally said appointing a DOF isn't really less of a footballing decision.
 

Johan07

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Woodward would still be in charge but the difference would be, instead of receiving a list every summer from the manager, he will be working with the technical director who will guide him in a better direction regards the best way to spend our funds with a mid to longterm strategy in mind. So even if the manager is sacked and the new guy comes in, we'd still have the technical director in charge with team balance/foundation/morale intact. The new head coach would be chosen by said technical director on the basis of the football philosophy and the type of players we recruit. He would also be someone that the players will turn to when things aren't going well regards play time etc and would be helpful in keeping confidence/morale healthy in the the squad which can only be good for the club and the Head Coach.

It's actually an absolute no brainer having someone with the vision/acumen/knowledge to come in and oversee the mess we find ourselves in.
So he will get a list from the DoF/technical director instead?
What is really the difference except for the reporting structure? You just move things from the manager to the DoF.
And you seem to assume that a DoF would be better and automatically stay longer than a manager?
I am saying this as someone that wants a DoF appointed but maybe for different reasons then most people on here.
IMO we need to address the very structure of the club; a lot of this has already been done by the scouting and youth development upgrade. But it needs to have time to settle now and even more resources has to be put into it.
 

red thru&thru

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A mission statement and DOF is needed now! Look at other clubs, they change coaches and players, but everyone knows what to do.
Salzburg is the best example, they changed half the team, lost 6 starters, still have a team to win everything in Austria and fighting in the CL. I do not like Freund, but he did a great job, finding a new coach and new players, while improving the team. In Salzburg every youth team, FC Liefering and FC Salzburg use the same formations, tactics and style of play. A young player gets promoted and knows his job. A new player expects Salzburg to play Salzburg- style! They have a "Leitbild"!
At United the youth system is not structured well enough. New players and youth prospects do not know their jobs. Noone knows the playing style of Manchester United, because there is no United style anymore. Jose parked the bus, Ole tries to find his own style and the best players are lost in a system of confusion and adaptation!
That's Red Bull in general. I've been saying for ages that we need to see if we can work with RB somehow? If not, just go all out for Rangnick and Mitchell.
 

Johan07

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They have been here 7-5 years and during that time our recruitment has been poor. Its the reason I do not believe our recruitment will get better because we still ultimately have the same people running the show when it comes to player identification.
We had a non-existent scouting network and our youth setup sucked under Sir Alex and Gill. Those two things is not something you remedy within even 5-7 years. We were ways behind Chelsea for example, and we are still trying to catch up.
And to be fair to the club they have spent enormous amounts of money on those two things since LVGs time at the club. Hell, even Moyes was shocked about how non-existent our scouting setup was.
Will it be better now? I dont know, it needs time to settle and the effects will not be visible until in a couple of years.
 

JPRouve

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They have been here 7-5 years and during that time our recruitment has been poor. Its the reason I do not believe our recruitment will get better because we still ultimately have the same people running the show when it comes to player identification.
It's not the same group of people though, we have hired a large amount of new scouts and they are the ones identifying players and producing reports. And it's the managers that created the lists of players that they wanted, presumably based on scouting reports and these managers have changed too. The reason I believe a DOF is important is because when all is said and done, I don't think that managers have time or the qualities to properly scout individual players, from memory Martin Ferguson played a big part in that domain and we never really replaced him.

That's where I do believe that the board isn't fit for purpose, after 6 years they seemingly haven't been able to dissect SAF's organizational structure and seem to think that he did everything by himself, the managers that have succeded SAF also seemed to think that it was a one man job. From what I have read and what SAF himself said, while people didn't had the job titles they still had the tasks. Martin Ferguson was SAF's eyes and ears around the world and was continuously networking, Phelan was the day-to-day man management guy while the first team coach was SAF's technical right hand, that setup allowed him to take a step back and see things from a distance.

My understanding is that SAF left an empty shell because his setup was designed for himself and the managers that we hired failed to adapt because they weren't used to have that much room and didn't know how to fill the space. The board failed to anticipate the fact that no other top clubs leave that much room and that they are the ones that need fill the space instead of telling the manager to sink or swim. Also from a structutal standpoint this is the domain of the COO and if you look at who we have as a COO you will notice that there is an issue, Woodward(CEO), Arnold(COO) and Baty(CFO) are all finance-accounting guys, that's an overkill, you can't effectively need three finance experts. Arnold replaced Bolingbroke who was an HR guy. I personally would question that situation, the club could be in a totally different situation if we simply hired a COO that has experience in football, it's probably the easiest thing to do and in theory should make a big difference, that person would have a big experience in how a club can be effectively structured on the football side of things. That's basically what PSG did when they immediately hired JC Blanc.
 

JohnnyKills

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Why would Woody give up his dual role with fellow Corporate Financier Matty aiding and abetting. Has anyone noticed that the revenue forecast for the current FYr estimates a drop of c60m from the recent results. You can all work out why. OK, this is revenue and not profit let alone realisable cash.

So does it not make sense now why we only purchased 3 players within a gross (not net) budget spend of c150m. Its called balancing the projected books. As an accountant its the sensible thing to do i.e. expectation of tepid performance = reduced income performance in various competitions. So on one hand there is a realisation that there is a project to be worked through. However, having supported this club for 40+ years the level of incompetency that the squad required 6 players in during the summer is truly beyond belief. We could all see that & as an accountant with a some semblence of football knowledge (there'a a hint as to our supremo), then cutting our cloth was the incorrect thing to do.

Again anyone with any nouse would have railed against Ole youth plan (if that was part of his plan). The game has moved on from the Class of 92, the EPL is even more competitive at all levels and too blood youngsters without virtually any of them playing against men in the championship or L1 is just plain crazy.

The squad is thread bare and the football economics today means that Atletico can spend 100m on a promising kid. Just think about that. 750m is required to get this current shell of a squad back challenging and it will take years unless the Motley Crew at the helm walk the plank.
This. And the wage bill had soared past 50% of turnover, which would have worried them. So getting rid of Lukaku and Sanchez without replacing them would have seemed like great business.
 

red thru&thru

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https://www.skysports.com/share/11830099

Luis Campos talking about our need for a Sporting Director/Director Of Football.
He's quite clear on why we need one too. I just hope (in vain) that we don't appoint one with just a title but has no real substance. Although he has recently signed a contract, we just need to go all out for Mitchell...but I doubt he'd come under the current regime.
 

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Is there a way to protest against Ed ?

A way to get our voices heard, to actually start making a noise ?
 

Adnan

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So he will get a list from the DoF/technical director instead?
What is really the difference except for the reporting structure? You just move things from the manager to the DoF.
And you seem to assume that a DoF would be better and automatically stay longer than a manager?
I am saying this as someone that wants a DoF appointed but maybe for different reasons then most people on here.
IMO we need to address the very structure of the club; a lot of this has already been done by the scouting and youth development upgrade. But it needs to have time to settle now and even more resources has to be put into it.
The DoF would ideally have his own network of scouts with a head of recruitment leading them, who would report to the DoF. Together they would identify players needed to upgrade the first 11/squad. The information will then be relayed to Woodward who will then go about to bring the selected targets to the club with the DoF playing a part in negotiations if possible.

The difference between a DoF and manager in this regard is that the DoF is more of a longterm job in comparison to a manager. And if you look back at our issues in the last 6/7 years then it's pretty clear that player turn over regards incomings/ outgoings has been handled very badly which i'll explain below.

After the Moyes Debacle we litterally lost our entire back line due to the manager alienating them and showing them vids of Jagielka which was a crushing blow to the teams foundation. Under a DoF that wouldn't happen IMO because there wouldn't be as much uncertainty after a sacking.

Van Gaal comes in and has a footballing philosophy based on controling the game via keeping the ball which is completely opposite to his predecessor. He also finds that most of the championship winning back line from a year ago is gone and inherits Fellaini who couldn't be further away from Van Gaal's philosophy stylistically. He signs numerous players in his two year spell but ultimately fails. In the 2 years he was at the club he just couldn't sign the correct players to play the brand of football he wanted to play. And I feel under a DoF he would've fared better because player recruitment was never his strong point. We lost Nani, Rafael, Hernandez, Januzaj for peanuts which added to the loss of Rio and Vidic under the previous manager. Under a competent DoF that wouldn't have happened but we absolutely destroyed our foundations and were on our way to midtable mediocrity.



Mourinho is then given the job and stylistically he's very different in his school of thought to Van Gaal and signs numerous players. He's even given funds to buy two CB's but still wants a 3rd. Signs a DM that many Chelsea fans said was over the hill for £40m and it hasn't taken him long to become the latest deadwood in our squad. Sells our best ball playing CB Daley Blind for a inferior version from Benfica. Leaves a parting gift in Fred for £52m before he self implodes and is sacked.

Under a DoF we would've kept the likes of Rio, Vidic, Evra a season or two longer. Wouldn't have hastily given away the likes of Rafael, Evans, Januzaj, Nani, Hernandez, Blind etc for peanuts. With a DoF in charge it wouldn't be a disaster if a coach is sacked because the vision and longterm philosophy would still stay the same and so would our recruitment hence team foundations wouldn't get crippled the way we've seen post SAF. And the reason they've been crippled is due to the club giving too much control to said managers when it comes to recruitment.
 

red thru&thru

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So us and Newcastle are the only 2 teams in the PL with no DoF...no coincidence we are the 2 teams who have an awful board.
 

Corwin

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The problem is not how to choose the right person (there are many competent people), problem is how to shape the hierarchy 'CEO - manager - sporting director' and their responsibilities. I think Woody doesn't want to lose control. And new sporting director might ask some undesirable questions about rebuilding the team (including a lot of investment in transfers) to make us competitive again while Ed & the owners are satisfied with top 4 or top 6.
 

Johan07

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The DoF would ideally have his own network of scouts with a head of recruitment leading them, who would report to the DoF. Together they would identify players needed to upgrade the first 11/squad. The information will then be relayed to Woodward who will then go about to bring the selected targets to the club with the DoF playing a part in negotiations if possible.

The difference between a DoF and manager in this regard is that the DoF is more of a longterm job in comparison to a manager. And if you look back at our issues in the last 6/7 years then it's pretty clear that player turn over regards incomings/ outgoings has been handled very badly which i'll explain below.

After the Moyes Debacle we litterally lost our entire back line due to the manager alienating them and showing them vids of Jagielka which was a crushing blow to the teams foundation. Under a DoF that wouldn't happen IMO because there wouldn't be as much uncertainty after a sacking.

Van Gaal comes in and has a footballing philosophy based on controling the game via keeping the ball which is completely opposite to his predecessor. He also finds that most of the championship winning back line from a year ago is gone and inherits Fellaini who couldn't be further away from Van Gaal's philosophy stylistically. He signs numerous players in his two year spell but ultimately fails. In the 2 years he was at the club he just couldn't sign the correct players to play the brand of football he wanted to play. And I feel under a DoF he would've fared better because player recruitment was never his strong point. We lost Nani, Rafael, Hernandez, Januzaj for peanuts which added to the loss of Rio and Vidic under the previous manager. Under a competent DoF that wouldn't have happened but we absolutely destroyed our foundations and were on our way to midtable mediocrity.



Mourinho is then given the job and stylistically he's very different in his school of thought to Van Gaal and signs numerous players. He's even given funds to buy two CB's but still wants a 3rd. Signs a DM that many Chelsea fans said was over the hill for £40m and it hasn't taken him long to become the latest deadwood in our squad. Sells our best ball playing CB Daley Blind for a inferior version from Benfica. Leaves a parting gift in Fred for £52m before he self implodes and is sacked.

Under a DoF we would've kept the likes of Rio, Vidic, Evra a season or two longer. Wouldn't have hastily given away the likes of Rafael, Evans, Januzaj, Nani, Hernandez, Blind etc for peanuts. With a DoF in charge it wouldn't be a disaster if a coach is sacked because the vision and longterm philosophy would still stay the same and so would our recruitment hence team foundations wouldn't get crippled the way we've seen post SAF. And the reason they've been crippled is due to the club giving too much control to said managers when it comes to recruitment.
How do you mean "own"? The club spent a lot, lot of money on our own scouting network. I think we have something like 58 scouts on the wage bill now.
Under Ferguson it was like Martin Ferguson and Lawlor.
I am all for employing a DoF, but he will have to be able to work with the clubs current scouting network; not bring his own in like Mourinho tried to do. Then its just the same mistake as with our managers lately.
What happens if the DoF goes then? Scouting is not something that is done over a season. Its continuity, and following players from 12-13 years of age.
IMO its completely right what we have done by significantly put resources in recruitment and youth. It should have been done much earlier.
The club needs its own structure; regardless of who is CEO, DoF or manager.
 

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Woodward's comments in the past about performance not having a meaningful impact on the commercial side of the club says a lot about his/their priorities. But also about how they view modern football, and seem to lack understanding of it. Being part of the Premier League does basically mean clubs will continue to grow commercially, which is a luxury position to be in. But there's no doubt that long term poor performance affects commercial growth and if this continues for too long other clubs will outgrow us. Woodward has been able to piggyback commercially on United's performance history, without the past successful performances there wouldn't be any current commercial success. They have their priorities backwards. The whole club, including the commercial side, should be facilitating the first team, the club should be set up in such a way to optimise first team performance. That's where a DoF come in, to structure a club in such a way to do so.

Van der Sar for example, who basically has the same job at Ajax that Woodward has here, says the opposite of Woodward. That it's all about first team performance, if the team does well then the rest, money, will come too. That the whole club is there to work together and create the best possible circumstances for the first team to perform at their best. Different mindset, Van der Sar first and foremost wants to win things, and ofcourse does understand commercial growth is needed for that. While at United and with Woodward, commercial growth seems like the end goal.
 
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Cassidy

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This makes too much sense for our board.

But for some in this forum, believe our scouting network is top notch. A scouting network overlooked by Ed, the amazing football man!
I just don't see how this can be the case
 

red thru&thru

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I just don't see how this can be the case
Nor me but people in here believe our scouting set up has been addressed now. We employ nearly 60 scouts...apparently 3 of them turned up to the same game last year, unbeknown to each other!
 

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How do you mean "own"? The club spent a lot, lot of money on our own scouting network. I think we have something like 58 scouts on the wage bill now.
Under Ferguson it was like Martin Ferguson and Lawlor.
I am all for employing a DoF, but he will have to be able to work with the clubs current scouting network; not bring his own in like Mourinho tried to do. Then its just the same mistake as with our managers lately.
What happens if the DoF goes then? Scouting is not something that is done over a season. Its continuity, and following players from 12-13 years of age.
IMO its completely right what we have done by significantly put resources in recruitment and youth. It should have been done much earlier.
The club needs its own structure; regardless of who is CEO, DoF or manager.
Most of our scouts work with finding younger players and building relationships with their clubs, families and agents. I assume that the meaning with "own scouts" are related to those scouts involved with finding targets for the first team and working closes with the DoF. With the availability of footage and data, one would not need more than 5 scouts with the same idea about scouting and identifying targets with the DoF to create a list of potential targets just by watching a screen. Then, for final evaluation one would go see the player(s) live.
 

romufc

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Nor me but people in here believe our scouting set up has been addressed now. We employ nearly 60 scouts...apparently 3 of them turned up to the same game last year, unbeknown to each other!
We have the worst scouts in the PL.

It doesn't take a scout to figure out Maguire and AWB are good.

Prior to that we signed £50m Fred which should tell you everything you need to know about our scouts.
 

red thru&thru

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We have the worst scouts in the PL.

It doesn't take a scout to figure out Maguire and AWB are good.

Prior to that we signed £50m Fred which should tell you everything you need to know about our scouts.
Exactly.

Ed and any manager we have need help. They need this DoF. Not Matt Judge, Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher or anyone like that, we need someone with a proven record. Look at Campos, with that interview, he's basically offering himself to us. There were reports that Jose wanted him here too, but not for Ed. It's to simple and makes too much sense for him to employ someone like him.