The conflict of interest in the Man Utd manager role

Skills

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This isn't a thread exclusive to Ole, but this has existed ever since Ferguson has retired.

As a club, we're currently in a position where a manager can only be judged after he's been "backed". That means, he's been allowed to spend 100s of million to bring his "own players in". So who's accountable for maximising the resources already at the club? Are the club meant to just right off the 100s of millions they have already spent, backing the last manager the media and our fanbase wanted to be "backed"?

What's the incentive for the manager, to make full use of the players already at his disposal when he's got a get out of jail free card saying they're not his players? Moyes played this card, Mourinho basically sabotaged half a season to make the same point. I'm not saying Solskjaer is doing the same, but evaluating a manager only after he's spend the best part of £300m is not a very efficient strategy.

This doesn't fly at any other club across Europe.
 

momo83

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This isn't a thread exclusive to Ole, but this has existed ever since Ferguson has retired.

As a club, we're currently in a position where a manager can only be judged after he's been "backed". That means, he's been allowed to spend 100s of million to bring his "own players in". So who's accountable for maximising the resources already at the club? Are the club meant to just right off the 100s of millions they have already spent, backing the last manager the media and our fanbase wanted to be "backed"?

What's the incentive for the manager, to make full use of the players already at his disposal when he's got a get out of jail free card saying they're not his players? Moyes played this card, Mourinho basically sabotaged half a season to make the same point. I'm not saying Solskjaer is doing the same, but evaluating a manager only after he's spend the best part of £300m is not a very efficient strategy.
It’s a point mostly spread by class of 92 lot on TV. Suddenly for managers that they support the job becomes like FIFA it’s simply about buying players
 

RedDevilRoshi

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Most clubs have a proper footballing structure we don’t.
And we won’t have one whilst Woodward is still here. The Glazers ain’t going to sack him. He helped them buy the club in the 1st place.
 

Skills

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And we won’t have one whilst Woodward is still here. The Glazers ain’t going to sack him. He helped them buy the club in the 1st place.
So this is where a lot of our fans are missing the point with the structure.

That structure would do nothing to Woodward's job as CEO. That structure would instead, strip power and ambiguity away from the managers role and instead hold him accountable. A manager would have close to no influence on transfers, so the only thing he's being judged on is his coaching and squad management.
 

Chairman Steve

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We don’t seem to have that autonomous structure at other big clubs around Europe, where theres no ‘manager’ and it’s ’head coach’ supported by a DoF/technical directors. The latter of the partnership is arguably more important than the former.

Were still stuck in an antiquated structure where manager is king, and we havent changed that. I don’t know whether thats because Ed Woodward thinks of himself as some kind of Adriano Galliani figure, and thinks a non-football figure can make great footballing decisions, or whether they cannot be bothered to appoint one because they lose power, or they cant be bothered to spend money to get one, or they’re deluded to think Sir Alex Fergusons just grow on trees.

When Real, Barca, Juve and Bayern sack head coaches, it’s really no big deal as the club will continue to work, life goes on and new guy can come in and pick the team up briefly until a permanent appointment is made. When we sack a manager, the season may as well be a fecking write off.
 

Skills

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We don’t seem to have that autonomous structure at other big clubs around Europe, where theres no ‘manager’ and it’s ’head coach’ supported by a DoF/technical directors. The latter of the partnership is arguably more important than the former.

Were still stuck in an antiquated structure where manager is king, and we havent changed that. I don’t know whether thats because Ed Woodward thinks of himself as some kind of Adriano Galliani figure, and thinks a non-football figure can make great footballing decisions, or whether they cannot be bothered to appoint one because they lose power, or they cant be bothered to spend money to get one, or they’re deluded to think Sir Alex Fergusons just grow on trees.

When Real, Barca, Juve and Bayern sack head coaches, it’s really no big deal as the club will continue to work, life goes on and new guy can come in and pick the team up briefly until a permanent appointment is made. When we sack a manager, the season may as well be a fecking write off.
I think supported is not quite the right word. It's more like they work for the DOF, and they're held accountable for their responsibilities by the director of football. It's the lack of accountability that we're missing.

We lack someone who can set the success criteria. We need a football guy on top who sets the expectation and a binary success criteria for the head coach year to year. Then it's a simple pass/fail, on whether the guy is on track to deliver or not.

Now someone will probably say who's the football guy to evaluate the DOF. Well you don't need one at that high level. You need someone there to just evaluate, whether the amount of money invested in the club (including the hiring/firing of head coaches) over the last X years has translated into on-field success.
 

Rood

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This is why we need a DoF

But this time I think there is at least a long term plan to bring in a certain type of player whereas in the past it was very much reliant on each manager
 

M Bison

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I think this is a valid point however for me this is the first year we haven’t backed the manager to the hilt and have been more careful in our transfer dealings.

It must be frustrating if you’re Woodward and each time you fire a manager, the next one comes in and says the players the previous manager bought aren’t up to it and there’s a job on to dispose of players.

I felt in summer there was some actual longer-term thought applied to our transfers.

Should Ole be fired any time soon, any manager coming in would have less of a mess from the previous regime to clean up.
 

In Rainbows

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It’s a point mostly spread by class of 92 lot on TV. Suddenly for managers that they support the job becomes like FIFA it’s simply about buying players
Not exactly about which managers they support. Neville is notorious for wanting managers to get 2-3 years at least. Hell, he still thinks it was a mistake to sack Moyes. A large section of our fanbase subscribes to his view even when evidence at other clubs disprove this. However, it's impossible for them to change their mind because no matter how bad a manager performs, they can simply fault the players and the idea that the manger wasn't properly backed. No matter how bad the manager performs, if anyone above the club is outperforming United, they'll point to those other managers having better players to work with.
 

Skills

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I think this is a valid point however for me this is the first year we haven’t backed the manager to the hilt and have been more careful in our transfer dealings.

It must be frustrating if you’re Woodward and each time you fire a manager, the next one comes in and says the players the previous manager bought aren’t up to it and there’s a job on to dispose of players.

I felt in summer there was some actual longer-term thought applied to our transfers.

Should Ole be fired any time soon, any manager coming in would have less of a mess from the previous regime to clean up.
Surely that just means you've hired the wrong manager and your manager recruitment process was shit.

If I was in a position to hire a manager, the first question I would ask a candidate is what does he think of the squad of players already at the club and what does he think he can achieve with them? If the answer you get, is not in-line with what you're expecting you know you're interviewing the wrong guy.
 

VorZakone

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It's a valid point. About time the coach does some actual fecking coaching such as improving the players he already has.
 

ottosec

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True, this was our main issue, we gave everyone leeway like they are Sir Alex Ferguson. And there is no other SAF.

We should have appointed a DOF with a clear strategy of squad building. Let the managers prove themselves with the squad the DOF build and if he does that for a couple of years, give him free rein.

And it's not only the transfers. Moyes was given free hand and the first thing he did was sack all the staff left by Ferguson. Top class staff gathered by Fergie for years, only to be sacked by a moron and replaced with Everton staff. Since SAF left, no player improved at United. They all start well then become shit as soon as they get used to the United "training".
 

Josep Dowling

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We don’t seem to have that autonomous structure at other big clubs around Europe, where theres no ‘manager’ and it’s ’head coach’ supported by a DoF/technical directors. The latter of the partnership is arguably more important than the former.

Were still stuck in an antiquated structure where manager is king, and we havent changed that. I don’t know whether thats because Ed Woodward thinks of himself as some kind of Adriano Galliani figure, and thinks a non-football figure can make great footballing decisions, or whether they cannot be bothered to appoint one because they lose power, or they cant be bothered to spend money to get one, or they’re deluded to think Sir Alex Fergusons just grow on trees.

When Real, Barca, Juve and Bayern sack head coaches, it’s really no big deal as the club will continue to work, life goes on and new guy can come in and pick the team up briefly until a permanent appointment is made. When we sack a manager, the season may as well be a fecking write off.
So true. All down to Ferguson’s success I’m afraid. Because we had success with that structure, the United board think as a club this is how things are done. The problem is Ferguson was a one off and the club hasn’t learnt to adapt and change.
 

RedWat

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This is why we need a DoF

But this time I think there is at least a long term plan to bring in a certain type of player whereas in the past it was very much reliant on each manager
But what can you do if the board/Ed does not want a DOF at Utd ??. If the board really wanted to pull all stops out for United to be successful on the pitch from the start they would have recruited a DOF who has the motivation
as them for the the club to be successful, the DOF would help pick the right “Head coach” and the right players if they did that then Ole would not have been selected even as caretaker manager as he didn’t fit the required criteria(not good enough). Even managers such as Jose wouldn’t have been recruited because even though he is one of most successful Managers of his generation, he doesn’t “build” teams long term and has a short shelf life as he can’t help himself in wagIng war in the dressing room on season 3, as he has done at Madrid, Chelsea (to a lesser extent Inter) and “shock and horror” at Utd. A decent DOF would see all these pitfalls and would try to avoid them. We would look to get a progressive talented ambitious manager rather than post Fergie 4 pragmatic managers of varying ability. More of a Klopp than a Jose/LVG

But alas the priority of the board is not a DOF or we would have had one a long time ago. As I mentioned in another thread it would either take a change of ownership or a change of vision from the owners (due possibly to a scenario like Utd shares value falling off a cliff).

We shall see.
 
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arthurka

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The problem we have is that our owners will happily wait as the brand will just keep on getting bigger. Just see brands like NY Knicks they haven't won shit for a billion years but they are worth as much as Utd. The brand will just keep on getting bigger and bigger even if we win nothing. So there is nothing that will push the Glazer's to sell, they brought 200m into this when they bought us for 700m years back and will get at least 3 billion if they sell today. Utd won't lose value it will just keep adding to it but it won't happens as quickly due to our lack of progress on the field. But the sad truth is that they are in no need to change anything.
 

Josep Dowling

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Look at what Bielsa is doing at Leeds. That team has not changed that much since he took over and he’s making them the best footballing team in the Championship.
 

passing-wind

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Leicester finished 9th last season 14 points behind us, now they are 14 points ahead of us in second spending next to nothing and losing their prolific defender. Rodgers didn't require 3 transfer windows and deluded fans behind him, he coached the first team into success and because he's astute tactically they have performed consistently.

The whole "this manager needs to spend big" is nonsense. Solskjaer is one of the worst managers not only in the league but in Europe. Anyone who thinks he's going to succeed here is absolutely mental, on what basis has Ole shown he deserves time here ? Him being a legend of the club has absolutely no merit to his capabilities as a manager, that's where the buck stops.
 

SAFMUTD

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The problem we have is that our owners will happily wait as the brand will just keep on getting bigger. Just see brands like NY Knicks they haven't won shit for a billion years but they are worth as much as Utd. The brand will just keep on getting bigger and bigger even if we win nothing. So there is nothing that will push the Glazer's to sell, they brought 200m into this when they bought us for 700m years back and will get at least 3 billion if they sell today. Utd won't lose value it will just keep adding to it but it won't happens as quickly due to our lack of progress on the field. But the sad truth is that they are in no need to change anything.
I partly agree, while we haven't lost any value as a brand we do resent the poor results. It was showed in this year revenue that while it didn't decreased it didn't increase either. We were the top club regarding revenues, now we are the third.

United is a global brand, unlike american teams which base relies on the United States, Manchester United fans are worldwide. The US fans for basketball or NFL teams rely on a solid base that wont change much since most of their fans are locals, its rare that a local supports a foreign team, thats why even they don't win titles they keep producing supporters.

But our fan base will slowly but steadily decrease, we for sure won’t stop generating fans in the UK but in foreign countries fans don't have anything linking them to the team besides their personal election and what kid will choose to support United when there are better teams around?

I started supporting this club because I saw them winning year after year, not because I loved our principles or knew our history, that comes after. As a kid you fell in love with a club because of its players and their achievements which we are failing to deliver.

At least here in my country I have start seeing kids with ManCity and Liverpool jerseys, which you wouldn’t see 5-10 years ago.
 

SAFMUTD

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Leicester finished 9th last season 14 points behind us, now they are 14 points ahead of us in second spending next to nothing and losing their prolific defender. Rodgers didn't require 3 transfer windows and deluded fans behind him, he coached the first team into success and because he's astute tactically they have performed consistently.

The whole "this manager needs to spend big" is nonsense. Solskjaer is one of the worst managers not only in the league but in Europe. Anyone who thinks he's going to succeed here is absolutely mental, on what basis has Ole shown he deserves time here ? Him being a legend of the club has absolutely no merit to his capabilities as a manager, that's where the buck stops.
Yes agree with all that, but you forgot something. Leicester has better players in every position (dont ask me to justify this they just do) and have a way better board (again Im stating this based on nothing just because our board is shit theirs should be better) thats why he can do it. If Ole was under the same circumstances he would manage even better results.

You see? Its never Ole’s fault is always something else.
 

jem

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This is why we need a DoF

But this time I think there is at least a long term plan to bring in a certain type of player whereas in the past it was very much reliant on each manager
But even that long-term plan seems to have been arrived at very hastily, and it's not exactly cheap either, given that English players seem to have a premium value placed on them. I think we are still as rudderless as ever.
 

Josep Dowling

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Yes agree with all that, but you forgot something. Leicester has better players in every position (dont ask me to justify this they just do) and have a way better board (again Im stating this based on nothing just because our board is shit theirs should be better) thats why he can do it. If Ole was under the same circumstances he would manage even better results.

You see? Its never Ole’s fault is always something else.
Leicester have some good players but I don’t think the quality difference is that much. They also have the luxury of one game a week which is massive in the league these days.

They definitely have a better board and their recruitment is fantastic. To sell Maguire for a world record fee and then end up with a better defence is quite something.
 

SAFMUTD

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Leicester have some good players but I don’t think the quality difference is that much. They also have the luxury of one game a week which is massive in the league these days.

They definitely have a better board and their recruitment is fantastic. To sell Maguire for a world record fee and then end up with a better defence is quite something.
I was being sarcastic, I think I made it pretty obvious.

Regarding the one game per week I would agree if we were playing in the UCL facing strong opposition and having the main players playing week in and week out.

We play the freaking europa league with second choice players against pretty poor opposition unless we want to attribute jetlag I dont think it really makes a difference in fitness.
 

In Rainbows

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Leicester have some good players but I don’t think the quality difference is that much. They also have the luxury of one game a week which is massive in the league these days.

They definitely have a better board and their recruitment is fantastic. To sell Maguire for a world record fee and then end up with a better defence is quite something.
That's the point of his post though. The Ole in folks will always use the better performing players as being better players than United's players. How much of it is down to coaching? Doesn't matter because whichever team is performing better is bound to look better than United's players. Any club performing better than United could be argued as having the better players.

Point out that Leicester weren't performing this well under another manager, but with the same board and same players, with having to sell their best defender, etc...? Doesn't matter because Leicester players are better based on how they're performing under a better manager.

Point out that Chelsea had a transfer ban and sold their best player, they have the better players based on their side performing better under a new manager.

Point out that these same posters argued that United were going to perform well at the start of the season? Doesn't matter because to them those same players they predicted to be top 4, are no longer top 4 because United aren't close to being top 4.

No amount of logic can win against them. Everything is down to player quality and player quality is judged on position on the table.
 

Skills

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Another Man Utd manager distancing himself from any coaching accountability. After all they're not "his players"
 

lemmiwink

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Step one: argue this squad is great to land dream job after a slightly lucky 10 first games.
step two: announce that we will only buy players who has United-DNA or something like that.
step three: buy 3 players, which of two are capable of being in the starting 11.
(watch your team get suckerpunched by crap teams week in week out)
step four: announce this season is to determine which players will make out the squad next year.

I’m sorry to say it but this guy is a fraud. He accepts no accountability. It‘s all on the players, ref, VAR or luck. He will not land any high class players cause all agents in world football sees through this fraud. We need to get rid even if it might not get us challenging for titles due to a bigger problem at the top. I don’t want to see this squad depleted of talent and replacing them with championship prospects. Please sack this man now.
 

Nash27

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Step one: argue this squad is great to land dream job after a slightly lucky 10 first games.
step two: announce that we will only buy players who has United-DNA or something like that.
step three: buy 3 players, which of two are capable of being in the starting 11.
(watch your team get suckerpunched by crap teams week in week out)
step four: announce this season is to determine which players will make out the squad next year.

I’m sorry to say it but this guy is a fraud. He accepts no accountability. It‘s all on the players, ref, VAR or luck. He will not land any high class players cause all agents in world football sees through this fraud. We need to get rid even if it might not get us challenging for titles due to a bigger problem at the top. I don’t want to see this squad depleted of talent and replacing them with championship prospects. Please sack this man now.

I really don't get fans like you who call a legend and someone who loves the club a fraud. Piss off with those comments man.
Yes ole might not be cut out for the job but you can criticize him without being disrespectful. Ole is doing his best to get the club back on track.
LVG is a fraud, Jose is a fraud, Ole is a fraud, the next manager will be a fraud if results don't go our way. Again, if nothing changes at the top there is not point sacking the manager. The next manager will have the same issues and will be back to same vicious circle.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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Ole will probably be sacked this season or at the end, but i dont think we will go anywhere really until a complete overhaul is done from the top to bottom. We are shocking
This. Without vision and know how the club isn't going to improve.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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Not exactly about which managers they support. Neville is notorious for wanting managers to get 2-3 years at least. Hell, he still thinks it was a mistake to sack Moyes. A large section of our fanbase subscribes to his view even when evidence at other clubs disprove this. However, it's impossible for them to change their mind because no matter how bad a manager performs, they can simply fault the players and the idea that the manger wasn't properly backed. No matter how bad the manager performs, if anyone above the club is outperforming United, they'll point to those other managers having better players to work with.
The players also have a conflict of interest. If they perform poorly enough and the manager is sacked they get to stay on until the new manager has assessed them. If a player knows that the manager doesn't want him but is forced to play him, it would make sense to sabotage the season and get him sacked first.

Players have to be accountable to someone who they know has clout at the club and will probably outlast them, be it manager or DOF. We don't have that at the club.

Just look at the amount of fringe players we've accumulated, who have been poor but have been at the club for years, often getting improved new contracts.
 

lemmiwink

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I really don't get fans like you who call a legend and someone who loves the club a fraud. Piss off with those comments man.
Yes ole might not be cut out for the job but you can criticize him without being disrespectful. Ole is doing his best to get the club back on track.
LVG is a fraud, Jose is a fraud, Ole is a fraud, the next manager will be a fraud if results don't go our way. Again, if nothing changes at the top there is not point sacking the manager. The next manager will have the same issues and will be back to same vicious circle.
People in positions that comes with enormous responsibility, who does not take responsibility, are in my opinion frauds. They sign on for a job with a clear goal, but as the season goes on they keep moving the goalposts to lower expectations.

The other thing the manager does by doing this is shiting the blame over to the players for something they have little responsibility over, namely the tacticsl approach to certain games. People who does things like this end up playing the divide and conquer part because people will rather fight over who is to blame than actually discussing the problem. If he does this willingly or not does’nt matter. His actions are splitting the fanbase.

You think I am a piss poor fan for not wanting this man anywhere near the club I support when I view him as an inept leader? You question my loyalty to the club when I want a man who will never accept responsibility out of the club I have supported for 29 years?

I support this club 100% and I love Solskjaer for everything he did for this club as a player, but I will not laud him as a manager, nor show unbreaking loyalty to him, if he is in fact contributing to the destruction of Manchester United. And that, in my opinion, he is.
 

Johan07

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So this is where a lot of our fans are missing the point with the structure.

That structure would do nothing to Woodward's job as CEO. That structure would instead, strip power and ambiguity away from the managers role and instead hold him accountable. A manager would have close to no influence on transfers, so the only thing he's being judged on is his coaching and squad management.
This is basically true. I am for a DoF but I dont put close to much of importance to that appointment as most people seem to do on the Caf. Its like appointing a DoF in itself will solve everything. And as you point out it will not change Woodwards role at all.
I dont hate on Woodward nearly as much as some people here but people should ask themselves why you would be putting trust in Woodward to appoint a DoF if you think he has missed out on appointing managers?
Also, a club like Arsenal has both a Head of Football and a technical director to go with him. Look at how they are doing.
The most important thing for this club is to put a structure in place which makes everyone from corporate management, scouting department, manager, youth system work together instead of turning in it to some form of power struggle and loads of internal conflicts as Mourinho managed to. Not creating new titles for the sake of it.
 

theklr

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So this is where a lot of our fans are missing the point with the structure.

That structure would do nothing to Woodward's job as CEO. That structure would instead, strip power and ambiguity away from the managers role and instead hold him accountable. A manager would have close to no influence on transfers, so the only thing he's being judged on is his coaching and squad management.
Dont think that is the case.

A manager will always have influence on transfers. The difference is simply how much influence.

Would you think City or L’Pool would get players Klopp or Pep didnt rate?

It is more important that the structure alleviates much of the other work for a manager, combined with more consistency.

But most important, it ensures that manager appointments arent made on a whim from persons that have close to zero footballing credentials....
 

Skills

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Dont think that is the case.

A manager will always have influence on transfers. The difference is simply how much influence.

Would you think City or L’Pool would get players Klopp or Pep didnt rate?

It is more important that the structure alleviates much of the other work for a manager, combined with more consistency.

But most important, it ensures that manager appointments arent made on a whim from persons that have close to zero footballing credentials....
No but Klopp and Guardiola are the exception not the rule. They're the only two managers in football currently, who are the most valuable assets at their respective club. In other words - Liverpool and City know, its not possible to do better than either of them and if they don't do as they like, they would walk into a job at Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or Bayern.

No other manager deserves nor has earned the type of power and influence.
 

Rocknrolla69er

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I love how people forget the recruitment team sold players like Sanchez and Lukaku and released Herrera which are all correct decisions but didn't replace them, thennnnnnn say it's all the managers fault

Give your heads a wobble, this squad is shit
 

Alabaster Codify7

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The players also have a conflict of interest. If they perform poorly enough and the manager is sacked they get to stay on until the new manager has assessed them. If a player knows that the manager doesn't want him but is forced to play him, it would make sense to sabotage the season and get him sacked first.

Players have to be accountable to someone who they know has clout at the club and will probably outlast them, be it manager or DOF. We don't have that at the club.

Just look at the amount of fringe players we've accumulated, who have been poor but have been at the club for years, often getting improved new contracts.

I definitely think some of our players have been doing this with various managers (your first paragraph).

However. Ole was supposed to be the one who was going to see through all this bull, because he "knows the United way" and had a free-run half a season to assess them.....then the summer to get rid.

He didn't do a job of that did he? Remind me of the new contract renewals dishes out under his watch? We're still suffering the same idiots on the field.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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I definitely think some of our players have been doing this with various managers (your first paragraph).

However. Ole was supposed to be the one who was going to see through all this bull, because he "knows the United way" and had a free-run half a season to assess them.....then the summer to get rid.

He didn't do a job of that did he? Remind me of the new contract renewals dishes out under his watch? We're still suffering the same idiots on the field.
Not that it can be proved, but it's been pretty obvious with all our managers since SAF retired. Their last days at the club coincided with the woeful performances and leaks to the press. It's become part of the 'culture' of the club. That's why I think they have to answer to someone with job security. We're lacking this person at the club.

Regarding contract renewals I don't think the manager has much say. During the summer there were rumors the board vetoed Rojo moving to Everton because they were 'Rivals'. I also read somewhere Ed said that some players were given new contracts 'to protect our investment'. Most of them we can't move on because of their wages. I don't think the manager has any role in negotiating those. We could very well be a case study in how the sunken cost fallacy can ruin a business.

The incompetence at the club in recruiting, renewals and offloading is as clear as day. The fact that it's not clear who screwed up and why, what exactly is whose responsibility and how the different departments interact with each other is what really worries me.