Why are the Glazers/Woody running the club so badly?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Physiocrat, May 8, 2019.

  1. May 10, 2019

    Eddy_JukeZ Full Member

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    Even if SAF, Charlton, Gill and co are behind our recent moves, it's still not the same as SAF literally picking Moyes.

    I don't think they have THAT much of an influence.
  2. May 11, 2019

    Rory 7 Full Member

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    Refinancing = Restructuring Debt = Liquid Cash Flow for our US owners. Regardless of being ‘on the hook personally’, that is the nature of credit. Of course you know that.

    Not sure who or what you are as poster but your tone and position is just quite bizarre. The premise of your position is absurd. The club is a cash cow for the Glazers now. And the truth is they used the club as very very good cash cow for years through numerous mechanisms beyond dividend payments. But of course you know that...

    The fundamental point remains. The Glazer controlled Football Club has been a car crash since 2013. Prior to that the Glazers/Woodward didn’t have control of ‘their’ football club.
  3. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    Did you say this about Woodwards predecessor David Gill as well? Idolised on the Caf. Practically the same background in finance as Woodward even if I think Gill was an auditor, while Woodward was an investment banker. Woodward does the exact same thing that Gill did.

    CEO for Man City: Ferran Soriano. Finance guy, former chairman of Spanair and other big Spanish companies
    CEO for Arsenal Vinai Venkatesham, Finance guy, former chief of commercial operations for Arsenal (as was Woodward at United)
    CEO for Liverpool, Peter Moore, IT-guy. Worked for SEGA, Microsoft, etc.
    CEO for Spurs, Daniel Levy, finance and property development guy
    CEO for Chelsea, Marina Granovskaia, background in Abramovichs oil ventures

    None of these are even close to a "football person". The closest was probably Ivan Gazidis who on the other hand failed miserably at Arsenal. Nor do they take active part in "footballing decisions". Why this label has been attached to Woodward in particular I have no idea. I can guarantee you that he does not have time to sit home and watch you-tube clips of players that he wants to invest in.

    This is just so boring. Woodward is the CEO of a multinational juggernaut of a football club listed on a US stock exchange. It would be corporate malpractice to have anything but a "finance guy" in that role. If the Glazers would appoint Gary Neville or LvG or some other name that has been floating around they would almost be thrown out from the stock exchange.

    The problem with posters like you is that you have been fooled by the ABU-media to think that Woodward actually is involved in "footballing decisions". Or you are just so blinded by hate by the Glazers that you just make up stuff. Or that you have no idea what a CEO for a company as big as United actually does.

    Probably all three for you.
  4. May 11, 2019

    Regulus Arcturus Black Full Member

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    The bolded is the most frustrating thing on the caf for me these days, people genuinely believe it’s Woodward making football decisions, saying yes or no to new players, or whether the likes of Ander should get a new contract or not etc.
  5. May 11, 2019

    Nytram Shakes Full Member

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    It's quite simple really Glazers are really only interested in the money, the club earns them a lot of money.

    Woodward is a great commercial businessman who doesn't really know what he is doing in terms of football, but like all powerful business people he doesn't want to admit his lack of knowledge and give away that power to some one else.
  6. May 11, 2019

    Lentwood Full Member

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    Yes but the clubs above that are SUCCESSFUL have other senior people overseeing the football-side of the organisation. I'm not advocating getting rid of Woodward altogether, I'm advocating hiring experts to run the footballing-side of the business. Ideally we would have;

    Director of Football - Ultimately responsible for implementing a 'vision'/ethos, ensuring a strategy/philosophy is implemented and practised across the club, from the way the U9s play football to the way we assess potential transfer targets to the coaches we hire etc....

    Head of Performance Analysis - Ultimately responsible for assisting the manager in providing Data-driven assessment of our own performances and opposition performance

    Head of Recruitment - Ultimately responsible for implementing Data-driven approach to Scouting and recruitment. Oversees scouting network, which can be reduced in number as they no longer have to trek around the globe watching games, instead create a small team of analytical experts who learn about players from statistics.

    Head Coach - Responsible for ensuring philosophy is implemented on the pitch, that the players act as a cohesive unit, overseeing coaching/training and tactical approach to football matches

    Now, as far as I can tell, and we would be guessing here because none of us actually DO know, we don't have anything like this structure. I would assume that Gary Neville has some insight into our structure (former player, connected to the club, at least two of his best mates/business partners have been employed by the club very recently) and Gary tells us it's a 'shambles'.
  7. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    The big reason as for why there is so much disagreement in this thread is due to the lack of transparency on how the club operates. Who does what, who is responible for what decision, what transfer etc. At a number of others clubs there is more insight to who is responsible for what and when. Then again, some of these clubs have performed well over the past 6-7 years so people at those clubs might be more inclined to take responsibility over decisions that results in success, compared to decisions that ends badly.

    Only thing we can do is to make less educated guesses based on a few interviews, or articles written by people assumed to be ITK or try to draw connections between assumed preferences and decisions made. Not a solid foundation to have an argument on.

    Some things we can all agree on:
    Player developement in the first team has been non-existent for some time.
    Many of our players do not have the technical ability needed to play at this level.
    Many of our players are either lazy or not in good enough physical condition to play for more than 60 minutes at a certain intensity.
    We are far behind the other top clubs in terms of quality showed on the pitch.
  8. May 11, 2019

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    We can show the lack of improvement or any statements about improving the stadium.
    We can show the breakdown between Woodward and every manager he hired.
    We can show insane/clueless transfer strategy, messing about with De Gea, Herrera (his hiring and failure to renew contract), Fellaini, etc etc.
    We can show self-defeating briefings and talk about money by Woodward.

    Just look at the faces of the people at the club. Listen to Neville. Listen to Phelan. Read between the lines with Ole. The heart of the club, from boardroom down lacks leadership, strategy, vision.
  9. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    And because of the lack of transparency, we do not know for certain who is the one(s) ultimate responsible for what decision etc. Which leads this to be open for interpretation and different opinions.

    Some people think Woodward is the one making the transferdecisions, others say the managers are at fault. Some people say that the board are the ones wanting to renew contracts on deadwood instead of buying new players because it makes financially sense... Some people blame managerappointments for everything that has gone wrong, others say it is the board/woody that micromanages and vetoes certain decisios...
  10. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    Head of performance analysis has always been part of the managers team at United. Moyes had his own, Mourinho his own for example. I am sure Solskjaer has someone as well.
    Head of scouting operations (as its called in United) is Steve Brown.
    When it comes to DoF/Head Coach that is continental semantics. Guardiola is still called manager at City even if they have a strong "DoF" in Txiki and Guardiola is basically coaching the team.

    United is traditionally the club in England - at least now post Wenger - where the power over the footballing side lies with the manager the most. When Gill and Ferguson quit that suddenly; there were no plans in place to develop the club in a different way. And why should there have been. You dont fix whats not broken. That was not on Woodward, who was promoted to replace Gill CEO for CEO, while Moyes was drafted in to replace Sir Alex one scottish manager for another. Accountant for accountant (to use your terminology). It was on Gill and Sir Alex who thought and still thinks that this is the way a football club should be run. All power to the manager. This is a very important fact to have in mind when one considers what happened later.

    The CEO role did not change though and still has not today and will not for the future. Or actually it has with the listing on the SE which gave Woodward way more corporate redtape to deal with than Gill had when United still was a private company.

    Then Moyes came in and royally screwed everything up. What he did do was to identify that we had a non-existent scouting network and were trailing the other clubs in the league, even his old Everton in this regard.
    The LVG "era" was at least a plan for the future; grooming Giggs for three years, etc. It also led to the club starting to realise that it had been falling behind in the youth setup as well. LvG did not work out either as we all know.
    When we then chose to appoint Mourinho the new scouting network was built. I think we went from like 5 to 58 scouts in two years. Its also when the talk of appointing a DoF started, which is natural because important functions of that work is to oversee both youth and scouting.
    Mourinho had no interest working with a DoF though. My guess is that the club wanted him so much that they agreed to not pursue that appointment until his tenure was over. Problem was that he had no interest of using the clubs own scouting network either. In many ways Mourinho always wanted the United job because of the fact that so much power has lied with the manager himself, recruitment included.

    IMO the push for a more progressive organisation has if anything come from Woodward. The man is not a masoschist. He knows that appointing a DoF does not change his role at the club. It does move responsibilities and more important accountability first and foremost from the manager, but also from the head of scouting and head of youth setup to the DoF. Nothing else.
    Because that is were the footballing decisions have been taken at our club ever since Sir Alex and Gill left: by the manager. Of course within the financial framework set by the club, but that is another matter. The positive effect for Woodward is that a DoF essentially creates another firewall between him and what happens on the pitch/the fans and people will be screaming DoF out instead of Woodward out. I think he kinda looks forward to that.

    We have advisory board members for strategic footballing decisions; Gill, Sir Alex and Charlton for example. You just need to read one of the great man´s books to understand what his opinion is on a more progressive organisation that devalues the role of the manager. Their commitment to the ways of old and the appointment of Mourinho are the two major things that have maybe hindered the progress of the club´s organisation IMO.

    Finally, I am for a DoF. But it will not have the allpowerful effect on the club that some believe. That will take time to settle as well. We need to be patient and realise that the club actually is moving in the right direction. If slowly so be it. And that has actually been set in motion when Woodward took over. He gets way too much crap here - your original post included - for involving himself in "footballing matters" when he does exactly what Gill did.
  11. May 11, 2019

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    Doesn't matter. The board is stacked with the Glazer family. They have no interest in the club except as an investment. Woody as we know has not a clue about the game. The difficulty he has with working with a manager is obvious. Where is the DoF? Never will be one, because Woodward is the Glazer's creature. Woodward is an obstacle to any future growth in the club. Can you imagine him coming out and talking about his vision for improving Old Trafford? Neither can I.
  12. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    Personally, i have shared your view since we sold Ronaldo and the "no value in the market" statements. But given the lack of transparency on how the club operates and who is responsible for what, one cannot say that a person blaming the managers since SAF, for everything that is wrong, that their arguments and viewpoints are 100% wrong.
  13. May 11, 2019

    Fluctuation0161 Full Member

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    Joke of a post. So many inaccuracies.
  14. May 11, 2019

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Yes, it's easier to join in the pitchfork and yell leech, parasite, glazers out
  15. May 11, 2019

    Fluctuation0161 Full Member

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    You say the debt is paid off? Yet you have an informed opinion?
  16. May 11, 2019

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    A bit of a Glazer fan? :lol:
  17. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    You mean like when the Glazers oversaw the expansion of Old Trafford after their takeover in 2005? Like that?
  18. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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  19. May 11, 2019

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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  20. May 11, 2019

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

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  21. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    And they could have easily backed out of it if they would have wanted to then. But thats not the case.
    Even if the takeover was not formally completed until May 2005, the Glazers were practically controlling the club long before that. Anyone that understands M&A will tell you that there is no way that such a decision would have been made just before the takeover was completed without it being sanctioned by the Glazers themselves.
  22. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    They did not have over 30% of the shares before 3 months later, forcing them to launch a takeover.

    They could have, but then they would have to wait a considerable amount of time to be able to expand (given some debt that needed some attention), so they either had to do it at that time, or wait a number of years.
  23. May 11, 2019

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

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    You don't need to have 30% to have power, they had over 25% and were the biggest shareholders.
  24. May 11, 2019

    Crashoutcassius Full Member

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    We have a director called man United sawhay??
  25. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    Look, you dont seem to be very well educated on this subject. The expansion of Old Trafford was an integral part of the Glazer´s business plan before and after the takeover. For financial reasons of course.
    If the takeover had not happened when it did there and the club had stayed a plc with a lot of smaller owners and a Cubic expression that wanted to sell, we would probably not have seen the expansion anytime soon if ever. Its one of the best things that the Glazers have done for the club and an excellent example of why financial and footballing decisions go hand in hand much more often than not.
  26. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    What does this even mean? It makes no sense.
  27. May 11, 2019

    Andy_Cole Full Member

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    He’s called m-anu which gets auto corrected on redcafe to Man Utd haha.
  28. May 11, 2019

    Redjazz Full Member

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    Mother a jessssus.......
    Plans to expand OT preexisted the Glazers arrival in 2003.
    The club started prefunding the expansion from about 2001 by building up cash reserves.
    Part of what made MU attractive to the Glazers was the planned expansion. The expansion (and the ticket price hikes partially justified by the expansion) brought an immediate surge in profits and cash flow, both of which were needed in the early years because of the original financing and the need to secure refinancing in the short term.
  29. May 11, 2019

    sunama Baghdad Bob

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    Why are the Glazers/Woody running the club so badly?
    A: because all they care about is making as much money as possible. If getting relegated would make them money, they'd ask the manager to get us relegated.

    I have just come from the Herrera released thread and I am livid.
    Woodie needs to be banned from making any footballing decisions, but because our profits are increasing, he'll remain as our DoF.

    :mad:
  30. May 11, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    They were the biggest shareholders yes, and had "communicated" that they wanted to take over the club sometime during 2004. When they crossed the 30% of total share ownership they had to make a takeover bid IIRC. They did not have over 50% of the votes at that time, but given that there was a shared understanding/agreement that they would buy the club, then most decisions made by the board would have had to be OK'ed by them... If not, they would just redo the decision when the takeover was finalized/got 50% of the votingshares.

    I stated, poorly, that it would have been difficult to fund an expansion of the stadium after the takeover with all the debt, thus the funding/decision on the expansion made sense doing before the finalization of the takeover.

    My original point might be true in principle (they did not have 50% of the votes at that time), but when taken into consideration the timeframe, the sequence of funding the expansion then takeover, and that the Glazers did have an agreement/understanding with the rest of the board regarding a takeover, the Glazers was the deciding factor behind the expansion.
  31. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    That was exactly what I said. It was an integral part of their business plan. All about the cashflow. Point is that the Glazers wanted to do this not that they were forced to by some earlier owners commitment or decision.
  32. May 11, 2019

    Lentwood Full Member

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    I respect the fact that you know your recent Utd history and all of the above is well and good but misses one CRUCIAL point.....on the one hand, you say Woodward gets too much flack, footballing decisions are made by our managers....Utd have followed our tradition of giving power to the manager etc...etc....

    Who is responsible for appointing our managers? Who is responsible for defining how much or how little power our managers are given?

    I'll give Ed a pass for Moyes. We all know SAF recommended Moyes so Ed would have got more stick for not appointing him. How then, do we explain hiring LvG, who we knew was around for 3yrs MAX, then sack him after two season and then appoint a man totally at odds with all of our footballing philosophies and values?
  33. May 11, 2019

    Redjazz Full Member

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    Yeah?

    What you said was:
    "if the takeover had not happened when it did there and the club had stayed a plc with a lot of smaller owners and a Cubic expression that wanted to sell, we would probably not have seen the expansion anytime soon if ever."

    Which is a load of rubbish.
  34. May 11, 2019

    0le Full Member

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    Interesting and enlightening read.

    I will also add a strategy with United in the last ten years is a push to recruit young players from abroad. I think this is related to when the rules where changed in how far away from Manchester, United were allowed to recruit within the UK.
  35. May 11, 2019

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

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    I don't know but I decided to put it on his plate. Now realistically you can say that he failed to appoint a successful manager but you can't really say that in 2014 and 2016, LVG and Mourinho were obviously bad appointments. With hindsight you can be critical but the reality is that for example these hirings weren't worse than Klinsmann and LVG for Bayern. Sometimes I feel that SAF tenure has given an entire generation of fans the impression that football was an exact science, all the clubs even the successful ones take wrong decisions on a yearly basis.

    The only thing that really bothers me with Woodward is the fact that he maintained the same structure on the first team side of the club, when Moyes and LVG really struggled, he should have tried to change the structure.
  36. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    I am on record in several threads here saying that the managerial appointments is one of the two things one can criticise Woodward for. The second is not driving the club forward faster organisation-wise, which is linked by the power that people like Sir Alex and Gill had and still have at the club. IMO at least. If Woodward had been tougher he would have dissolved the advisory board much sooner, or replaced them with younger board members with a more modern outlook at the game. And pushed forward with removing power from the manager in a progressive way.
    I would place blame on the advisory board for the appointments of LvG and Mourinho as well btw.
    On the other hand, who does that at United? Kick Sir Alex of the board? Or go against all what his thoughts of the leadership of a football club are. Woodward would be crucified.
    Besides this, Woodward has managed his appointment as CEO very well in most other aspects.
  37. May 11, 2019

    Johan07 Full Member

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    Its actually not. Its speculation, which is another thing. And if you are claiming to be sure that it would have happened anyways if the Glazers had not taken over the club you are speculating as well.
    To state never was hyperbole, it was going to happen sooner or later, but I am pretty confident that it would not have happened as early as 2006 if we had remained a plc. And it could have been much longer If Cubic had stayed with their shareholding, and another player or two would have come in attempting a takeover, we could worst case have ended up in a situation like Arsenal where the power struggle could have gone on for years, which would effectively have stopped any investment in the club.
    Add to that, if we would have proceeded under the plc the financing of the expansion would have had to be done with the club saddling itself with debt. Not the Glazers. Or by emitting new shares or someother way of financing. None of that would have happened as long as there was not a takeover in place and players were fighting for the club/company. That is my "speculative" opinion.
  38. May 11, 2019

    Tango80 Full Member

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    Thing is, what the Glazers and Woodward do regarding their specalist, they do very well. On the business side you can't disagree that they've failed in aspect. So from that aspect I don't want to get rid of Woodward.

    But there needs to be a sporting perspective on the board for sure. Why its taking so long I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, considering how rushed we've appeared in hiring others.
  39. May 11, 2019

    Lentwood Full Member

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    I'm not sure about that tbh....for the record, I like both managers but consider the following;

    - LvG had openly stated that he was retiring in three years. Seems odd to hire a manager you know won't be around for the long-term, unless you have an obvious 'understudy' lined up. Many people considered this to be Giggs, but obviously that never came to fruition. Did Ed hire LvG as a 'temp' to implement a philosophy whilst Giggs learnt from him? If so, why did Ed change his mind?

    - I think Jose is one of the greatest managers of all time, but tbf this forum was split almost 50:50 on his appointment. Many said it was high-risk to bring in such an outspoken, sometimes unsavoury character, who played the game very negatively and defensively. The flip-side was that Jose was a proven winner....so that why hire a proven winner who does things his own way and then not allow him to have exactly what he wanted? Clearly, Ed lost some kind of faith in Jose over the Summer....why was this...we had just finished 2nd and beaten every team in the league the year previously....seems an odd time to lose faith?

    I'm genuinely interested in the answers to these questions. Obviously we may never know. From the outside looking in, it smacks of Ed changing his mind and losing sight of his 'vision'.
  40. May 11, 2019

    Redjazz Full Member

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    The old plc oversaw several expansions. It planned for the expansions in advance, arranging short term financing in some instances.
    The expansion in 2006 was a stated objective going as far back as the previous expansion. The plan was mentioned in several annual reports pre 2005.
    Prefunding effectively began around 2001 with the club steadily building up YE cash reserves sufficient to meet the cost (around 40m) by 2005. No long term debt was required other than a short term bridging loan for working capital needs.
    Point is: This was going ahead, Glazers or no Glazers; It was a stated objective, funding was in situ, planning permission in place. Most important of all is that it was good business to expand the stadium.
    The board fulfilling its stated objective (with actions to back it up) is not speculation. Your musings about some Glazerless counterfactual are. Too equate the 2 is a bit trumpian.