Manchester United – Ed Woodward Hasn’t Learned Much Over The Last Four Years

Posted: October 10, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Transfers
Tags: , ,


(You want who?!!! You cannot be serious! C’mon give me a break. I got Fellaini and now he’s your favourite player! What more do you want?)

In another article from years gone by we questioned the wisdom of Manchester United in appointing Ed Woodward as the man to deal with transfer business. This was a particularly onerous task at the time as United had just allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to retire and David Gill to leave the club at the same time.

More to the point, we suggested that, after the debacle of that first transfer window, Woodward should have resigned. Here’s what we said back then.


(First published on September 3rd, 2013 in HITC)

In another profession, (with the possible exception of Banking), anybody who cost their company £4 million and made them appear amateurish and indecisive, would be dismissed immediately.

Ed Woodward, admittedly probably not alone, has done exactly that.

Manchester United could have signed Marouane Fellaini two weeks ago for his release clause. As it is they let that expire and now have had to pay £4 million pounds more.

Why? The answer is simple. Fellaini was not the first, second and maybe not even third choice purchase for midfield, but United wasted so much time in trying to get the others that he became their ONLY choice.

First choice was Fabregas. Having stated from the outset that he would not leave Barcelona, United wasted three weeks trying to change his mind. Second choice Thiago Alcantara had, by this time, already packed his bags for Munich.

Third choice, and possibly the one with the most potential, was Ander Herrera. This deal appears to have been blown by Woodward. Depending upon which report you believe he either left it too late or decided he could negotiate the price down even though Bilbao were very explicit in saying this would not happen.

Another little known possibility, outside of Spain at least, is that a hostile bid for a player attracts VAT at 21%. This is not payable if the player requests a transfer or if the club puts him on the market, neither of which scenario is the case here. I believe this is what Woodward was attempting to haggle over.

As Bilbao said they weren’t selling for the money this was a fruitless exercise as they just refused to enter into a discussion about it. Woodward, if this is true, hadn’t done his homework.

Think back to the Ferguson/Gill reign. By now, United would have Thiago, Fellaini, Herrera and possibly even Fabregas, although I’m not sure Ferguson would have been as interested as Moyes in buying him.

All in all it was a calamitous transfer window for United. I don’t blame Moyes, he has never operated at this level in the market before. I do blame Woodward and, if he has any decency, he will resign.

Four years down the line and Woodward has improved, but only slightly, in his transfer dealings. He is actually signing targeted players now but is doing so by drastically over-paying for them.

Arguing that Lukaku would have cost more after the Neymar transfer is missing the point. Woodward wasn’t to know that PSG were going to offer the world on a plate for the Brazilian so the price paid for Lukaku even before that deal was extortionate, yet he wouldn’t go the extra mile to get Ivan Perišić from Inter Milan! This is what frustrates United fans.

So, for his errors in judgement, as well as his inability to negotiate a good deal for United, we still think he should resign from this role and be replaced in it by a Director of Football.

What do you think?

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