, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
A short thread on Manchester United's transfer window. It has been highlighted multiple times but it is particularly relevant today. The feelings of disappointment and disillusionment were entirely predictable for anyone who has analysed the workings of the club since 2013.
That was the year Ed Woodward was appointed club CEO. The summer was disastrous. The wrong managerial appointment tied to a long-term contract and signing one player, paying more than his contract release clause that summer. Those trends have continued every season since.
First things first: United's three signings this summer strengthen the squad. However, this is caveated by all three players being available and wanting to join. The deals weren't notably complicated, and came at a big financial outlay.
However, United have lost two prominent central midfielders in 2019 and not replaced either. They have sold their top scorer with no replacement. There is still no right-sided forward. Three critical squad weaknesses. Clearly, a squad not fit for the club's supposed ambitions.
Promises have continually been broken. The much-promises sporting director (reports of an appointment first briefed in Nov 2018, and periodically since) never materialised. By definition, the club's sporting direction is outdated and proven to fail. No specialist in recruitment.
Woodward is an investment banker with no football background. He has generated massive profits and financial partners but has headed a sporting project of abject failure and mass wastefulness for six consecutive years. Yet his position is totally safe. He is bulletproof.
Across 13 transfer windows United have invested (transfer fees/wages/agents) at a level to rival any elite club. In that timeframe: no title challenge never mind a title. One top 3 finish. Have failed to make the top 4 in 4 separate seasons. 1 UCL knockout win in 5 years. Awful.
Remember when Woodward persuaded LVG to sign for a third year before sacking him after two years. Sanctioned a new long-term Mourinho deal in Jan 2018. Then vetoed his transfer targets and sacked him. Chaotic, incoherent, hugely wasteful 'leadership'.
Signings have largely been based on vanity and flexing financial muscle. Neglects key first team areas to secure unsuitable star names. Young, Jones, Darmian and Rojo all still at the club solely because the club cannot negotiate their sales.
Woodward answers to the stock market and investors, but crucially - not to fans. No trophies, no Champions League. Results and on-field success are secondary to the business performance. Fans are now apathetic, not angry. The bar has dropped so low that nobody is surprise.
Important to remember: Ed Woodward is a symptom of the Glazer ownership. Between 2009-18, United paid an astonishing £131m more to service the Glazer debts than in the first-team squad. This is a business, not a sport.
As was the case last season - expect journalists to be briefed by clubs after below par results that the club are lining up a sporting director and targeting new signings. It's a PR exercise that was somewhat effective last season.
The most damning statistic of all?

The 6 seasons (2007-13) before Woodward was appointed, United won 4 titles, missed the other 2 by a combined total of 1 point.

In the 6 seasons since (2014-19), United have been off the pace by combined 129 points, average: 23 per season.
It took one evening for this to come to fruition again. #WoodwordOut was second highest football trend behind #DeadlineDay. Just as night follows day, the briefings of sunlit uplands find their way into the media. It is as predictable as it is tedious.
And another. If Manchester United were so intent on bleeding in youth players, then why launch bids for Christian Eriksen, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic. Masking failure with cheap soundbites. It's transparent nonsense.
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