Sunday 26 January 2020

'You can't buy instant success anymore' - Man United legend points finger at Ed Woodward for slide in fortunes

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (Martin Rickett/PA)
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes the Old Trafford giants will continue to falter unless executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is replaced as the club's transfer guru, as he insisted they can no longer pursue a policy of signing big-name players in the pursuit of instant success.

United legend Gary Neville is among many high profile voices who have suggested Woodward should fall on his sword after overseeing a slide in the club's fortunes during his time at the helm, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his latest managerial appointment coming under fire after a slow start to the season.

After Sunday's defeat at bottom club Watford cast doubts over Solskjaer's long-term future at the club once more, the pressure is now back on the coach who has overseen the United's worst start to a season in the Premier League era.

Yet speaking exclusively to Independent.ie at a BonusCodeBets event, the full-back who won two Premier League titles with United suggested managers will continue to fail as they try to work under Woodward's watch.

"With every business, you need structure to be able to function but United don't have one at the moment," Parker told us. "They are being used more like a bank than a football club and it can't work that way, whoever comes in as manager.

"You need somebody who is experienced and clever at marketing and accounting, but United also has the same guy getting involved in buying and selling players. 

"Executives picking and choosing who the club buys is not what they're good at. The biggest strength in football is knowing what you're good at and knowing what you're not good at."

Parker also gave his verdict on what should happen next with United midfielder Paul Pogba, who returned to first-team action on Sunday for the first time since September 30th.

Pogba made it clear last summer that he would like to move on amid transfer interest from Real Madrid, with Parker suspecting a move may be best for all parties.

"If he wants to leave and the right price is being matched, I would get rid of him as soon as possible," he added. "If United were to get the right price, they could use it the other way and bring someone in.

"They need to be tactical with their signings as they need to realise that bringing in new players will not get them instant success. You can't buy instant success anymore."

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