Is Ed Woodward Really Up To The Task At United?

Woodward Man United

Is Ed Woodward Manchester United’s vice-Chairman up to the task?

The opening statement may be slightly dramatic but is it time to start becoming nervous about Manchester United’s summer transfer business so far with only the excellent additions of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera the only two major additions. Both of those players were initiated by David Moyes with Louis van Gaal sanctioning their signings as he “likes them.” Why are the club not backing Van Gaal in bringing in more new players of the Dutchman’s choice?

We have all seen the headlines of articles ‘Deal done’ ‘Agent Flying To London To Complete Deal.’ All very well but where are the non photo shopped pictures of the new signings in a United shirt on Man, they haven’t existed since the early summer captures of Herrera and Shaw. But as United supporters we are fed this misleading information much of it stemming from foreign press.

Many informed pundits suggested after last seasons miserable 7th place finish in the league breaking all the wrong records, that the club required a major overhaul in football players. Many suggesting as many as 6-7 new players would be necessary for the club to compete for the league this season. Major surgery was the post season diagnosis.

It was a genius move to recruit Louis van Gaal a proven winner, but many United supporters are now getting extremely edgy at the lack of new players to further improve the quality of the squad and in particular the core starting eleven. Where are the marquee signings to further boost not only the existing players but vitally also the supporters. We saw recently Real Madrid going out and pay Monaco what ever they wanted for World Cup player of the tournament James Rodriguez, no fussing around – deal done.
Manchester United have in the past broken the British record transfer fee on numerous occasions, but the key signings such as Eric Cantona, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Rio Ferdinand and Robin van Persie were already existing in the league. All of them making an instant impact as they knew the teams United would be facing in the league and hit the ground running.

Where is this seasons statement of intent to show we mean to compete on a level footing with Chelsea (6 new players) Arsenal (4 new players) Liverpool (8 new players) and Manchester City (6 new players) who all spent substantially and appear to continue to do so. However for Manchester United our early season targets were doomed to failure, Matt Hummels appointed Borussia Dortmund club captain, Toni Kroos selected Real Madrid, Thomas Vermaelen also opted for La Liga with Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas choose money rich Chelsea. All 4 world class players will participate in the Champions League football this season. There is a possibly a domino effect about to start at Manchester United if Van Gaal and Woodward will not address the problem sooner rather than later and sign new world class players.

Without harping back to vice-Chairman’s Ed Woodward’s first transfer window, we saw a whole summer wasted on chasing Barcelona players Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas to ultimately fail in capturing their signatures in getting the deal done. United ending up with in hindsight a 24th hour knee-jerk signing Marouane Fellaini, who contributed 0 goals and assists last season. £27 million we have in truth yet to see any merit in the Belgians move to United.

The same situation appears to be developing with Vidal and Di Maria, a lot of talk but no action.
Why can Ed Woodward not get the big football players deals completed. He appears to complete the contracts in attracting World Class big brand sponsors, which in fairness now contributes over £110m of the clubs turnover, and credit to him and the marketing employees in Mayfair for this effort. But the fans want to see a winning team with world class players and to be challenging for the League Title and in Europe again.

There is a sense that the club must be realistic in their aims of the type of player to target with no European football (short-term) for Manchester United to offer world class players, but none the less United are a world class club and should be displaying this it its statement signings. It can’t be the lack of finances with United’s profits, recently the new lucrative shirt deal, fantastic new TV money and the ever increasing Premier League payments, as 4 simple examples of increasing revenue streams. So what is the obstacle in purchasing players?

Obviously United have not always been successful in transfer dealings and their pursuit of players, Ronaldinho, Patrick Kluivert, Karim Benzema, Wesley Sneidjer and Lucas Moura a few recent examples who have said no to United. Similar to most clubs, United have also made some woeful purchases, no need to list any of those. But if you don’t purchase the ticket, you can’t win it and you standstill or go backwards, deja vu.

But we are not standing still as a club in farewells, having let go Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Buttner, and Bebe from the playing staff. With rumours rife that several players such as Javier Hernandez, Marouane Fellaini, Nani, Anderson and Rafael da Silva through their agents have been told to find new clubs before the window closes in 18 days time, saving a small fortune on the clubs wage bill if these all happen. However this should equally be freeing up more funds for the manager to invest in new signings – to no avail so far. Simply heart-breaking.

All very alarming possibly 11 players out – 2 in. Even without the added pressure of European matches surely the club is leaving itself dangerously exposed in simple number of bodies to call on, for a serious tilt at the league title. How Van Gaal can expect United to be in a stronger position than last season with our two main centre-backs having left for Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers beggars belief. Leaving only 26 year old Jonny Evans as the most experienced central defender. With Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as the Irishman’s lieutenants in the 3-5-2 system the club are adopting. Jones still susceptible to being rash in challenges lunging into the tackle when he should wait, causing big Phil unnecessary time on the side-line through injury. The same injury scenario exists with United’s fantastic No 20, van Persie, but perish that thought, however the consequences of lack of depth in the squad could be cruelly punished.

Louis van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford to a fanfare of celebration and rightly so it’s a new exciting dawn for Manchester United with a 100% win success pre-season, but it also has the potential to come crashing to a shuddering halt and stall before its got of the starting blocks. There is a train of thought that the Dutchman is planning delaying squad recruitment until January 2015 a Russian roulette policy surely as the league challenge could be well out of reach with no new players now, or within the 18 days till the window closes shut. Mr Woodward your attention is needed. Another season of no Champions League football – Mr Woodward, lets see if ‘new and existing’ sponsors are as confident in Manchester United?

Some clues as to Ed Woodward’s planning for Manchester United may be found in his answers in a recent interview he gave, extracts below.

Q ‘You’ve made two signings – how more needs to be done to return United to the top’?

A “Good question! We want to do what it takes to win the title. We’ve brought in a new manager, new coaching staff and invested in two fantastic players, and we’ve been working with Louis over several weeks with regards to targets and we’re continuing to move forward on some of those targets.”

Q ‘Can United still attract the world-class players?”

A “Absolutely, there is no question in my mind about that. I’ve experienced a lot of conversations with agents and the players and we are still a huge attraction to the top football stars around the world. There is no doubt about that. That’s not created any issues in any of the conversations I’ve had.”

A “If I didn’t – but I do – I would be reminded of it every single time I meet a fan because ‘Hello, how are you?’ doesn’t start the conversation. The start of the conversation is always ‘Are you signing X?’ Of course I understand that, that’s what every fan wants. Ninety-nine per cent of what I do they have no interest in – it’s the transfers, and I completely get that. I hope [fans] will see the direction we’re heading in with the new manager and coaching staff and new players, and a commitment to do what it takes to get back to the top. We are willing to invest. There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong and funds are available. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes [on transfers] so watch this space.” 

Q ‘Are players going to be leaving as well as others joining?’

A “Yes, I think so. Again, the manager makes the decision, it’s worth commenting that were not in Europe this year so there are fewer games, and Louis may take the view that he wants a tighter squad to bed in. But that’s a decision for the manager.”

Do you believe that Manchester United will make any further signings in this transfer window?

About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. Manchester united must sack him woodward ….woodward outttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttoutttttttttttttttttttttttttttttoutttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

  2. I think Edward Woodward is not up for the task, because looking at our postion last season we should have done our transfer early and concentrate on up coming season for the title.

  3. I really don’t believe that Woodward has got what it takes at this level. He’s obviously a great Bloke for brokering sponsorship deals etc but when it comes to signing players he’s seriously lacking! He tells us he’s willing to break the transfer record if need be but then quibbles over spending £16m in instalments. What’s the point of being one of the planets richest clubs if it’s not put back onto the pitch? It seems other clubs are buying players that we’re desperate for while we just stand by and watch. Most clubs decide who they want and two weeks later (if that) they are signed. We’re still talking about signing players we “almost” signed two years ago. The majority of our best seasons have been when we’ve bought players early in the window and given them time to settle or have some pre season with the existing team. I personally don’t think Woodward can cut it at this level. Maybe it’s time to bring in a specialist at this sort of thing? I know it wouldn’t happen but Fergie was pretty good at that sort of thing.

  4. Ed woodward is clearly not up to task he has failed to lure players to the old traford.nNow he’s gone silent coming back on the 2nd claiming how manchester is the biggest club.Joker.

  5. Woodward should walk out frm man u

    we are tired ov every tym talking without puting it in action

  6. It annoys me the fact that other clubs and see a player they want and get the deal done and dusted within a week. Look at Real with Rodriguez and Kroos. Absolutely superb signings. All some and dusted. Arsenal had Sanchez wrapped up quickly. Another great signing. Chelsea Fabragas, Costa and Luis all wrapped up quickly. Come on United stop waiting and get these guys training and ready for selection. Just offer £40 million for Hummels and get him signed up. Dortmund sadly are a selling club and won’t turn money like that down. Hummels, Carvalho, Cuadrado, Reus, Blind, Depay, Vidal and Di Maria would make us challenge for everything. Yes I’m greedy but if we have the money get these type of players signed up NOW!!!

  7. No,I think it should have been done ealier by now because look at the rumours that goes on every media.Please we better need to put pen on paper and stop these rubish.look at the case of Shaw and who knows what will happen next.

  8. To be honestly, am also sick and tired of hearing rumors every hours of the day.Ed Woodward is not good in negotiations at all, why not stop making nose and put action to your world’s

  9. In my humble opinion, Woodward is thoroughly incompetent. Don’t know the person, but from his past transfer dealing history, I believe this will be another last minute overpayment of transfer targets. He’s setting LvG for a fall.

  10. brilliant article Ian, We really need to make a statement/signing of intent before the window slams shut.

  11. None. No signings this year or even the January transfer window.

    The way I see it, no incoming players for quite some time for UTD. UTD are now functioning the way Arsenal were. Arsenal too did not invest heavily on new recruits for quite a few years. So I guess UTD are following the same model.

  12. Edward Woodward should leave United. Because LVG is becoming increasingly frustrated for the lack of transfer activity so far. He never expect things to go that way, 2 to 3 new faces should have arrive by now. Six players have gone and few are on their way out, while Woodward recruited only two of which one was ruled out for a month injury. I don‘t think that United is strong as last season with this set of players. All present united defenders are injury prone. Look at Smalling, and Jones also, Rafael and Evans where already ruled out of action due to injury. Look at how United missed out on Mangala, Garay, Vermaleen, Bruno Indi, De Vrij, Janmaat and now at the brink of missing Hummel, Benatia and Blind all of which were defenders. United where also about to miss Reus, Di Maria and Cuadrado to compensate for the departure of Giggs. Look at players like Vidal, Gaitan, Guarin, Schewarzteger, Ribero etc all link to Old Trafford move, and none was bought or any other. This guy had alread wreck a lot of havoc and now if continue as United CEO, he would make sure that United appears on the second part of the page of the table (11-20 position of the EP league).

  13. I hate him too much,i dont want see his name at all.Am sure that guy will cost united alot of bad fortunes.

  14. If as promised, big names will be brought in then Ed is the man, but if not, he is as all the faithful are saying he is ‘deadwood’

  15. With that guy as vc its not possible to add to add to the squard,if am at OT am sure i will give him a nice block on his cheeks.


  17. Woodward is taking us all for a ride. Around a 100 players have had medicals with us and a million agents have flown to Manchester but nothing ever materialises. This guy is just not good at Transfers. He is good in the commercial aspect of bringing in sponsors but transfers is just not his cup of tea. I cant believe the united board is letting such a noob ruin the reputation of the one of the biggest clubs on the planet. I’m sure he wont be able to sign anyone for the next few weeks and go with the scattergun apporach in the last couple of days. Every failed transfer/Bid is a slap on Manchester United’s face. we should let the idiot stick to commercial deals and get and Director of football. Look at how Zidane does at Real Madrid, no fuss whatsoever. We need somebody like him for negotiations, someone like Scholes or Cantona.

    Ed Woodward is pushing this great club towards darkness…!!

  18. ED WOODWARD is nothing but a hypocrite joker who colors his words to an extent that makes him look like a STUPIDEST CLOWN!!
    WHAT if, 2 of our defenders are injured. what happens then?no concrete defender bid yet…just found out they didnt even make any official bid for Vidal…no relistic possibility for signing new winger….getting chills throug my spine!remindin me of moyes era!!


  19. Woodward is fucked up,,up to now to major signing?? He can’t convince the players to join Man U.get him Sacked!!

  20. What is going on in regards to incoming ( players ) transfers to ManUtd is truly unfair and disrespectful to fans and supporters alike. It is quite clear we need world class players in at least two very crucial positions i.e. Central defense and central midfield. But to strength our squad in order to be able to compete for champions league slot against the likes of Man city, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool i would say we should be signing 3 to 4 more world class players. All the teams mentioned above were on top of ManUtd in the league ranking and yet have signed more than five quality players ethis summer transfer window in addition to the 3 or more players they signed in last summer’s transfer window. Look, LVG is a top top manager but the question is does he have a strong squad to take us through the season and ultimately enables us to competently fight for the tile if not guarantee us a champion league spot ? Any thing less would simply equate to unimaginable disaster. We know acquiring world class players is always difficult. But if you have the financial muscle and the required negotiation skills it’s a doable task. All our immediate rivals are doing it successfully. So LVG and the powers to be should either come out and tell us , that they are happy with the current squad and therefore will be no further signings this summer or that they are definitely working on some acquisitions. I honestly believe we deserve to know. For ManUtd 2014/15 season must simply be a blip that can not be allowed to be repeated at any cost.

  21. I think Ewd is not competent enough he should be sacked immediately or he pushes Man united to fail. Believe me LVG will surely fail even Moyes era will be better if no players comes in the club.

  22. Others clubs have gotten the players they desire, yet this wood word fold his hands. Man united should realise he is just an enemy to the club , he just hiding under camouflage.

  23. In life you will smell more bullshit than you will see. Right now the stench coming out of old Trafford is overwhelming!!!! Dont promise what you can’t deliver wooden top!

  24. action speaks louder than voice if ed can not put his promises into action let give him the same sit that is given to moyes

  25. Woodward is evil, he’s a total failure, a joke, a stingy idiot, a foolish man, a sheep in wolf clothing, an underground agent of man united rivals sent with the mission to gradual destroy man united & fall it from it’s glory….. He is not for us and should never be allowed to continue as man utd VC because he is highly incompetent and he never has the great club’s interest at heart, he is purposely fooling & deceiving us all pretending he wants to sign while in the real sense he is just passing time delaying to make sure the transfer window closes without any significant signings and frustrating LVG in the process to ensure that he fails just like he did to david moyes!!…. Sack him sack him pleaseeee sack Ed Woodward for meeeee.

  26. Ed Woodward is the David Moyes of the Transfer Market. All talk and no action. Absolutely pathetic!!!

    Juan Cuadrado, Angel Di Maria and Vidal is waiting for us to pick them up. Not to mention Depay and Blind that has made it known where they would like their futures to end up. Note that these are all World Class stars and well as starters of their respective countries in the World Cup. Yet no deals being done. What’s the problem Ed? Remember we still have to secure CL for the 2015/2016 campaign, I’m sure you of all people understand the repercussions of failing to qualify….

  27. Ed Wood is not the ideal man for the job,it is written over him.OT need to t action now or the billion fans will revolt.He does’nt have the right strategy to succeed and the fans are not happy with him.Pls i dont want to read about Vidal infact he should not be signed again

  28. What is wrong with this man called Vice Chairman Ed Woodward, what Manchester United as a club and fans have wronged him, what is he doing for the achievement of the club? He is not a right man for the club achievement he must leave the club or be sucked for the club’s achievement. I don’t even want to here his name, he not fit to administer such a big club with high quality. Please, Club Body Members do something to get rid of the guy.

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