What do pilots and Alan Brazil have in common?
They both provide a service allowing football fans to air their grievances.
United fans went with the pilot approach rather than calling up Talksport when they flew a banner labelling Ed Woodward a ‘specialist in failure’ over Turf Moor.
Taken at face value, United fans’ complaints sound valid (and like a terrible Indy album).
Heading into the Burnley game United had been comfortably beaten by Spurs and limply tossed aside by Brighton.
Jose Mourinho was at war with anyone brave enough to catch his eye and United’s centre-backs looked about as brittle as a chocolate tea cup.
Woodward himself had come under heat for his body language following the defeat to Brighton.
Failings? Take your pick. But here’s where the banner was misguided.
Financially, United have never been in ruder health. The club is worth a reported £3.1billion while share prices hit an all-time high in the wake of United’s defeat at Brighton.
Shares on the New York Stock Exchange are up 55% over the past 12 months, according to Forbes.
United’s commercial revenue is the highest in football, boasting 23 global partners and a host of regional partners.
Ask United’s shareholders what they think of Woodward and ‘specialist’ won’t be anywhere near ‘failure’ in their response.
‘A Voice From The Terrace’, who are responsible for the banner, released a statement claiming: “Many of the problems stem from Ed Woodward’s continuous undermining of Man United managers in the transfer market, in matters of the playing squad, and in his inconsistent approach to recruitment and retention of managers and players.
“A beancounter selecting which players Man United Football Club do or do not sign based on perceived resale value, ‘social media interactions’ and marketability, has resulted in one of the most unbalanced United squads of recent times.”
No one would argue with the notion that United’s squad is unbalanced. You only have to look at the fact Chris Smalling and Phil Jones regularly start for United to back that up.
But to place all the blame at the feet of Woodward is wrong.
The sooner the Glazer family hire a proper director of football to take care of profits on the pitch, allowing Woodward to continue his good work off the pitch, the better.
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