Summer of 2013 was not a good summer for Manchester United fans across the world. They have lost their leader, the great sir Alex Ferguson, and behind the scene reputable chief executive, David Gill.
With this transition came a new staff, in both the administrable and coaching departments; a process proven to be challenging at the least. Perhaps too much of a change for one summer?
When Gill announced he was stepping down, Ferguson felt it would be a great loss for him and the club. Gill was Sir Alex’s closest and most powerful ally at Old Trafford and the announcement surely had a big effect on Sir Alex’s own decision to retire that same summer.
David Moyes stepped in as new manager at the club and Ed Woodward was promoted to CEO. Both would be tested individually and as a team. Moyes has never managed a club of these proportions and Woodward has never been CEO of a football club. They would soon understand how difficult and challenging the job can be.
One of Woodward’s chief responsibilities as new chief executive at the club would be to facilitate transfer activities in conjunction with Moyes. Now stepping forward towards the end of the summer, flounder, flop and failure are some of the words that come to mind when you mention Woodward’s name to most Manchester United fans.
With these frustrations, there is a demand for answers and change. The reasons for these frustrations could be justified by what seemed to be a malfunction in Woodward’s attempts of signing new stars to the club in the summer’s transfer window; something that was seen by many as a huge embarrassment and amateurism.
Summer of 2013 started with new excitements and new concerns. It would be the summer of signings, excitement and change. The name Cristiano Ronaldo was on every Manchester United’s mind and, with a new manager in charge, everyone agreed United needed a statement - something big.
Probably two marquee signings and one mega signing would send a message to the world and hush all the critics. Ronaldo himself expressed that he was not happy at Real Madrid and United fans thought this would be the perfect time to bring him back home.
As the summer weeks dragged on, over 300 million Manchester United fans across the world began realising something was wrong. Ronaldo’s name started fading away from the headlines as no concrete evidence of any effort was shown from the club to reach for a deal.
All other names associated with signing for the club turned into either rumours or failures to finalise the deal. Eventually, only one marquee signing would happen on the last day of the transfer window, with Marouane Fellaini joining the club.
That same day turned out to be a disaster and an embarrassment with Manchester United trying to get any player they could get, just for the sake of it, with no real thought behind other than panic.
Sami Khedira, Wesley Sneijder, Ander Herrera, Arda Turan and Leighton Baines among the biddings. Herrera, Turan and Sneijder would have surely been bench players at clubs such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid, yet management at Manchester United were willing to bring them along as good enough starters at the club.
If this summer was a football match, Moyes and the Glazers would have surely be on the receiving end of a yellow card and Woodward a red. Woodward was a great promotional and marketing deal-closer for United, but merely an amateur with his indecisive behaviour in the summer market, dealing with other clubs and closing the deals that really mattered to the fans.
Ronaldo would have, could have and should have been back with the Reds this summer, but when Woodward couldn’t even sign a Herrera or a Sneijder, odds were he surely messed up the Ronaldo deal as well.
Now that the saga is behind, fans are demanding that the Glazers take action. Someone with more experience should be hired as CEO and Woodward can go back to his old job, something he was very good at.
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