Manchester United appear to have decided to renege on many of their own principles in order to bring Jose Mourinho to Old Trafford.
By all accounts, the Portuguese coach has agreed a deal with the Red Devils to take over from Louis van Gaal at the end of the season. The Dutchman has struggled to deliver results or a decent standard of football and will pay the ultimate price.
For Mourinho, it is the realisation of a longstanding dream. Sources close to the former Chelsea coach say he originally wanted to job when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and was shocked to see David Moyes picked ahead of him.
For Manchester United, however, it is something of a U-turn. They have tried hard to stick to their principles of stability and continuation in the post-Ferguson era. Indeed, it seems that one very important man in the Old Trafford boardroom never thought he would see the day when Mourinho would take his seat in the home dugout.
Sir Bobby Charlton has been a director of the Manchester United outfit since 1984 and is used to seeing the club doing things in a certain way. In 2012, he spoke of Mourinho, then of Real Madrid, at length and made it clear that he was not the kind of man who would be accepted at his beloved United.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2012 about his alleged eye-gouging of the late Tito Vilanova the year previous, he said this:
"A United manager wouldn't do that. Mourinho is a really good coach but that's as far as I would go really. He pontificates too much for my liking. He's a good manager, though."
For those of you wondering, pontificating is not a good thing. In fact, it's a very bad thing and Charlton will no doubt have to eat his words if and when he officially welcomes Mourinho to the club in the summer.
A big u-turn
The hiring of Mourinho may come at the relief to many Manchester United fans, but it is a clear indication of just how desperate Ed Woodward is getting. He is under pressure to get the club back to the top of the Premier League and has completely failed up until now.
Hundreds of millions in transfer fees has only seen them fall further from the summit. Only Chelsea's incredible demise has lessened the media onslaught that was handed to Moyes two seasons ago, but this campaign has been equally disastrous as his.
They are likely to finish outside the top four and the philosophy that Van Gaal has tried to install will need vapourising over what promises to be another summer of upheaval.
Charlton's comments in 2012 are just the tip of the iceberg. Mourinho's arrival will bring division amongst the powers at the Premier League's richest club and plenty of animosity. However, as long as he brings trophies, the unhappy ones will stay silent.
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