In a Pitch to Post Podcast special taking a look at the £1bn spent at Man Utd since Sir Alex Ferguson left, we ask: would a sporting direc...
In a Pitch to Post Podcast special taking a look at the £1bn spent at Man Utd since Sir Alex Ferguson left, we ask: would a sporting director work at Old Trafford?
So much has been said and written about hierarchal issues at Old Trafford, and how that has impacted recruitment strategy. But what exactly is the structure, and is it conducive to a sporting director?
Speaking on the Podcast special, James Cooper and Gerard Brand discuss how the transfer committee works at United and ask: have they lost the ability to do the dark arts of recruitment?
The structure explained: Sporting director needed?
|Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward oversees transfers, but he has a number of people working alongside and underneath him|
|The summer saga involving Jadon Sancho highlighted United's issues in the transfer market|
Man Utd's transfer net spend vs top six (since 2013)
"So when they say they want a sporting director, I think: 'Do you really?' because there is probably enough people on the transfer committee doing it. If you want to have a sporting director you have to rehash it, and be committed to the role. That is why it is not happening, and probably will not happen."
Have Man Utd lost the dark arts?
"So if Sir Alex Ferguson wanted a player, that player would know about it, and they would know about it early doors. They would know exactly what their role will be, what direction the club is going, the ambition, everything, how they will be viewed within that team. That would excite the player, more often than not they would then go to their agent and say they want to move to Man Utd, and that makes it very difficult for that club to negotiate when they know the players wants to leave.
|Cooper feels a sporting director keeps the club's philosophy ticking, no matter who the manager is|
"Perhaps those dark arts been lost now? Is that sort of approach impossible now? Are agents more likely to put all their cards on the table and keep options open? Perhaps.
"Or is it because the spread of money is now much wider in the Premier League and beyond? United used to have one rival for signings in the Premier League; first it was Arsenal, then Chelsea replaced Arsenal, then Man City came in and made it three, and things got complicated. They would probably have four or five on the continent who could compete with them for signings.
"Now, you are looking at competition from everywhere. Five or six Premier League teams can compete for individual players, more European teams, you have then got China, players wanting to play in America, whatever it might be. The competition is much tougher these days."