United chief backs Solskjaer, hits out at ‘insults’, ‘myths’


London (AFP) – Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Thursday backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to find a solution to the club’s worst start to a season in 30 years and said it is “a myth that we have non-football people making football decisions”.

The 20-time English champions are just two points above the Premier League relegation zone and face bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“Ole has also instilled the discipline back into an environment where we may have lacked it in recent years,” said Woodward.

“He is building a squad that respects the club’s history, in which players work hard and respect their team-mates. No-one is bigger than the club.

“The changes we saw over the summer have resulted in a very young squad.

“But it’s also a squad, with the players and the culture, that provides a base camp for us to build and grow from as we start our new journey.”

Many fans have criticised the club’s recruitment policy especially after the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez while the future of Paul Pogba remains a subject of debate.

“There is a myth that we have non-football people making football decisions, and I think it’s insulting to the brilliant people who work on the football side in this club,” said Woodward.

“Many of the senior staff on the football side of the club have been in their roles for over 10 years. Some of our scouts have worked with us for more than 25 years. We’ve expanded our recruitment department in recent years, and we believe this now runs in an efficient and productive way.

“Player recommendations and decisions are worked on by this department and by the first-team manager and his staff, not by senior management.”

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