Gary Neville couldn’t hide his disappointment after Graeme Souness claimed the Glazers couldn’t be blamed too much for Manchester United’s current plight.
The debate came following another abject display from United in which the scope of their downfall was once again laid bare as they were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool. The Merseyside outfit took great pleasure in handing their great rivals another beating following the 5-0 win at Old Trafford in October, with Mohamed Salah grabbing two goals and Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane nothing the others.
After the match, there was once again a glum post-mortem in the Sky Sports studio during which Liverpool legend Souness tried to exonerate United’s owners, the Glazer family, from much of the responsibility for the club’s continued decline. It was a notion that Neville quickly moved to dispel.
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“I can’t personally put too much blame attached to the Glazers,” Souness said to Neville, to which the former United man sighed and slumped forward in his chair. “Other than them allowing people who weren’t qualified and obviously weren’t good enough to make football decisions. In terms of the funding, you can not be critical.”
“Graeme, Graeme, seriously,” Neville began in response. “No owners of any good business around the world when the core activity of that business is failing, and the cash reserves have been drained over the last few years through Covid, continue to take money out of a business.
Souness tried to interject but Neville continued: “No shareholders and directors and owners of a good business, when the business is failing in its core activity, the cash reserves are being drained, there is investment required of hundreds of millions into the stadium and the training ground and continue to take money out of the business, they can’t do it.
“Going back to the recruitment side, what the club have done over the last 10 years, I think Jurgen Klopp had an interview or a conversation with Manchester United and he called it Disneyland when he spoke to Ed Woodward. What Manchester United have done is brought players in with piano introductions like [Alexis] Sanchez and ‘PogBack’ and all the big palaver around him, the Cristiano (Ronaldo) one at the start of the season, they have elevated the player above the manager at the football club as well.
“You go to Liverpool, you go to Chelsea, you go to Manchester City, the manager is the primary figure at the football club. They (United) have undermined managers over the last ten years at Manchester United by basically elevating the players into this god-like status, and the players haven’t performed.
“My view at this moment in time there are a lot of things that to be fair the players could do better, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the start of the season could have done better, Ralf Rangnick maybe could have done better but fundamentally the club is broken on and off the pitch.
“The stadium’s falling apart, the training ground’s now falling back at a second rate compared to the other training grounds. The owners are taking £25million a year out of the club when actually the club needs investment and sets the culture badly from the top.”
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