5 steps Manchester United must take to return to where they belong | Premier League 2019-20
- We take a look at five steps Manchester United need to take to get back to the top of English football
Once the undisputed giants of English football, Manchester United have fallen on hard times in recent years and for all of their financial success off the field, there has not been much to celebrate in terms of sporting achievements since Sir Alex Ferguson departed Old Trafford.
Having won seven of the first 10 and 13 of the first 20 Premier League titles, the Mancunians are yet to get their hands on England's top prize since 2013 and have seen their spot at the summit usurped by two fierce rivals in Manchester City and Liverpool.
Things have gotten so bad at the club that players are desperate to leave, while they have also lost the appeal that made them almost impossible to turn down.
Lots of factors have contributed to the current malaise suffered by the Red Devils and while we could spend a lot of time discussing these factors, it is more effective to proffer solutions to the problems moving forward.
In this piece, we shall be highlighting five steps that Manchester United could take to rise back to the top.
#5 Get a Sporting Director
It is fairly obvious even to the most casual of fans that things are not going right in a sporting perspective at Manchester United. The reason for this is not far-fetched, as there are not too many people with a footballing pedigree in key decision making positions in the club's management.
Off the field, things have never been better and Manchester United have been raking in record revenues year on end, securing lucrative partnerships with global brands across the globe.
This is testament to the club's enormous appeal - despite the relative lack of success in recent years - but the Red Devils can ride on the waves of past achievements for only so long and if they are to continue struggling, it is not rocket science that they would lose touch with the next generation of fans which would concordantly affect their popularity.
Beyond achievements of the past, another reason why United have found financial prosperity in recent years is down to the work on one man, Ed Woodward.
The University of Bristol-trained accountant found success at global brands like Pricewaterhouse Coopers and J.P Morgan before delving into football after advising the Glazers on their takeover of Manchester United in 2005. Since then, he has progressed through the ranks and is currently the Executive Vice Chairman overseeing the club's daily activities.
In this role, Woodward handles the club's transfer policies and the very first one he handled in 2013 when the club acquired just Marouane Fellaini despite being linked to several players acted as proof of what was to come.
Since then, it has been one fumble after another in the transfer market, with United either handing mega contracts to undeserving players or falling short in their quest to sign quality targets.
While he might almost have a magic wand when it comes to lucrative sponsorship deals and endorsements, Ed Woodward is out of his depth in football matters, as his lack of experience in the business of transfer negotiations means the club usually gets the short end of the stick in the market.
The position of Director of Football has been around on the continent for a while and although relatively nouveau in England, clubs are slowly getting to accept it in the Premier League.
At the start of the current season, 15 of the 20 English top-flight clubs had Directors of Football including Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, and Chelsea. One club conspicuously missing on the list is Manchester United and despite several promises in the past, there is still no space provided for the role in the current managerial hierarchy.
For as long as Ed Woodward acts as the decising authority at the club, Manchester United would continue to falter on the field (ultimately off it as well) and for their own benefit, it is imperative that a Director of Football is appointed.