Following Manchester United’s humiliating 5-0 thrashing to Liverpool, the club’s chiefs face a huge decision over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future, but who are the people calling the shots?
Following Manchester United ’s 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Sunday, it’s fair to say the club’s decision-makers have a big decision on their hands.
A Mohamed Salah hat-trick added to early strikes from Naby Keita and Diogo Jota before Paul Pogba received his marching orders as the wheels came off for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s United.
The result was United’s heaviest defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool since 1895 and saw United fall four goals behind at the half-way stage at Old Trafford for the first time ever in a Premier League match.
Solskjaer dubbed the defeat his “darkest day” since taking charge at Old Trafford and now finds his position under serious threat.
But who exactly are those calling the shots? Mirror Football profiles United’s decision makers who face the ultimate managerial conundrum: to stick or twist?
United’s managing director, who reportedly cleared his diary on Monday in order to hold urgent talks with the club’s owners following the Liverpool humiliation, arrived at Old Trafford in 2007.
An accountant by trade, Arnold’s commercial knowhow played a pivotal role in securing TeamViewer as United’s current shirt sponsor along with a host of other brand partnerships.
The man tipped to succeed the departing Ed Woodward as the club’s executive vice-chairman will have a significant say in Solskjaer’s destiny.
Having waxed lyrical over the ‘phenomenal success’ Solskjaer had brought to United as recently as March, the decision to give the Norwegian the chop would certainly be a change of tune.
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United’s American owners need little introduction.
The Glazers have experienced a tumultuous 16-years in charge at Old Trafford and were reportedly involved in Monday’s ‘urgent talks’ with Arnold.
After former owner Malcolm Glazer died in 2014, the club was passed down to his six children: Avram, Joel, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie and Edward Glazer.
While the Glazers have insisted they are at United for the long haul, they have shown little desire to cash in on the club, despite continuously calls from United’s disgruntled fanbase to sell up.
A significant section of the United fanbase despise the club’s American owners for the way they have leveraged debt and refused to engage with the club’s supporters.
Following United’s embarrassing defeat on Sunday, Solskjaer revealed he is yet to hear from the Glazer family, who hold the power over his future.
Replacing David Gill in 2012, Woodward is United’s current executive vice-chairman, but that is all expected to change in the near future.
Following the European Super League fiasco earlier in 2021, Woodward announced he would be retiring at the end of the year.
While this looked set be a boost for Solskjaer, with Woodward thought to be loathed to take on the job of finding a new manager given his imminent exit, the picture is believed to have shifted once again.
Reports have emerged that Woodward could see his exit delayed until April in the clearest indication yet that Solskjaer could be on his way out with movement in the Old Trafford dugout.
The much-maligned Woodward has been responsible for United’s recent managerial appointments, including Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, before showing faith in Solskjaer in 2018 and resisting calls to replace him since.
Promoted from his previous position as the club’s head of football development, Murtough became United’s inaugural football director back in March.
Having worked with David Moyes at Everton, Murtough joined United back in 2013 before becoming head of football development in 2016.
Murtough’s appointment as football director earlier in the year came alongside the decision to make Darren Fletcher technical director as two new roles were created in the hope of strengthening the club’s football operations.
With the club in crisis following Sunday’s humiliation, now more than ever will Murtough need to assess the direction in which his famous football club needs to take.