Manchester United legend Gary Neville insists the club’s problems are down to top officials and not Jose Mourinho or the playing squad.
Mourinho moved significantly close to the sack on Saturday when his team suffered a 3-1 defeat by West Ham at London Stadium.
Should he lose his job, he will be the third manager to be dismissed by executive vice chairman Ed Woodward since he took over from David Gill in 2013.
However Neville believes it should be Woodward and the executives around him who take the blame for Manchester United’s continued fall from grace, saying their problems started when they failed to give David Moyes enough time to properly succeed Sir Alex Ferguson.
He wrote: ‘This mess started when United sacked David Moyes after eight months and we lost all sense of the values that the club had been built on for 100 years.
‘It’s not the manager it’s the lack of football leadership above him. They are bouncing all over the place with no plan!’
Replying to a man who suggested it was wrong to give Moyes the job in the first place, Neville wrote:
‘That’s another question but when they sacked him after eight months it went into pinball , reactive mode and chasing it! No plan…’
The former England defender forms part of a growing group of fans who believe Woodward is behind Manchester United’s failed succession plan following Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
In a sign of discontent, a banner calling the chief a ‘specialist in failure’ was flown over Turf Moor during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Burnley earlier this season.
Moyes has also been indirectly critical of Woodward when talking about his disastrous spell in charge of the Red Devils. The Scotsman has regularly claimed he was promised a raft of world-class signings in his first summer, but Marouane Fellaini turned out to be the only arrival.
It is becoming clear that Woodward, while thriving in the commercial sector of Manchester United’s business, has struggled in the transfer market. Indeed, the club have spent over £700million on transfers since Ferguson left but only seem to be going backwards.
Mourinho lamented Woodward’s failure to sign a new defender in the summer with the chief refusing to release more funds after forking out a combined £60m for Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.
That failure appears to have exacerbated United’s problems and they have now suffered the worst start to a season in 29 years. Their defeat by West Ham left them with just ten points from seven games, already trailing fourth-placed Tottenham by five points.
Yet it appears Mourinho would be the first to leave the club should it come down to it. were talking openly about the Portuguese losing his job as they traveled back to Manchester on Saturday evening.