Jan 20 (Reuters) - Former defender and television pundit Gary Neville has said Manchester United should sack chief executive Ed Woodward as he has overseen a period of decline despite the Premier League club having one of the largest wage bills in the world.
United have not won a Premier League title since 2013 — when former manager Alex Ferguson retired — despite spending nearly one billion pounds ($1.30 billion) on incoming transfers without a director of football to identify potential recruits.
“I can’t change the ownership of United, no one can,” Neville said. “I’m struggling to understand why the ownership have persisted in trusting that management team to oversee the building of a Premier League title-winning team since Sir Alex left.
“I saw a statistic two weeks ago that United have the second highest wage bill in the world and that’s the squad they’ve got. It’s unforgivable, it really is.
“I can’t believe the investment that’s been put into the squad in the last five, six, seven years and you end up with that out on the pitch.”
United have finished in the top four for automatic Champions League qualification only twice since 2013 and Sunday’s 2-0 defeat by league leaders and arch-rivals Liverpool left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side five points off fourth place.
“If you don’t lose your job for essentially overseeing that investment, that wage bill, and putting that team out on the pitch then I have to say something is really wrong,” Neville added.
“There’s real talent in that executive team... but in terms of what the club needed to do for a number of years now is put the best in class football operators into that club, and they’re not doing it... and it’s a mess.”
$1 = 0.7693 pounds Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge