Iain Anderson reflects on an unsatisfactory transfer window at Manchester United.
In another profession, (with the possible exception of Banking), anybody who cost their company £4 million and made them appear amateurish and indecisive, would be dismissed immediately.
Ed Woodward, probably not alone, has done exactly that.
Manchester United could have signed Marouane Fellaini two weeks ago for his release clause. As it is they let that expire and now have had to pay £4 million pounds more.
Why?The answer is simple. Fellaini was not the first, second and maybe not even third choice purchase for midfield.
First choice was Fabregas. Having stated from the outset that he would not leave Barcelona, United wasted three weeks trying to change his mind. Second choice Thiago Alcantara had, by this time, already packed his bags for Munich.
Third choice, and possibly the one with the most potential, was Ander Herrera. This deal appears to have been blown by Woodward. Depending upon which report you believe he either left it too late or decided he could negotiate the price down even though Bilbao were very explicit in saying this would not happen.
Another little known possibility, outside Spain that is, is that a hostile bid for a player attracts VAT at 21%. This is not payable if the player requests a transfer or if the club puts him on the market, neither of which scenario is the case here. I believe this is what Woodward was attempting to haggle over.
As Bilbao said they weren't selling for the money this was a fruitless exercise as they just refused to enter into a discussion about it. Woodward, if this is true, hadn't done his homework.
Think back to the Ferguson/Gill reign. By now, United would have Thiago, Fellaini and Herrera, possibly Fabregas, although I'm not sure Ferguson would have been as interested as Moyes in buying him.
All in all it was a calamitous transfer window for United. I don't blame Moyes, he has never operated at this level in the market before. I do blame Woodward and, if he has any decency, he will resign.
Do you agree? Should Woodward go?
image: © smemon