Man Utd are making huge changes ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe coming into the club | Football Digest
Former Manchester United scout Marcel Bout has proven a significant criticism of the club’s owners true after his sacking last summer. The Glazer family are set to transfer sporting control to Sir Jim Ratcliffe once he buys a 25 per cent stake, which could solve a problem that has hampered United throughout their decade of decline.
The Red Devils have often faced criticism for their lack of proactivity in the transfer market, missing out on several top stars since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Ed Woodward was blasted for his dealings as chief executive, as have his departing successor Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough, also heading for the exit door.
But Joel Glazer has reportedly made both Woodward and Arnold’s jobs harder with frustrating indecisiveness that has continued to cost United and undoubtedly contributed to the club’s decline.
Bout joined United in 2014 but lost his job last year as part of a shake-up of the football department, soon to be reshuffled again by Sir Jim and INEOS.
He has revealed he criticised the running of the club internally before his dismissal, particularly how often they missed out on positive signings because of relentless delays among decision-makers.
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“I could have been an ideal guide for Ten Hag within the club. But Manchester United is not only a fantastic club, but also a difficult club,” Bout told Algemeen Dagblad.
“Everything is politically and commercially driven. My dismissal was a political dismissal. An influential Dutch bloc [at the club]… Not everyone liked that.
“I have been critical [of United] internally. A major annoyance was the long lines [delays] within United to make decisions about interesting players.
“Other top European clubs now have top players that we had seen early on with the scouting staff.
Bout added that he recommended that United sign Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, two players current manager Erik ten Hag would undoubtedly love to have with him at Old Trafford.
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He said: “The 17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt was then playing for Ajax, and later, Frenkie de Jong followed suit.
“‘Make sure that United makes a deal early on for these types of talents. Then you can always let them develop for a while in the Netherlands,’ I said.”
Sir Jim and INEOS’ fresh strategy will be a welcome change within the walls at Old Trafford after years of underachievement in different departments.
Bout is unlikely to be the only staff member, past and present, to have grown frustrated with the Glazers’ directionless sporting decisions.
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