Gary Neville says the next six months are 'critical' for Manchester United to restructure club
Last Updated: 19/12/18 10:31am
The next six months will be "critical" for Manchester United to "restructure" the club after sacking Jose Mourinho, says Gary Neville.
United parted company with Mourinho on Tuesday morning having endured their worst start to a Premier League season under his stewardship, only months after he spent much of pre-season suggesting he had not been supported in the transfer market over his desire to bring in a new defender.
Sky Sports understands the Portuguese manager was also unwilling for the club to change its model and bring in a sporting director, as Arsenal did during the summer, but Neville told a The Debate special now was the time for United to step up to the plate and restructure their off-field operation.
He said: "This next six months is a critical period of planning and restructuring. I can't for one minute believe that the board and owners are going to continue to operate the club off the pitch in the same way they have in the last few years.
"They need the best in class football leaders in that club, that's people who have done it with the best clubs in the world, the best clubs in Europe who have operated recruitment departments, who have looked at the technical side of the game, academies to first team - Sir Alex Ferguson did that himself. He linked the whole club as one, and that's not possible any more. The club's too big, it's huge.
"They have got a fantastic commercial and operations side, a model that has been copied all around the world, and they deserve huge credit for that. It's innovative, it's a machine. But on the football side, since Sir Alex and David Gill left, there's been a huge void.
"I think it's time to put a more modern system in - sporting director, technical director - but the very best in class."
Neville added Mourinho's reluctance to work alongside a sporting or technical director told a story of its own - that the manager wielded too much power at Old Trafford.
"I've got a problem that the coach of a club tells the owners what structure they should be deploying above him," he said. "There's a lack of control. If they've had to get rid of Jose to appoint one, but the idea that they were being stopped in the first place is a nonsense.
"You call that person what you like, but you need a best-in-class operator on the football side. This is the biggest club in the world, in my opinion, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Most revenue, biggest pockets, and I'm sure the owners want their investment spent wisely.
"So you have to go and get the best people to get players for you and be ahead of the game. At the moment the recruitment has been led for the last six-seven years by managers' philosophies, not by the club's. That's a big problem."