January 24 – Increasingly frustrated at their once all-conquering team’s diminishing reputation and lacklustre displays, Manchester United fans have been criticised for the way in which they have taken their frustrations out on chief executive Ed Woodward (pictured).
Despite a multi-million pound squad in virtually every position, United have looked a disjointed side under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose position is reportedly on the line as they struggle to break into the top four in the Premier League.
But it is Woodward, along with the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, who has mainly been the object of the fans’ displeasure which came to a head with a highly offensive chant during the midweek 2-0 home defeat by Burnley.
Instead of the usual “sack the board” protests from disaffected supporters, a section of United support sang a graphically vile song about killing Woodward and the Glazers to the tune of the famous 19th century American folk song, Clementine.
Woodward is regarded as the middle man between the Glazers and the manager but is being blamed for a lack of signings to boost United’s expensively assembled but bewilderingly rudderless squad.
While commercial progress is rife, success on the field has been hard to come by ever since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson with a succession of managers hired and fired.
But the midweek unsavoury chanting caused outrage among commentators while Solskjaer, whose team visit League One Tranmere Rovers in a potentially pivotal FA Cup tie on Sunday, also condemned it.
“For me it’s important that we stick together,” he said. “Help the players, help the team and help the club to move forward. I think everyone knows when they have overstepped the line.”
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