Karren Brady backs Ed Woodward, insisting Jose Mourinho should be blamed for Manchester United’s struggles


Karren Brady backs Ed Woodward, insisting Jose Mourinho should be blamed for Manchester United’s struggles

West Ham chief Karren Brady has leapt to the defence of Ed Woodward, insisting the Manchester United vice-chairman is not to blame for the club’s struggles on the pitch.

United have seen three managers fail to make the required impact in the past five years, with Jose Mourinho the latest to be axed, after Louis van Gaal and David Moyes’ reigns were also brought to a swift end.

Ed Woodward has been backed by Karren Brady

The Premier League giants have failed to win the title following Fergie’s exit in 2013 and, this term, they already find themselves a staggering 22 points off the top of the table.

Woodward has been heavily criticised in some quarters for his part in United’s continued struggles and his approach to transfers, as well as picking managers, has seen his ability to be the club’s deal-maker questioned.

But, according to West Ham counterpart Brady, Woodward did his best to support and back Mourinho and the Portuguese deserves all the blame for failing to get it right at Old Trafford.

In her column for The Sun, Brady wrote: “Blame the Glazers. Blame executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

“Blame Paul Pogba. Blame the whole squad. Blame the club structure. Blame the silent supporters. Find the boardroom cat and blame it. But according to Jose Mourinho, don’t blame Jose Mourinho.

“Well, I do. There may be a few other lesser causes for this season’s struggles but Mourinho must be accused of losing his way at Old Trafford if, indeed, he ever quite found it.

Mourinho was sacked after two-and-a-half years in charge of United

“Now heavy words are already being aimed at Woodward, as they were bound to be. Perhaps somewhere at some time he took a shaky step. We all do, those of us in the boardroom who take ultimate responsibility.

“I know I’ve had plenty. I mean, engineering a move to a 60,000-seater stadium, slap in the middle of London, our prime area, helping our community in any number of ways, having the cheapest tickets in the Premier League and doing so at a cost that must turn Spurs chairman Daniel Levy green with envy makes me a target for some social media smarties who don’t know a good thing from a kick in the breaches.

“Being a woman doesn’t help either. Woodward isn’t that, of course. But I know him to be utterly devoted to the Manchester United cause.

“Being responsible for one of the most famous clubs in the world is as lonely a job as there is in football and it has not helped that the six Glazer siblings measure success as an investment probably more than they do in achievements.

Brady is West Ham’s vice chairman

“They appear happy for Woodward to do all the spadework. However, while their 47-year-old point man did the actual sacking it would be fair to say that when Mourinho praised Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday for everything that United weren’t, he had in effect sacked himself. He had also declared unilaterally that his team were in crisis.

“It isn’t Woodward’s doing. He doesn’t take training, pick the players, decide team strategy, and agree to a raft of transfers of the calibre of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, neither of whom met Mourinho’s approval and were omitted from a number of recent matches.

“In appointing Mourinho, physics-graduate-turned-accountant Woodward chose the best available candidate with easily the most impressive record and can only have been confident he would outperform the two managers who had tried to fill the unfillable boots of Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It was a choice millions of United supporters liked. Being kingmaker is almost as hard as being king. No, Mourinho was largely to blame for his own demise. His behaviour hinted that he was an uncomfortable fit at Old Trafford.