Woodward rules out director role
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has ruled out the prospect of bringing in a director of football to take some of the burden off new manager David Moyes.
In the wake of a disastrous transfer window, it was suggested Moyes needed someone alongside him to share the load.
The idea of a director of football has increasingly been in vogue, with Manchester City amongst the clubs to embrace the concept.
However, Woodward insists it is not in United's plans as the club trusts Moyes to get it right.
"We don't have a director of football because we back the manager," Woodward told United We Stand.
"We don't want the manager to be a hired gun for the next two or three years. We want the next generation to enjoy having him there creating his own legacy.
"When a scout recommends a brilliant right-back or a coach recommends one from our academy, we want the manager to weigh up what is right for the team.
"He can decide. He is the football expert."
Moyes did not begin work until July 1, after United had opted against buying the Scot out of his Everton contract, reducing the time available to bring in new players.
As a consequence, Marouane Fellaini, who had been available for £23.5million prior to July 31, was the only significant purchase, and costing £4million more.
"It was disappointing that we didn't sign more players but I always knew it was going to be a tough window," said Woodward.
"As a club, we didn't want to impose a plan on the new manager that had come from the old manager.
"I know other clubs have done that across the Premier League, where a director of football has bought players even before the new manager has arrived.
"That happened very close to home. We didn't want to do that. We have a manager who we want to give our full support to make his decisions about the players and the decisions about the academy.
"He has the same power that Alex did."
Undeniably, mistakes were made.
The pursuit of Cesc Fabregas went on too long, even though Woodward is unrepentant about the public pursuit of the Barcelona midfielder.
"It was an approach specific to the selling club," he said.
"We had to make certain one-off decisions and messages."
And the attempt to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao looked somewhat farcical, even if the truth is rather more mundane.
"We should have denied all the stories on the last day about Herrera because they were rubbish," said Woodward of a bizarre saga that included three unidentified men turning up at La Liga headquarters trying to force through a deal.
"I've got no idea (who they were).
"I had seven people call me on the last day and try to insert themselves into a deal.
"I can only imagine that people who wanted to insert themselves into the deal turned up at the league's offices.
"They were nothing to do with us, nothing to do with the agent and, according to Bilbao, nothing to do with them.
"Once they had said to us: 'Only the buy clause being met will issue a release', we knew it wasn't going to happen."
The repeated failures led to the charge United had no intention of spending the money.
It is a charge Woodward strenuously denies.
"Yes," he said, when asked if United can buy 'top, top' players.
Former assistant-manager Mike Phelan suggested earlier this week Cristiano Ronaldo was on the hit list of potential targets had Ferguson remained.
As Ronaldo has since signed a contract extension at Real Madrid, that possibility now appears remote.
Woodward is not ruling it out completely though.
"Who knows?" he said.
"I don't like the fact that, in the list of 25 players in the Ballon D'Or, we'll have Robin (van Persie) and Wayne (Rooney).
"I don't like the fact there are consistently more players from Spain on that list.
"We, as a club, should be aspiring to have the best players playing for us. We've had that in the past.
"We're in for players if the manager wants to be."