Rio Ferdinand criticises Ed Woodward and ‘shocking’ Manchester United hierarchy

Ed Woodward has come in for criticism during his spell at United

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s track record and accused the hierarchy of “shocking management” in a damning assessment of the club.

United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager on Sunday morning following a 4-1 humiliation by Watford which left the team seventh in the Premier League table amid a dismal run of form.

Former United centre-back Ferdinand believes the lack of decisiveness in axing Solskjaer and appointing a replacement – with the club set to look for an interim head coach until the end of the season with Michael Carrick initially taking caretaker charge – revealed there are flaws in how the club is being run.

“The international break was the perfect time to do it [sack Solskjaer], I don’t know why they were dilly-dallying and waiting,” he said, Speaking onRio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. “That’s the big thing for me, that’s shocking management of the club. It’s all rush, rush, rush now. What frustrates me is, wow, there’s not a candidate out there who’s out of a job. It smacks of unorganised chaos really.”

On Woodward, Ferdinand added: “If you look at the mangers he’s brought in, have any been successful? No. Has recruitment of players worked out? No. All of that falls into his lap, he’s got to take responsibility for that.”


Ferdinand feels the players also have to take some responsibility for their poor form and believes Manchester United’s out-of-form captain Harry Maguire needs to be dropped from the team for his own good.

“Sometimes you need to be taken out the firing line. He’s had a long summer, a successful summer with England to a certain degree. He’s played a lot of football, comes back to United and physically and mentally it looks like there’s a hangover there.

“He won’t take himself out of it, I wouldn’t either, I’d try and play myself through it, but at the moment his performances haven’t been up to the level required, for him, for Man United. The bar he set himself wouldn’t be there.”

Solskjaer did a “very good job” in his time at the club up until this season, Ferdinand believes, but his position eventually became untenable.

“There’s so many different emotions. Disappointment, sadness, upset with it. I’ve seen a couple of my former teammates thank Ole for his time and I’m exactly the same. From where it was to where he got the club at the beginning of the season, he gave the hope back. Obviously things have gone backwards but up until that point Ole had done a very good job and done his remit, to stabilise the club.

“The biggest, most alarming thing was coming to a game and not knowing what formation we were going to play, having no real identity. The game yesterday was a terrible, terrible, terrible game. The fallout from that was only going to end one way.”

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