Who'd be the Chosen One? Man U's Moyes gets the boot

After a dismal run of defeats on the pitch, Man Utd manager David Moyes has been sacked by the club this morning.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2014

The deed was done, according to a short official statement from the club, by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at a meeting with Moyes at around 8am. The first time the club have sacked a manger since 1986, which in the hire-and-fire world of modern football must be a record unlikely ever to be broken.

Moyes, whose brief and unhappy 10 months at Old Trafford have seen the club plummet to seventh in the premiership and fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995, was hand picked for the job by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired last year.  

But critics have claimed that he was a poor choice, that the 50 year old Scot’s managerial experience was insufficient to prepare him for life at one of the largest, most successful and most profitable clubs in the world.

The club’s failure to win reported bids for top players like Cesc Fabregas and Tiago Alcantara in the last transfer window must have raised questions in the mind of the controlling Glazer family over whether Moyes was the best person to have in charge of a players' budget that could top £150m. His fate was perhaps sealed over the weekend by Utd’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Everton, the club he used to manage. Oops.  

But it seems likely that Utd's failure to qualify for Europe was the straw that really broke the camel’s back, costing the club as it will tens of millions in lost revenues. Even Man U, with annual profits of around £130m, can’t afford to miss another Champions League next year. The Glazers will also be only too well aware that the cost of servicing the club’s substantial debts requires a top-flight funancial performance every year.

Perhaps the greatest irony - not lost on many Man U fans - is that Moyes was in some ways the managerial equivalent of the ‘home grown’ on-pitch talent that his legendary predecessor specialised in. He may not have had experience at the very top level, but Fergie clearly reckoned Moyes had the Right Stuff - don’t forget that it took Ferguson himself seven years to win his first League title, in 1993.

The six year contract that Moyes signed was perhaps a recognition that it might take a while for him to grow into the role - but the world has moved on since Sir Alex’s early days and modern clubs with their huge financial responsibilities simply can’t afford to wait that long.

So Moyes is on his way with a reported £5m pay off to keep the wolf from the door. Coach Ryan Giggs is to stand in for now, while the search gets under way for a replacement.

Who will it be? One favourite, Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp, has already ruled himself out. Whoever does get the job, it’s unlikely to a be another Brit. Perhaps today will come to be seen as the day that the Ferguson era at Man Utd really came to an end....

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