Gary Neville has taken Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to task after surveying the state of the club following their defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been dominant in all competitions this season, and despite periods of United pressure at Anfield on Sunday, the hosts were a class above their opponents once again as they secured a 2-0 win.
It meant Liverpool’s lead over United this season is a mammoth 30 points – illustrating what Neville feels is the biggest ever gulf in class between the sides during the Premier League era.
And with Liverpool on course to win a 19th league title this season – their first in 30 years – United have not won the crown since the 2012/13 season, the year Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
United, however, have ploughed millions into their side since then, with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Paul Pogba all arriving for big-money packages and all, in various forms, failing to deliver success.
In contrast, Liverpool have bought well with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho all arriving for big fees, but all significantly adding to their value by becoming vital parts of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
And Neville was quick to bemoan the level of talent on the field for United during Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Anfield.
“I can’t believe the investment that’s been put into the squad in the last five, six, seven years and you end up with that out on the pitch,” the former United defender said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“I saw a statistic two weeks ago that United have the second-highest wage bill in the world. And that’s the squad they’ve got. It’s unforgivable. It really is.
“I can’t change the ownership of Manchester United, no one can.
“But I’m struggling to understand why the ownership have persisted in trusting that management team to oversee the building of a Premier League title-winning team since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
“Because if you don’t lose your job for essentially overseeing that investment, that wage bill, and putting that team out on the pitch then I have to say something is really wrong.”
Neville added: “There’s real talent in that executive team, they can create revenue, they can do things within the football club that can help to be fair.
“But in terms of what the club needed to do for a number of years now is put the best in class football operators into that club and they’re not doing it.
“They’re not doing it and it’s a mess. They need to sort it out and quickly.”
The latest reports, meanwhile, claim United’s bid to sign Bruno Fernandes continues to drag on, amid claims the two clubs remain at loggerheads over the value of the midfielder and some distance apart on the deal.