Solskjaer refuses to take Neville to task over Woodward transfer jibe

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists now is not the time to dwell on Manchester United’s transfer record after he refused to take Gary Neville to task over his comments over Ed Woodward.

United’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield on Sunday means Liverpool’s lead over their arch-enemies 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.”


Solskjaer was given the chance to respond to his former teammmate’s comments during Tuesday morning’s presser to preview Wednesday’s clash with Burnley, but the United boss was in no mood to pick arguments.

“For me now, we’ve lost to Liverpool, a team you all say are fantastic and we’ve been in the game until the last kick of the ball and of course we’re disappointed losing the game, we don’t want to be behind them in the league but there were signs there we are on the right track,” he said. “Now is not the time to speak about recruitment. We’re looking to Burnley.”

Solskjaer added: “We’re always looking to improve the squad and the club but now is not the time on Gary and the discussion.”

United will reportedly announce in the coming days an agreement has been reached for Bruno Fernandes after it was claimed they had agreed to “meet in the middle” over their negotiations with Sporting Lisbon.