Manchester United suffering from ‘cultural problem’ as Man City build ‘football empire’, says Gary Neville

Gary Neville has said Manchester United’s problems will not be solved by the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with rivals Man City providing a blueprint on how a club can thrive.

Former United striker Solskjaer was sacked as head coach on Sunday, following his side’s 4-1 thrashing by struggling Watford on Saturday.

The Norwegian had overseen a poor recent run of results and failed to win any silverware in his three years in charge at Old Trafford, but United’s lack of success is not solely down to Solskjaer, Neville said of his former Red Devils teammate.

“There is a cultural problem at the club,” the former United and England defender said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

“Ole has taken a battering over the last few months, that is what you get when you are a manager of a football club – particularly one the size of Manchester United. But the reality is that once he leaves, the focus of attention will be elsewhere.


“It will be on the football executives, it will be on the decision-makers, it will be on the owners. They have proven that without Sir Alex Ferguson that they cannot operate properly as a football club.

“If you spend over £1billion, you bring in world-class managers in [Jose] Mourinho and [Louis] van Gaal, and they struggle to get the success the club wants, there is something fundamentally wrong at the club that means they are not winning. Something has got to change for the club to get to where it needs to be.”

Neville contrasted the situation at United to how rivals Man City are operating, saying: “I see a new 25,000-seater music arena being built [on the Etihad campus], there’s a world-class football academy, world-class facilities, there’s a mini stadium which the academy and women’s teams use.

“They have built a football empire [at Man City], where everything threads through and they make good decisions on and off the pitch.

“Yet over the road at Old Trafford, where they have got the best asset in the world in Manchester United – the biggest football club in the world in my opinion, and certainly the biggest football club in this country – you’ve had a lot of money being spent over the past eight years, but the decision-making has been really poor.”

Solskjaer leaves United eighth in the Premier League, with just one win in their last seven fixtures in the competition.

Meanwhile, defending champions Man City are second in the table, three points behind leaders Chelsea.

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