By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Sir Alex Ferguson is not part of the inner cabinet who will decide Louis van Gaal’s future, according to the ex Manchester United manager’s ghostwriter.
The under-fire manager’s position rests in the hands of four men, led by the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Van Gaal’s position came under fresh threat last weekend as United director David Gill revealed the board’s “disappointment” with the club’s results and performances this season.
Former United chief executive Gill claimed Van Gaal had overseen a “season of underachievement” at Old Trafford.
This prompted fresh speculation that leading officials were ready to end the reign of the Dutchman, whose team are fifth in the Premier League on 37 points, 10 adrift of the top, and have been knocked out of the Champions League.
According to Paul Hayward, who ghosted Ferguson’s autobiography in 2013, neither the greatest manager in United’s history or fellow board member Gill will have a major say on Van Gaal’s position.
The inner cabinet is restricted to members of the group board, rather than those on the football board.
“That cabinet is dominated by Woodward and extends no further than Richard Arnold, the group managing director, and Joel and Avi Glazer, sons of the late Malcolm, usually by conference call,” wrote Hayward in the Telegraph.
“The ‘old’ Manchester United of David Gill, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton are on the fringes, in consultative roles, but would play no part in a discussion on whether Van Gaal should be sacked, or even be aware if such a ‘meeting’ were to take place.”
Hayward is convinced that the Glazer family, who own United, have faith in Woodward to make the correct call on the club’s under-pressure manager.
“One clear truth is that Van Gaal is being protected by Woodward, and that the Glazers still trust their lieutenant to make the call on whether to keep or sack a manager who has won 11 of 29 games and delivered fewer shots on target at home than any of the 92 teams in England’s pyramid,” he aded.
“Some United-watchers wonder how Woodward could survive taking the club down consecutive cul-de-sacs in the 2½ years since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, first with David Moyes and now Van Gaal. But there is no sign the Glazers see it that way. The sense is that the owners would consider Van Gaal as solely responsible for squandering £250 million in the transfer market and trust Woodward alone to appoint a replacement.
“Underlying this faith of course is admiration for Woodward’s revenue-generating powers, which are the Glazers’ primary interest.”
In Manchester United news from earlier on Thursday, Van Gaal denied “horrible” and “awful” reports that he offered to resign as manager.