Home » The cost of failure – Manchester United’s mammoth pay-outs to departing managers

The cost of failure – Manchester United’s mammoth pay-outs to departing managers

by David O'Neill


Manchester United have spent a whopping £60m on severance packages for managers and their associated staff members since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

A report from The Athletic outlines the sheer scale of how badly the Red Devil’s have suffered financially from poor decision-making.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick were all moved on from their roles.

And in moving each of those managers on with plenty of time remaining on their respective contracts, United have ended up paying out huge sums to relieve them of their duties.

With Moyes (not to mention his staff) having over five years on his deal, his pay-out could have been even worse than the £4.9m the club ended up paying out.

A clause relating to Champions League qualification spared United a monumental pay-out, with the club removing him once that target became mathematically impossible.

Louis van Gaal still had a year to go at United but was sacked to the tune of £8.4m shortly after lifted the FA Cup.

Jose Mourinho was sacked barely six months after signing a new deal with Man United and no qualification clause was in effect when he was relieved of his duties late in 2018.

The result was a mammoth £19.6m severance package for him and his staff.

It is unclear how much was paid to Solskjaer or Rangnick individually, but the clubs accounts list the ‘Exceptional items’ inclusive of managerial compensation to weigh in at £24.7m for the year ending June 30th, 2022.

The £60m spent on such items since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement puts United comfortably ahead of their top six rivals for money paid out to terminate contracts.

Chelsea are second on the list having spent £38.8m sacking their managers in the same time period, with Antonio Conte and his army of staff members making up £26.6m of that. As one would expect, Manchester City’s figures are unknown.

With the cost of failure amounting to so high a figure for the Red Devils, the hierarchy at Old Trafford will be hoping Erik ten Hag will be a case of ‘sixth time’s the charm.’

Thus far, the cost of mismanagement under the Glazers since the end of Ferguson’s tenure just keeps on mounting up.

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