Jose Mourinho has moved to increase Sir Alex Ferguson’s influence on decision-making at Old Trafford as part of the manager’s efforts to return Manchester United to the summit of English football.
Ferguson has been the most publicly prominent member of United’s ‘Football Club Board’ since the Septuagenarian voluntarily stepped down as manager in the summer of 2013.
His directorship, however, has been essentially ceremonial, with the main board of Manchester United PLC regularly ignoring his counsel on how the club should be run.qeup
Though Ferguson was allowed to select his immediate successor as manager as a condition of his retirement, the nine-man PLC board have excluded him from the appointment processes that resulted in both Louis van Gaal in 2014, and Mourinho this summer, taking the role he left.
United’s other Football Club Board directors, including Sir Bobby Charlton and former chief executive David Gill, have also been sidelined.
The main PLC board is composed of Glazer brothers Joel, Avram, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie, and Edward, plus executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, group managing director Richard Arnold and commercial director Jamieson Reigle. None of the nine directors possess experience of running a football club before joining United’s board.
According to club sources, Ferguson has been frustrated by the limitations of his own directorship at United. While the Scot has been well remunerated by the Glazers in his role as a ‘global ambassador’ for the club, Ferguson believes his experience, knowledge and skills should be deployed to help run United more efficiently.
Mourinho is sympathetic to that position and is pushing for Ferguson’s subsidiary board to be more closely integrated with the Glazer-led plc board.
The Portuguese has long-held a strong relationship with the 74-year-old, and was initially selected by Ferguson to take over as United’s manager for the 2013/14 season before Roman Abramovich intervened to tempt him back to Chelsea for a second spell.