What began as a clever idea aimed at continuity to overhaul a club battling nearly a decade of tumult has ended in shambles, with Ralf Rangnick leaving Manchester United before he ever began his part-time, post-interim managerial consultancy role.
If all of that seems messy and complicated, that’s because it is. That’s the current state of Manchester United Football Club.
The idea was the Rangnick, who’s operated (brilliantly, it should be said) almost exclusively in a director’s role for the last decade, would serve as the metaphorical bridge between nine years of constant change since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and the next manager to take over on a permanent basis (now known to be Erik ten Hag). He would have likely been most heavily involved in identifying and recruiting potential signings as Ten Hag’s advisor.
It was hardly a poor or silly idea, only Rangnick’s Man United was unfathomably poor (and dull), and probably none of the involved parties wanted to extend his stay at Old Trafford by a further two seasons. The 58 points won by Manchester United this season were their fewest ever in the Premier League, and the worst top-division total since 1988-89 (Ferguson’s third season at Old Trafford).
It is likely that Rangnick won’t be the only face to depart Man United this summer, with Paul Pogba’s contract set to expire in a few weeks and a whole host of unhappy and/or underperforming players agitating for (or being given) a move elsewhere.
Manchester United confirmed Rangnick’s departure in a brief statement on Sunday.
“We would like to thank Ralf Rangnick for his efforts as interim manager over the past six months.
“By mutual agreement, Ralf will now focus solely on his new role as manager of the Austria national team and will not therefore be taking up a consultancy role at Old Trafford.
“We would like to wish Ralf the best of luck in this next chapter of his career.”