Nathan Edwards reports from Manchester United head coach Marc Skinner‘s media conference ahead of their game with Reading on Sunday (19/1/23).
Above: Manchester United boss Marc Skinner, who spoke to the media yesterday. Photo: Manchester United Women.
Marc Skinner still believes Manchester United women will remain a “key focus” despite the rumours of new ownership taking over Manchester United.
United lie in second place, after Chelsea and Arsenal battled out a 1-1 at The Emirates last weekend, giving Skinner’s side a perfect opportunity to put pressure on the London clubs, which they did when they thrashed rivals Liverpool 6-0.
And as they prepared for their match with Reading on Sunday, INEOS’ Chief Executive, James Ratcliffe, announced he would bid for Manchester United. If the 70-year-old’s bid is successful, he will take ownership of both the men’s and women’s teams, but Skinner only wants to see progression, whoever the owner.
The head coach said, “In all honesty, I can only comment on the actions I see every day. The reality is we are looking at investment and growth. We aren’t looking at standing still, so even this window we are looking at potential deals, we just don’t want to stand still.
“I don’t know about the ownership, but what we do well here is that they give you the information you need to know so there are no distractions. “I have no doubt that if our club does change hands in the future, then the women’s team will be a key focus.
“We have come way too far to just turn around now, from all the conversations I have had, it is always about how we move forward, not how we go back. I see that as a positive, regardless of who the owner is, and I am comfortable in understanding we are in the Club’s big plans going forward.”
Whilst the rumbles of new ownership carries on around United, Skinner wants to continue to invest in this coming transfer window but has also faced challenges in recent years caused by the new rules surrounding work permits.
The Red Devils’ boss said, “It is very difficult to get players in now. There are many very good players overseas, that you can’t get into the country. It is difficult and I think the structure of how we allow players to get in and the point tallies are too high for a talented player.
“We are still protecting the younger English players; just look how many English players we have in our team. But it isn’t just about that, it is about adding the right players, and if we want our league to be the very best then I think we need to look at how the ceiling of the points is a little bit too high.”
In his 18-month spell in charge of the club, Skinner has created one of the top teams in the division and is keen to stay on as the head coach once his two-year contract, with an optional third year, comes to an end.
The United boss said, “The whole reason we sign the option is that’s in the club’s prerogative to do that. There are conversations, of course. If you know me, I’m very simple and straight over what I want to do, which is to win here. I’m hoping that the qualities we’re putting out on the field, the consistency, the clean sheets, the goals, the way we perform, the fan growth, hopefully, there are a lot of indicators as to why we should be here for a long time.
“I’m really easy on that – I trust the club wholeheartedly; I trust everything we do here. It’s not about me, it’s about this team and us being focused on what we’ve got to do, which is perform against Reading and try and take another win.”