Former Manchester United scout Marcel Bout has opened up about his exit from the Premier League giants and feels he could have been ‘an ideal guide’ for Erik ten Hag.
The Dutchman’s frustrations will feel particularly familiar to those who remember what Marcel Bout’s long-time ally Louis van Gaal once said about life at Old Trafford under Glazer ownership.
Bout, speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, tells a story of a club beset with delays behind the scenes, lacking any sort of leadership from the top, and an ownership group who make genuine sporting success far more difficult than it really should be for a club of such stature and resources.
The Haarlem-born 60-year-old was appointed alongside Van Gaal in 2014 and left in 2022, much to the frustration of a man who feels his presence would only have been beneficial to his compatriot in the Manchester United dugout.
Marcel Bout spent eight years at Manchester United
“I could have been an ideal guide for Ten Hag within the club,” Bout argues.
“But Manchester United is not only a fantastic club, but also a difficult club. Everything is politically and commercially driven. My dismissal was a political dismissal. An influential Dutch bloc (at the club)… Not everyone liked that.
“I have been critical (of United) internally. A major annoyance was the long lines (delays) within United to make decisions about interesting players. Other top European clubs now have top players that we had seen early on with the scouting staff.”
Ralf Rangnick would no doubt echo Bout’s concerns.
Speaking last year, the former Manchester United coach admitted that he was denied the chance to bring in a host of brilliant young players, including Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, and Julian Alvarez, now a World Cup and treble-winner with Argentina and Manchester City.
At least, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent takeover threatening to transform a stagnant sporting structure and with an elite-level director of football likely to follow Jean-Claude Blanc to Old Trafford, some welcome change could finally be just around the corner.