Manchester United Owners Don't Expect Title Challenge Till 2021/22 At The Earliest
Manchester United supporters will not be happy to find out that the club aren't planning on making a run for the Premier League title for at least another two years.
In the six years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager the club have fallen back from being Premier League winners in his last season to struggling to stay in the top six.
If any fans are hoping for a quick return to the top, from their current position, they are sadly mistaken. A source at the club has told ESPN FC that owners the Glazer family aren't expecting a title challenge till at least 2021/22.
Executive vice president Ed Woodward, who has also looked after transfer recruitment since David Gill left the club in 2013, along with Fergie, called for 'patience' during a conference call with investors on Tuesday.
It's not known if that 'patience' means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future is guaranteed no matter the results but it does suggest he'll be given more leeway than previous managers.
David Moyes didn't even last the whole season when he replaced Sir Alex, despite initially signing a six year deal at Old Trafford.
The Scot was sacked once Champions League football wasn't possible, after a loss to Everton, and was eventually replaced by Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman returned United to Europe with a fourth place finish in his first season but failed to repeat the trick the following year, getting sacked the same day he won the FA Cup.
Jose Mourinho took over in May 2016, finished sixth in his first season but won the Europa League and came second to Manchester City's record breakers in his second season, but couldn't see out three years.
Last December the club sacked the former Chelsea boss after a 3-1 loss to Liverpool and replaced him with Solskjaer who has started the task of rebuilding.
This summer the Norwegian helped oversee the sale of much of the team's deadwood, with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku leaving for Inter, Chris Smalling going to Roma and Matteo Darmian going to Parma.
They failed to replace the attacking players, or the departing Ander Herrera in midfield, but the additions of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James were good pieces of business.
Woodward accepts that the club needs a 'cultural reset' and it will take a few seasons and a few years of transfers to get where they want, whilst also developing youth players.
It won't go down well with fans right now but maybe they have something to hold onto, even if two years seems optimistic.
Can United compete for the Premier League title by 2021/22?