Biggest Loser In David Moyes Fallout Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

By Douglas Smith
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Getty Images

There have been rumors of David Moyes‘s firing from Manchester United since the middle of the season. On Monday morning, several credible sources in the United Kingdom reported that Moyes was officially out and that Ryan Giggs would take over for the rest of the season. Rumors will swirl over who the next full-time coach will be, but the person losing the most is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer took over in Cardiff City with the odds stacked against him. He has a lot of obstacles in his way, including a meddling owner. Cardiff City is still fighting against relegation with a must-win match against Sunderland on the horizon. Before coming to Cardiff, Solskjaer led Molde to the 2013 Norwegian Cup championship earning them a spot in the 2014-15 Europa League.

Solskjaer could have stayed at Molde instead of returning to the Premier League. He surely would have been the leading candidate for the Manchester United opening as he is considered a Man U legend by many. He appeared in 236 games for the team and earned the title of super sub in his early years. He battled through some injury-plagued seasons, but may be remembered most for helping his team secure a treble by scoring the winner in stoppage time of the 1999 Champions League final.

Solskjaer rejected offers from other teams to stay in Manchester. His play and attitude made him a fan favorite with a sign stating “20 LEGEND” in the Stretford End showing their gratitude. He was a patron of the supporters’ action group. Solskjaer became an ambassador for the club and signed his final pro contract in 2006 with a stipulation that he would train as a coach. He was so successful as coach of the Manchester United Reserves that he received an offer to coach the Norwegian National Team, although he declined.

Solskjaer has a rolling contract at Cardiff, so perhaps there is flexibility and maybe an easy out. Solskjaer is apparently earning around £75,000 per week, which is just under seven times his Molde wage. He’s also in line for a £2 million bonus if he keeps Cardiff up. Although it is not confirmed, Moyes is making around £115,000 per week with a more firm contract.

With Moyes failing in the eyes of Manchester United brass, Solskjaer would have been in line for at least the same compensation package.

Manchester United will hope that Moyes resigns to save money on a large buyout clause as they turn their focus to the next coach. If the rumors are true of his firing, Solskjaer has to be kicking himself. He could have went somewhere that feels like home with the backing of ownership and fans. Perhaps it will still work out for Solskjaer, but he left Molde for the wrong team.

Douglas Smith is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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