Former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has admitted his former club’s facilities are ‘miles behind’ their competitors.
The Red Devils academy graduate’s comments reflect those made by fellow former United star Cristiano Ronaldo, who also criticised the club’s gym and other areas behind the scenes.
After spending 22 years of his career at Old Trafford, Lingard left his boyhood club in the summer following the expiration of his contract, moving to Nottingham Forest after a break down in talks with West Ham.
And he says he didn’t see much modernisation during his lengthy time as a Manchester United player.
“They’re so behind on everything,” he told the Diary of a CEO podcast.
“You see [Manchester] City’s facilities, Tottenham’s facilities. People are miles ahead. Even the social [media] side of things.
“I went to them in 2017 about YouTube and doing content – I just wanted them to get up to date with everything and the new things that are happening.
“You have to be relevant and stay relevant.”
Despite not name dropping him in the podcast, Lingard’s claims about Man United’s set up mirror those made by Ronaldo in his explosive TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan that led to his contract being mutually terminated.
According to the Portuguese superstar, Man United had failed to upgrade the facilities from when he left for Real Madrid in 2009.
“Piers, to be honest, when I signed for Manchester United, I thought everything had changed because it’s 13 years since I change. I was in Real Madrid nine years and three in Juventus,” he said.
“And when I arrived, I thought everything will be different, you know, the technology, the infrastructures and everything.
“But I was surprised, in a bad way, let’s say in that way… because I saw, everything was the same.”
However after questioning the club’s ageing facilities, Lingard went on to explain he wasn’t sure who to pin that lack of investment on, given no one at the club knew who was meant to be making those decisions.
“We don’t know [who’s calling the shots],” Lingard revealed. “And of course now they [owners the Glazers] want to sell the club. We were just behind on a lot of things. Players didn’t really take a view.
“You want the modern things, you want the things that are popping off at the time, but we don’t know who calls the shots on the training ground and that sort of thing. Flash training ground, best facilities, no-one talking in the press about the team.”
Lingard has made 16 appearances for his new club Nottingham Forest this season, scoring two goals and recording two assists in that time.