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MICHAEL CARRICK is one of the most intelligent footballers I know, so really didn’t need telling he wasn’t going to be Manchester United’s next manager.

But the fact United have brought in Ralf Rangnick as an interim to replace the interim, before they get the man they really want, is ridiculous.

6Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is in temporary charge of the Red DevilsCredit: SPLASH 6Carrick has replaced the recently-sacked Ole Gunnar SolskjaerCredit: REUTERS 6But German Ralf Rangnick is set to replace Carrick as interim United bossCredit: REX

I’ve never heard anything so stupid in my life, whichever way you look at it.

And then we hear that if Rangnick wins the Champions League, he could end up staying as manager after all, rather than a couple of years as a consultant, director or whatever.

So the interim manager could become the full-time manager, which means the manager they want full-time now might not be the one they want full-time in six months.

If you’re not confused by all that, I certainly am! And we’re talking one of the biggest clubs in the world here. It’s crazy.

If they wanted Mauricio Pochettino, as we were led to believe, then there were ways and means to make it happen now.

And if they had to wait for him, they shouldn’t have pushed Michael aside and put someone above him for a few months. What does that say? We’ve got no faith in you?

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I know Carrick very well. I took him to West Ham when he was 12 and was about an hour away from signing him for Portsmouth, too, but I’ll come back to that.

The thing is, he knows United inside out. He’s got a great footballing brain — you don’t play the game how he did unless you understand it.

If they needed to bring in anyone before a manager was appointed, then get a coach alongside him, because they were a man down after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left.

They should have just gone for someone experienced, but let Michael run the show until then.

He wouldn’t be the first to get a chance and then, who knows, possibly go on to be a great manager himself.

People would have looked back on that and given him a call, had he done a decent job. No chance of that now.

I actually think United missed a trick in not going for Antonio Conte when he was free, because the writing was on the wall for a long time with Ole.

I’m not having this stuff about Conte only ever staying at clubs for a couple of years either.

If you’re Manchester United manager, there aren’t many places you go upwards after that.

6Former Prem boss Harry Redknapp reckons Carrick should be given the chance to lead United on a more permanent basisCredit: ACTION 6Redknapp managed Carrick during his time in charge of West HamCredit: NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD

Daniel Levy will have seen the danger, that’s why he got him in so quickly at Spurs. He’ll have known that when he got rid of Nuno Espirito Santo.

It will be interesting to see the reaction if Michael gets a result at Chelsea today. That’d be a tough act for Rangnick to follow.

I’ve always had a lot of time for Carrick and when I was at Portsmouth, I had a deal in place to sign him from West Ham for about £2.4million.

It was all agreed and he was actually halfway down the motorway for a medical when I got a phone call from his agent saying Spurs wanted him.

Jacques Santini was manager at the time but didn’t have a clue about it. Levy was the one who did the deal.

Daniel told me when he saw I wanted Michael, having worked with him at West Ham, there must be something about him and at the price, it was worth taking a chance.

So Michael and his agent turned around at the next exit, went to Spurs and from there he ended up going to United.

What a player he was too, he controlled the game from the middle, saw everything, could hit a pass and dictated the pace.

So don’t tell me he doesn’t have the nous to be a boss, because he does.

But whether it’s him or Rangnick, a club like United shouldn’t have been talking interims in the first place.

I never got a call from them when I was a manager, but if I had it’s a very difficult one to turn down.

If they made an offer, 99 per cent in the world would jump on a plane, get in the car, whatever it took — but you’d be there the next day.

It’s not an easy one at the minute, but what a club, what a job, what an incredible opportunity.

I’m just so disappointed they didn’t stick with Michael until then.

6Carrick guided United to victory in their Champions League clash with Villarreal on TuesdayCredit: REX

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Carrick says next manager will inherit perfect foundations to bring back glory days at Man Utd thanks to Solskjaer

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Tags: man utd email manchester united news premier league shouldn’t if you’re ole gunnar solskjaer michael carrick manchester united a couple of years champions league harry redknapp ralf rangnick in the world next manager when he because

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Brighton boss Powell says Women’s FA Cup prize money does ‘not match up’ with the growth of the game

HOPE POWELL has backed fan-led demands for more prize money for clubs competing in the Women’s FA Cup.  

And the Brighton manager reckons the cash fund for fourth-round winners does “not match up” with the women’s game’s popularity.

2Hope Powell reckons prize money for women's sides battling in the fourth round of the FA Cup should be more than what is currently offeredCredit: PA

Powell, whose Seagulls play Arsenal later, was speaking ahead of Albion’s FA Cup clash with Reading - one of 16 of fourth-round ties taking place this weekend.

Women’s sides who win duels at this point are currently awarded £2000, while clubs that lose collect £500.

This is in stark contrast to the £90,000 given to men’s teams who triumph at this stage.

Powell said: "Prize money in this round arguably should be more.

“How much more? I don't know, but the figures don’t quite match up to where the game is at the moment.

"With what the game is offering, the attention it's receiving and the players and all that they do for the professionalisation of it all, everybody's striving for that.

“There is an appetite for it with where the women's game is at now, with its fanbase at (last year's) final at Wembley and the (crowd) numbers (of more than 40,000) that game commanded.

“I don't think the figures quite match up to where the game is at present.”

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Powell’s comments come a month after Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said Cup prize money for women's clubs was not ‘anywhere near where it needs to be’.  

And Tottenham chief Rehanne Skinner believes rewards for teams battling to win the trophy needs to align with the progress the contest has made.

A peak audience of 1.3million tuned into the BBC to watch Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-1 in last year’s final in December.

“Everybody is working incredibly hard to evolve the women's game. That's got to be reflected in what the prize money is and the way the clubs are supported.

Rehanne Skinner - Tottenham head coach

And the record TV audience for a women’s club game on national television remains the 2.2million who watched Manchester City defeat West Ham in the 2019 FA Cup final.

Today, Skinner told reporters: “Everybody is working incredibly hard to evolve the women's game.

"That's got to be reflected in what the prize money is and the way the clubs are supported in terms of performance levels."

On Wednesday politicians from across the parties led a debate calling on the sport's authorities to review the matter.

And Labour MP Alison McGovern slammed the gulf in funds awarded to men’s and women’s sides urging the government to press football chiefs to look at the issue.

Cup winning men’s teams currently bank £1.8million while their female counterparts receive £25,000.

The former Shadow Sports Minister said: “There's absolutely no objective justification for this incredible disparity in prize money. It's our flagship competition.”

The Women’s Football Fan Collective is among a number of groups and individuals demanding equal cash prizes for teams.

 Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

2Women's FA Cup winners earn £25,000 whilst men's teams receive a £1.8million in prize moneyCredit: Getty

Its members are due to host a virtual town hall meeting this evening in the run-up to games this weekend.

Organisers have called on spectators to join supporter-led protests at fourth-round FA Cup matches.

They plan to lead chants calling for action in the 51st and 71st minute of games on Saturday and Sunday. 

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