Gary Neville spoke about Manchester United's lack of a plan for the summer transfer window following the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, and believes they are so hesitant to do business due to a fear of repeating mistakes from previous summers.
Most of United's rivals have been active in the market this summer, notably Chelsea, who have made six high-profile signings. Meanwhile, United's only major addition so far is Donny van de Beek from Ajax.
United remain keen on landing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund but are unwilling to pay Dortmund's asking price for the player.
That saga seems set to drag on until the window closes on October 5 and frustration among some fans will only increase the longer United go without signing any players.
"Not feeling like they want to get done in the market, because of what has happened in the last eight years, I think the people there (at United) have lost their confidence and they've tried to now go the other way in terms of, 'we can't overpay'," he said on The Gary Neville podcast.
"You see Liverpool getting a player for £40million, for £25million. [Timo] Werner [at Chelsea] obviously is quite cheap compared to some of the prices you see in the market.
"Manchester United always seem to have to pay top dollar. I don't think the people at the club will like that. They'll feel as though they are easy pickings and there is a suggestion of that.
"The problem is they have to find a way to get deals done, and they can't get deals done efficiently. It is negligence to not get the squad in place. They have had six months to get the squad in place since lockdown. So much time to be able to deliberate, Zoom call, scout and connect with agents.
"There is no excuse for not getting your deals done sort of towards the start of the season. They needed four or five players. I know Liverpool have only got theirs done in the last couple of days, but there is a feeling that Liverpool are in control.
"It's easier when they are champions but Manchester United have the money. If they can spend 90 to 100million on Sancho, they've got the money to do the deals. They haven't got the quality and the experience of football people with the right experience in the club. It looks like a complex, convoluted structure. I'm not sure where the decisions lie.
"Liverpool and Chelsea are definite and precise, same with Manchester City. United don't seem to be able to get their business done and that unfortunately has been a massive problem, whether it be signing the wrong players... United's recruitment has been better in the last 18 months but there is still that issue of them not being able to get deals over the line quick enough to get the squad together in time for the start of the season and you end up with that yesterday (against Palace).
"What yesterday does is make them weaker because now clubs that they want players off are going to be looking at it and thinking, 'we'll relax, they're going to come, they're going to have to'. That's the problem that United have got. They have not got the authority and control in the transfer market.
"The people who are in charge of this won't like hearing it but they've got to hear it because they are not doing their jobs. The players and the manager get criticised, but the people in the stands have a job to put a strong team on the pitch to build a team that can win the league. And in the last eight years, they haven't done it and it's a problem."