Man United Need to Align Financial Power with Clarity

Old Trafford (via Flikr Creative Commons).
Old Trafford (via Flikr Creative Commons). /

For football fans of a certain vintage, whether they’re of a Manchester United persuasion or otherwise, these are particularly unseen times. For many, Manchester United’s domestic dominance has all they’ve known, like a dictator which rules for so long, you cannot do anything but accept their authority and rule as the norm..

Now though, two and a half seasons since Alex Ferguson finally left his Old Trafford throne, Man United couldn’t look farther from that chief-leader of English football. Man United’s latest loss – 2-1 away to Bournemouth, was a further indictment of the current plight of the Old Trafford club.

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Current polls suggest about half of fans want the Dutchman sacked immediately, while over two thirds would want it at least considered in May. That they want him sacked is not the issue – he isn’t doing a great job, especially one where style is a prerequisite alongside substance.


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Man United exited the Champions League last week sources close to several Man United journalists suggested one of Gareth Bale, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo will be transfer targets in the summer. That the Man United hierarchy think that will fix their issue suggest two things: (1) they’ve learned nothing since Ed Woodward took over that David Gill and (2); they still have an awful lot of money and remain a world heavyweight.

Put simply, Man United could withstand more time outside of the Champions League than any other Premier League by a distance and still have the finances to keep on building back toward the top. So the idea of Man United dropping away from the elite in a similar fashion to that of Liverpool in the early 1990’s is more or less out of the question.

But that does not go close to excusing the club for their gross incompetence in recent years when it comes to player trading. The Angel Di Maria saga comes to mind, but this dates back pre Ed Woodward, but has been greatly exacerbated since his arrival as the main man on the ground in Manchester. The Ander Herrera mix-up was the first time it really came to the fore, and the problems remain.

While many praised Manchester United’s swift business at the beginning of the summer window, their clever work dropped off a cliff toward the end, with several gaping holes in the squad remaining. Keeping David De Gea was seen as a coup – and rightly so – but the problem with Wayne Rooney and the lack of other options up front are what is keeping Man United from being a really top team.

With the finances Man United possess, they should have a complete squad, not only of several disjointed cogs with an inconsistent level of quality throughout. In January or perhaps in the summer Man United should look at players such as Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane, not Neymar or Bale. Such acquisitions would not only be more realistic and logical, but likely help the team more so in a realistic squad building sense.

The long-term future for Man United will surely be rosy – money talks – but in the short-term the club must put much work into player trading structure, because as it stands, it’s causing far greater damage than the limitations of Louis van Gaal or Wayne Rooney.