In many people’s eyes, Manchester United is arguably one of the biggest clubs on the planet. They are a household name, and when the team travels overseas to play, stadiums are normally packed with screaming football fans.
Unlike a lot of modern football teams, Manchester United has an incredible history. From winning major tournaments like the European Cup on three occasions, the English Premier League thirteen times (more than any other club in England), and the FA cup eleven times, United can be very proud of their past success. However, they face fierce competition these days. Other clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea have owners who are willing to spend a lot of cash on attracting the best players and managers in the world to their clubs. Smaller clubs in the Premier League have been given huge sums of cash for just competing in England’s top division in recent years, meaning that clubs like Manchester United find it hard to lure big players to Old Trafford.
United Must Invest to give the Manager a Chance of Winning the Title
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, Manchester United has employed several managers. Since the Scot left, every manager who has come in has been unable to win the title. To make matters worse, in that time bitter rivals Liverpool won their first Premier League title, and Manchester City has won it four times. This hurts the Old Trafford faithful, as they are desperate to regain the trophy that spent so many years in the Theatre of Dreams.
At the moment, the club is managed by former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian joined as caretaker manager three years ago when Jose Mourihino got sacked, however, he managed to do such a great job during his short contract that they gave him the full-time management position. Most United fans have faith in their current manager, and last season he was unlucky not to get his first taste of winning a trophy when his side lost to Villareal in a penalty shoot-out in the Europa Cup final. His side finished the season in second, which was an improvement from the previous season.
However, the Norwegian understands the standards United fans expect, and he knows well that United needs to be winning and challenging for the biggest trophies in club football if he wants to keep his job secure. If United doesn’t invest in 2021, then most of the fans will feel that the owners will have thrown Solskjaer "under the bus". If they expect him to compete, they need to invest heavily in their squad, not just the starting 11.
At the moment, Manchester United has 36 sponsors. From alcohol companies, online betting sites and casino sponsorships, car manufacturers, to software companies. It seems like every industry wants to get involved in clubs like Manchester United. However, these companies understand that the biggest names in football help promote their products and services. If they pay a club like Manchester United a large sum of cash, they expect people like Paul Pogba or Christiano Ronaldo to help create awareness. If United’s owners refuse to invest, their sponsors are not going to be pleased.
When the American owners took over Manchester United, they put the club in serious debt. This has created a major issue between the fans and the club’s owners. To pay back these debts, the club relies on sponsorships to finance the repayments.
However, Manchester United fans don’t want the club just to reinvest in players just to help sell their sponsor’s products. They want the manager to decide on the players he wants to recruit, not the chairman and not the owners. A lot of the fans feel that United’s chief executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has been in charge of who comes into the club, and who leaves. His background is in finance, not in football which angers many United supporters. They think that Woodward is only concerned about making a profit for the American owners.
Keep the Current Squad Happy
Most supporters feel that United is in the best position since Ferguson left. The current manager has invested well, and he has sold a lot of players too. Well-known superstars like Lukaku and Sanchez were sold, and the likes of Bruno Fernandez and Edison Cavani have come in. These signings have made United’s opponents fear them once again. They play some incredible fast-flowing, counter-attacking football, much to the delight of the fans. Like Sir Matt Busby, and Sir Alex Ferguson, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faith in young players, and he is not afraid to give a teenager coming through the ranks a chance to prove themselves playing for the first team.
However, to keep players on their toes, and retain the current squad, investing in new players during every transfer window is important. Any player that plays for United should be willing to compete, and making competition for each place on the pitch keeps players wanting to prove themselves in every game and training session. If United fails to purchase new players, their best players might ask for a transfer request. Just like the fans, most players are desperate to win major competitions, and having a big squad with top-quality players is key to success in the league.
The pandemic has been a tough pill to swallow for most clubs in the Premier League. Since early 2020, there have been very few times when United could allow supporters in to watch games in Old Trafford. This has hit the United owners hard, however, many fans feel that it is a good opportunity for the owners to invest. Every club has found it hard during these unprecedented times, so a lot of players" values have dropped significantly. At the end of the day, pandemics don’t last forever, and owning a football club is a long-term investment, so why not take advantage of the players going for a cheaper rate? Clubs seem to be more willing to sell their best players at the moment.
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