Manchester United fans do not have to accept or settle for anything the Glazers offer. The takeover midway through the last decade put the club as a whole at risk, while the success that followed up until the final season of Alex Ferguson’s tenure as manager was far from certain.
United under the Glazers are moving into a much healthier financial state than was predicted a few years ago. Yet that’s not to say the club could have ended up this way with the sole intervention of the Americans; many clubs and businessmen – on the continent you look to club presidents – are able to take themselves forward through smart planning and a trajectory that naturally does include a number of risks.
New deals with Nike, Chevrolet and now BT, among others, will see the club’s revenue increase. BT’s latest action will benefit each English club playing in the Champions League, as according to The Guardian, clubs will pocket around £10million to £15million more than their current earnings.
United are also looking to break the U.S market as a means to exploit the growing popularity of football on that continent. A successful marker has been set up in Asia, while the markets in other parts of the world will help to combat the rise of costs throughout the year.
It would be remiss to say, however, that the club’s positive standing is owed solely to the Glazers. Success on the field helps to breed success off it, not the other way around. Alex Ferguson has helped to keep the club at the top of the mountain of English football, either knocking others “off their perch,” as he famously said, or doing enough to ensure others’ conquering of the domestic league was only temporary.
Like other clubs, United are unified in their desire to help the club reach its potential from a marketing standpoint. Real Madrid may stake claim to being the biggest club in football, but United stand as the most marketable, holding a place in the most popular league in Europe. The club sit comfortably in the company of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys as some of the biggest sporting brands in the world.
There’s no taking away from the Glazer’s ability to make money, but the point is that the club could have emerged at this point in time without the uncertainty and hostility the Americans provoked. It would be unwise to assume United fans should feel in some way grateful for the takeover.
As an addition, the importance of David Gil shouldn’t be forgotten. As well as playing a hand in the running of the club on the transfer front, he was also vital in securing many of the deals that will benefit United over the coming years.
The financial possibilities that the club will have moving forward will naturally point to the guidance of the owners, but that’s not the whole story. There will always be a negative attached to the ownership of the Glazers, namely the debt. It’s fortunate that the club have had Ferguson on board up until this point, as the sponsorships are available now largely due to his success. The point is that United could have been this marketable without the Americans at the helm.
Do Manchester United need the Glazers?
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