It was fairly humorous to hear Manchester United speak out on the need to cap the spending of teams in the Premier League. They negotiated their way around the immediate threat of Chelsea and eventually saw off Jose Mourinho, but have Manchester City really spooked them that much into advocating the need for financial sanctions?
I’m not suggesting that financial sanctions in the Premier League is a bad idea. How thoroughly would Uefa’s aim of Financial Fair Play be enforced if each league independently governed it’s own teams? Only positives, surely. But it’s all a bit rich coming from Manchester United.
I wouldn’t call out United for their ability to splash £30million on a player; they’ve played that card plenty of times and have worked their way into a position where it was relatively safe. Or so we thought. It was recently revealed just how much of a financial mess the Glazers have put the club in, and all of that big spending may be curbed sooner than later.
But don’t complain about the power other clubs have over you. Big rivals, certainly, but why don’t United try and find positive ways around the threat of Manchester City and continue at the top without the need to spend big every summer?
The club go on their preseason tours to America, South Africa and the Far East because of it’s financial benefits. It may be a pleasant and uplifting trip, but I’m sure Alex Ferguson would prefer a quiet retreat somewhere much closer to home.
The club have also announced the signing of Angelo Henriquez, who has plenty of promise and potential about him. A good move by many who know the game in South America, so why not adopt that route as a primary avenue for success?
Players like Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani were brought to Europe by much smaller clubs in comparison to Manchester United. The fees might have been large for one or two, but the return has proven to be worth it. Javier Hernandez also looked to be an absolute steal just prior to the 2010 World Cup, with the Mexican international displaying outstanding scoring form throughout his first season in England. Hernandez is further proof that South and Central America may be a good place to continue their important shopping in the future.
The problem is, United clearly don’t have the financial strength to continue at the pace Manchester City have set. But how many teams are a greater pull than Manchester United? Barcelona? Real Madrid? The wages on offer at new money clubs like City and PSG are tempting, but if United really wanted a player, their reputation and status in world football would play a huge role in helping them to land their targets.
Alex Ferguson, who may not be at the club for many more years, needs to establish a new level of scouting from within the club. They’ve announced further scouts in places like South America and it’s a great step forward. Providing work permit issues can be circumvented, the club should be in a position to land some of the continents best talent.
Furthermore, it’s got to be a real kick in the teeth for other clubs who have had to put up with Manchester United’s incredible spending over the years. Teams like Arsenal have had to rethink their transfer approach and have been ridiculed for opting to do things the sensible way. Arsene Wenger has had to deal with Chelsea and now Manchester City heavily distorting the transfer market, while also losing his best players to clubs who don’t mind handing out blank cheques. Yet Arsenal are still competing in the top four, they’ve had to deal with forty and fifty million pound signings from their rivals while also paying off a move into a new stadium. What would be said of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger if he were so quick to demand financial sanctions in English football?
It’s certainly not pleasant that clubs are being forced down a few tiers in the transfer market. Ironically, there still seems to be a fairly level playing field on the pitch between the top sides in Europe. But surely this is just another obstacle for Manchester United to overcome.