I wonder if SAF is really up the creek without a paddle this time around and there is substance to Rooney’s gripe. I know Keano has come out in defence of the club and that is fantastic. Among present players, Fletcher too has said the same thing. I’m curious though why other senior players have remained silent. Surely a word in defence of the Boss will put them and the club in good stead. The fact that they remained silent sort of gives weight to that gripe.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to be wondering, back during the off season, why United was so quiet in the transfer market. Sure the free spending days are probably over (with maybe the exception of our fuel injected neighbours) but the lack of fight to secure standout players was a screaming question in my head. No one can blame fans for thinking the big operating loss of 80m surely had a hand in this lack of activity. Hence Rooney’s gripe cannot be dismissed and the “emergency meeting” Gill was reported to have had with SAF overnight also tends to suggest Rooney’s claim was uncomfortably close to the truth and it appears to be very raw and sensitive.
I wonder if the rules governing club ownership need overhauling – there is plainly an unfairness amongst the big clubs in the way they are owned and operated. Clubs like Real and Barca which are member owned along privately owned clubs like Chelsea and ManCity have no financial restrictions other the owners’ own cheque books. On the other hand, clubs like United being PLC’s operate under all sorts of financial and commercial rules and constrains. The likes of Chelsea and City can go on spending regardless of operating losses and whatever the noises about ambitions and medals, if a player is offered double his pay, he has to be mad to ignore it. United on the other hand appears to be shackled by operating losses, especially given current losses have reversed recent trends in profitability. It behaves as a normal economic entity and stems outflows.
The comfort is SAF is his usual self in fighting back. His claim that the younger players have potentials which he has proven he can sniff out, tend to provide an uneasy leg to stand on. The likes of Hernandez, Macheda, Obertain, Gibson etc look far from the 18 year old Rooney from the Toffees or the young Cristiano Ronaldo fresh from Sporting Lisbon colours. Let’s hope SAF is right and these are players who will develop and blossom to continue the winning ways of United and the lack of activity in the transfer market wasn’t a sign of an era that is ebbing.