‘There’s little incentive for Man Utd to aim higher than 4th’

Date published: Tuesday 7th November 2017 2:00

Manchester United fans debate the Glazers financial model, Mo Salah is the ‘bargain’ of the season, while Alexandre Lacazette’s bench role is discussed in our forum.


Join in the debate here…


‘I’m sure the Glazers have done their sums…’


Look at this table of PL prize money for last year. We finished 6th and made 143m. Chelsea lifted the title and made 153m. Just 10m more.

If we add CL revenue, then there’s a lot to be made from the group stages with so many games and win bonuses but in the knock out rounds for 2017/18 its ……

1] Last 16 – €6m
2] Quarter Finals – €6.5m (£5.8m) + home gate money
3] Semi Finals – €7.5m (£6.7m) + home gate money
4] Runner Up – €11m (£9.9m).
5] Winner – €15.5m (£13.9m)

So the difference between last 16 and winning is 36m pounds. It’s debateable if there is a significant increase in commercial revenues. Our commercial revenues have been going up and up despite not being in the latter CL rounds for years.

Top players start at 80m plus and that’s a Lukaku not a Neymar. From a Glazer perspective if United can make CL last 16 with mostly:

[1] 30-40m signings [2] keeping oldies past sell-by date [3] Homegrown [4] Keeping cheap buys like Smalling.

What is the financial benefit of going the extra mile clearing deadwood and replacing them with category A expensive signings?

I’m sure the Glazers have done their sums and calculated top4, last 16 on a budget plus a marquee poster boy signing every 4 years, yields maximum profit.

PS – The appointment of Moyes was indication of this plan.



@macguffin – I see the point you’re getting to however there are risks involved if the Glazers go about the thinking process of making Top 4 and Last 16, etc.

– What if our PL rivals all invest heavily and push us to 5th / 6th place?
– Having a squad can just about make Top 4 and Last 16 means that we are more likely to have a chance of failing our objectives if things go wrong (injuries, bad run at an important time, etc.)

From a financial point of view I’m sure the Glazers have done their homework and know the minimum that is required however I would think the reasoning would be to ensure that Man United remain as high as possible in the football tree (ensuring fans and sponsors continue to invest big bucks in the brand) and not risk dropping down from the elite level and becoming your average club where fans and sponsors will dwindle in both the short and long term.

Sympathy for the Devils



I agree 100%. The financial structure doesn’t support the sort of development wanted by the fans. At a glance, a club’s finances are made up of:

1) Prize money
2) Merchandize
3) Sponsorship deals
4) Marketing (i.e commercial revenue outside normal sponsorship deals)
5) Football related revenue (shrewd buying and selling of players, investments made with money made from running a succesful football club etc.)
6) Non-football related revenue (i.e owner created monetary injections disjointed from actual club worth – like buying Neymar and Mbappe for 400 mil in the same season).

United’s one of, if not the most supported club in the World and currently the richest. 2-5) don’t change much whether we finish 6th, 4th or 1st.

1) changes some, as you’ve illustrated, but the fluctuation isn’t something that’ll significantly impact our buying power, for example.

6) is something we don’t really have.

With this structure, and with owners who prioritize financial results far above sporting results, there’s little incentive to aim higher than 4th/last 16.

Don’t get me wrong: Obviously, owners are supposed to be concerned with club finances. However, the outlined structure creates a vacuum between owner and fan interests.



Salah is a bargain

What a bargain he is proving to be. The most lethal goalscorer since Fowler.

For all the things that have gone wrong he ain’t one of them, this attack we got is devastating.

I can’t wait to see more of Mane and Salah out there. I have never seen so much pace and dribbling ability on our wings ever.

I suspect we will grow as a team this season regardless what happens with recruitment in January.



For 35m in this current market? He’s definitely a bargain, you could even make a case he could be the bargain of the season with the form he’s showing. I wouldn’t say so far to say he’s the most lethal goalscorer since Fowler though. The boy’s positioning is good, he gets himself into so many good positions it’s unreal, but his finishing isn’t that good.

Don’t forget we had more lethal goalscorers in Torres and Suarez since Fowler IMO.

It’ll be exciting for sure when Lallana, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Salah are all fit. Our wings have been quite poor over the past few seasons, even dating back to Benitez’s days. This is the first time in years I’ve drooled over our wings. The amount of pace we have on our wings is such a joy to watch.



I agree more with GellerBing in as much that he’s scoring for fun in spite of NOT being a lethal finisher. So, it says a lot for him that his pace and energy are getting him into so many goal scoring situations – if he was as clinical as Fowler was, then wow, we really would have some player on our hands.

I can see what prompted the Fowler comparison though as the 4th goal on Saturday was very reminiscent of Robbie at his best. However, whilst we look back in the warm glow of that 4::1 scoreline, let’s not forget too easily the one-on-ones that he’s not scored this season.

Red Herring


Salah’s movement makes his special

First thing I noticed about Salah was positioning. There are so many speed merchants out there, but speed merchants with excellent positioning and off-the-ball movement are not as common. His clever ghost-like movements make him difficult to pick up by defenders. And this is all before we talk about his on the ball abilities which are just as impressive.

Klopp isn’t stupid:
There is plenty of dynamism between Mane, Firmnio and Salah. Mane has that raw unstoppable bullish directness, Firminio is an intelligent skilful workhouse striker (like a Brazilian James Vardy – can I say that lol?); whilst Salah is like a deadly Ninja, by the time you’ve noticed him it’s too late 🙂



Frustrating thing with Klopp is…

The frustrating thing for me is that Klopp knows exactly how his signings are going to fit into his system and they are generally excellent signings yet he doesn’t make these signings in some key areas. Mane, Matip, Salah all terrific signings. Wijnaldum hasn’t been half bad. Keita looks a class act.

Robertson looks a decent FB when he’s played. It’s admirable that he wants to work with what he has but most of these players have shown time and again they don’t have the bottle when it really matters.

It takes a while to build a good team sure but when other teams are throwing money at the market the odds are we’ll lose our best players while we’re still building. When 1 or 2 of our best players are out we’re downright atrocious. That’s the sign of a really average squad which cannot compete with those above us in the league. We can rave about our attacking prowess all we want and we’d be justified in doing so, but quality in depth is equally important as a good first team.



Excellent post razor and hits the nail as to where our club is at the moment. We saw the damage injuries did last season and we all know how important Salah, Mane and yes believe it or not Matip are. Some people have criticised Joel this season but it can’t be easy playing in such a dross rear guard. TBH I don’t think we’ve missed Coutinho as much as when he was out last season. All that said anyone with sense knows our squad is wafer thin and that won’t be addressed in one or two transfer windows.



‘Egyptian Messi’

Salah is called the “Egyptian Messi”, and now I know why.

And the stats don’t lie either, well at least for this season, so far, in club football
– Salah – 12 goals, 5 assists (in a tougher league btw)
– Messi – 15 goals, 4 assists

But Salah is not even the finished article yet and needs to improve greatly on his finishing, plus on penalties and free-kicks.

I just hope Mane, Salah and Coutinho can remain injury-free and combine to devastating effect on a regular basis, striking fear through every team in Premiership and Europe, and destroyng them – starting next week at Anfield




Wenger’s ‘ready-made excuses’

I can now understand why Arsenal fans are so upset with Wenger. He has ready made excuses to deflect his own bad judgement on team selection and tactics. Is he also saying Arsenal have never benifited from decisions and as for accusing a player of diving, what about his player playing the man not the ball? The offside was marginal and that being the case Arsenal defence should have played to the whistle not pose as ballerina’s.

There is something lacking between Manager and players at Arsenal and to put his best players on the bench was crazy, probably hopeing City legs would get tired after napoli, he was right about that, we were getting a little leggy but we still created more chances and had a better shape throughout the game….that is why we won Mr Wenger…you lost it more than your team

Brian blue


Brian blue, a voice of reason. Your summation of the match is spot on. Wenger lost that match with his ludicrous team selection and tactics. Once again poor defending cost us, it was definitely a penalty, Montreal again caught wrong side and made contact, there can be no argument. The 3rd goal may have been offside but you dont stand there and watch hoping, you play to the whistle. Yet another example of poor discipline.

TSO, how many times do I have to explain this. Referees dont change their mind if players show dissent, its not appealing, its dissent, players get booked for it as Xhaka did yesterday. And NO, NO, NO, you do NOT get favourable decisions later if you appeal, you are more likely to have decisions go AGAINST you. Thats been the case for years and there are refs out there that will deliberately give decisions against sides that show continued dissent. Arsenal are a side who who have over the years received little during the halcyon days between 1998-2004, look at our disciplinary record. These days we actually do very well decision wise, rocking the boat would be stupid and pointless.

The Oracle 


Lacazette on the bench!

It’s simply ludicrous to spend 52M on Lacazette and then leave him on the bench for big games. When he came on he scored then what does Wenger do, he brings on Giroud and moves Lacazette to the wing!



Lack of passion?

Whether our players appeal to get a future decision is one thing but it also shows a lack of passion. Some of the decisions against us have been pretty bad and our players have hardly shown any anger or frustration. Bellerin giving away a penalty being a perfect example.

Could you see the likes of Vieira, Petit, Keown where they fought like crazy for every ball, not showing emotion when they were hard done by? This all comes down to the mentality at the club, from Stan all the way down to the players.

I still cannot fathom why Lacazette was on the bench. What is the point of buying top players if he’s going to bench them in big games?



T_Adams – I stated the same thing the other week about Bellerin. I’m not saying do a Chelsea and bombard the ref like a bunch of thugs, but show some damn passion at least! The hounding of the ref or not is pretty irrelevant as this bunch cannot even get the basics right.

Showing some guts, determination and anything of that sort of ilk. It is just showing some passion and making it look like they give a shit, instead of looking bewildered and shrugging shoulders. Back in the day we wouldn’t stand for shit but those days are long gone because Wenger is a spineless moron who would rather the yes men instead of any steel. If we had those characters in the dressing room now,

I’m sure it would ruffle his feathers as they wouldn’t stand for it.

And yes.. why pay 50 million for a striker when you leave them on the bench in 2 of the biggest games of the season.. and how many times has Lacazette finished 90 mins?
Factor in Man City played Napoli during the week when our lot were given the night off and we still didn’t show up…



Emenalo departure a loss to Chelsea

Michael Emenalo: Slammed Spurs

Make no mistake, this is a loss to Chelsea, under his watch, the youth team has won the youth fa cup six times, the uefa league two times, Every Chelsea loanee usually talk about how smooth the communication is with Chelsea and the club monitors and get back to them almost immediately after every match.

Our academy players dominated the England under 20 and 17 winning squads, Thibaut Courtois, Christensen, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses, Cesar Azplicueta, are all products of Chelsea scouting network under his watch, we bought those next to nothing apart from hazard. We could have added Lukaku, Debruyne and Salah to that list, albeit the error in judgement of a certain special one.

The loan system model now functions both as income generating stream and as developmental pathway for the good players into Chelsea, Christensen is a good example of this, Thibault Courtois before him, and it’s only a matter of time before Loftus Cheek and Abraham becomes regular starter in Chelsea.

Can Conte remain loyal to Chelsea for 10 years? I don’t see it happening, I rate the guys that work behind the scenes more, because they keep it all together believe me. I wish him all the best



‘Emenalo is a divisive figure with fans’

I’m not sure the interview tells us anything but to be fair working at Chelsea Football Club for 10 years won’t have been easy there would have been a lot of pressure albeit Emenalo will have been well rewarded financially.

Emenalo is a divisive figure amongst the fans the majority of which will be glad to see him go.

Where we go from here is of most interest now do we replace Emenalo and if so with whom I would nail my colours to the mast of someone like Franco or Desailly coming in.

How much difference this makes to Conte signing a new contract is a matter of conjecture.

I won’t pretend that I’m disappointed with Emenalo going but the guys been at Chelsea for 10 years and because of that I can only wish him well.

nine nine nine


Apparently Emenalo was a supporter of Conte and backed him when Marina did not. If that is true then maybe that puts Conte under even more pressure…?

I am also reading that Frank could potentially be offered the Emenalo role, or at least something similar, which I think would be good for the Club and Conte

Going to be interesting to see how this pans out…!! KTBFFH



1905, the Mail suggests “palpable discord” between Conte and Emenalo in today’s article.

Ok I own up I threw “palpable discord” in myself.😊

However there are suggestions in the Mail article of significant disagreements between the two over transfers this summer but who knows what is and isn’t true.

Remember when Jose came back Emenalo offered to resign then in anticipation of Jose not taking to a DoF role in the club?

Frank sounds great he’s a former Chelsea great but it sounds like a bit of easy journalism to me. Cheers 999

nine nine nine


Jose was spot on…

I think Jose is spot on about this.


Just have a look at the money the youth players have brought into the club that has supported the first team. those who refuse to fact check for themselves, roughly 150 million there not counting the likes of Lukaku and De Bryun.

A job very well done and all of our thanks should go towards the little known Nigerian who has, in part, kept us competitive with our title rivals.

he has also improved the fortunes of Englands youth teams. Again, too many fans prefer to read the freebie newspapers so only get the negative gossipy side of the job he’s done… and that is what so many on here regurgitate verbatim… But its easier to have outside forces to blame and Emenalo, like the press, is a great source of ire for fans who can’t see the bigger picture.

Hopefully some of you magpie fans will see the benefit his service has given to the club and be magnanimous in your thanks like decent human beings… but others like Phwepsi won’t… pay’s your money and takes your choice. But I for one, thank emenalo for the service and wonder what comes next.



It seems from reading above that the Mail is reporting that Emanalo and Conte didn’t get on. Alternatively, this morning’s Sun is reporting that Emanalo was a Conte ally, and the real problem is Marina. Of course the Sun is wrapping it all up on the basis that this puts Conte’s position under EVEN MORE PRESSURE (of course!).

Anyway, I believe this contrary reporting supports my view that us mere fans do not have a Scooby what goes on at the higher echelons of the club, and to take either a pro or anti Emenalo, OR Marina stance is based on sheer guesswork.

The only comment I have seen from anyone who MIGHT know is Wilkins who is clearly anti Emenalo, but that may be because he has his own reasons to do so.


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