Thursday, December 21, 2006

The clock ticks for United's transfer games...

United fans will no doubt be looking forward to the January transfer window, when many reds will be hoping that Fergie has something up his sleeve other than a new Christmas cardigan.

United's failure to replace Van Nistelrooy hasn't actually cost them thus far, because Carling Cup exit apart the team is doing better than last season, but it will not and cannot carry on like that. IF United want to win a trophy then Ferguson must be supported in the transfer market. This isn't just about this season, it is what needs to happen when required, like when you sell your top goal scorer and allow your midfield general to leave.

The problem is there's a growing suspicion among some fans that some of the stories that have been leaked to the press about certain players who've been linked to United is nothing more than a smoke screen which the club hides behind when things go wrong.

Take the Michael Ballack transfer, while the German was still at Bayern, rumour had it that United had a pre-contract agreement with the Munich star. Not true. Ferguson eventually stated that Ballack wasn't right for United, this even though he was available on a free transfer and of course we already have the likes of John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher.... In the end United had to spend silly money on a player with nowhere near the abilities of Ballack in Carrick. Fergie's assertion that Ballack wasn't right was the biggest load of rubbish he's come out with in a long time and that is saying something. Maybe Ballack weighed up United's lack of potential under the new regime and the player decided that Chelsea would offer more chance of honours, which is actually the reason he said he'd joined the blues. Whatever the clubs true position on Ballack is or was, United ended up looking a bit foolish.

The second example of the clubs transfer smoke screen centres on Owen Hargreaves. Until this week Bayern Munich have stuck to the 'not for sale' line. United are supposed to have good relations with the German club, yet David Gill (United CEO) recently revealed that United hadn't even officially asked Munich about the players availability, but Fergie and United have been leaking stories to the press about wanting Hargreaves.

The suspicion is that Fergie wants Hargreaves alright, but United know his club wont release him - if that is true then why are United making public their interest? Is this just to say to the fans 'look we tried to sign Hargreaves?

United have gone public about the player so much that if Munich call United's bluff and announce he can leave they will demand a huge fee. What happens then? United have backed themselves into a corner, losing Ballack on a free is one thing, but given the amount of talk emanating from Old Traffford they cannot lose out again on Hargreaves.

United's policy of leaking stories to the press seems to be a flawed one. Here's why. Firstly, if the intention is an attempt to satisfy transfer demanding fans - it will only work if the deals go through. But what happens in the case of Ballack when the deal doesn't happen? The answer if course fans get angry knowing that the club has missed out on a player who went on a free transfer. Secondly the selling club knows the buying club is desperate and so the price rises, as with the case of Carrick. Once the deal been done stories attributed to Spurs claimed that the North London club would have accepted a lot less for Carrick, this was clearly an attempt to run United's noses in it, no doubt partly for publicing so much interest in the Spurs player. So you can bet United will have to pay top money to acquire Hargreaves, and so there has to be a huge element of doubt about any deal going through. Hargreaves will cost United £20m, that might be too much for the clubs new owners. And From the outside looking in, lack of transfer cash for the manager lies at the heart of the problem for now and definitely in the future under the debt laden Glazer regime.

When the Glazer's took over United, we were told that there would be an annual transfer budget of £25m per season, yet last summer United actually made a net profit on transfers of £8.7m. The truth is the £25m figure is a media myth, it is another example of spin which comes from where exactly?

We know who it hasn't come from, at least directly at any rate, and that is the Glazer family, because they don't actually talk to the press about United. Make no mistake the clock is ticking for United and the Glazer family. The current side was built with old PLC money - so the lack of investment in the team hasn't kicked in yet, but if last summer was a sign of things to come then it wont be long before it does. Quite simply the club wont get away with continuing not to back the manager properly in the transfer windows - it is a recipe for disaster.

I always thought the impact of the Glazer family takeover would take three years before we started to see signs of a meltdown on and off the pitch. However one article which I read recently was asking how long will it before the bailiff's are sent into Old Trafford?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our Comment Policy. Do NOT post spammy unrelated comments for the purpose of link building - as they WILL be removed...Comments containing foul and vile abuse will be deleted.

Follow by Email