Never underestimate the emotional nature of sports. They say when you first see your favorite team play and love them, it is the same as seeing your first love. The same hormone oxytocin that is released in the brain when you fall in love. So when your favorite team loses frequently to low ranked teams and the board seems to care less about it, it often feels like being cheated on by your lover. Manchester United fans have finally reached breaking point after seeing years of mismanagement both on and off the pitch. From sacking managers with impunity to lack of focus on the transfer market, which saw them spend north of a billion pounds since Ferguson, they really have taken their fans for granted. The planned boycott of merchandise and their Round three league match against Liverpool is mainly targeted at their owners the Glazer family. But are they to blame for the team’s woes? The short answer is No. Why I say NO is simple. The Glazers had a profit agenda when they secured the club in 2004 and that hasn’t changed . There is no emotional investment in the team, just like when they bought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, they underestimated the traditional attachment and community reach of Manchester United. Unlike the Bucs who are barely 50 years old, the Red Devils were founded in 1878 so just like a 50 year old marriage, the ties run deep.
To be fair to them, they have honored their side of the bargain to an extent. They have made funds available for the transfer market as said above when the manager requested. They have been seriously let down by their staff, manly their choice of CEO. Ed Woodward was an colossal disaster for me. Under his watch the club spent 80 million quid on a player they let go for free and then they let the same player go for free again. Nothing screams incompetence as that last sentence. If most of us do that at our job we would be holding our boxes at the door in the morning. Now can we blame the Glazers now for tying up the purse this season? Absolutely not. The unfortunate party in all of this is Erik Ten Hag. He is being made to pay for other coaches and previous CEO’s mistakes. He did get two players he requested , but it is the big money players that he is set to lose out on. Not an ideal working environment. But I would say to him don’t leave the job yet. Why you may ask? The best coaches in the world turn an average team into title winners, think Claudio Ranieri(Leicester), think Jose Mourinho(Porto) and (dare I say) Sir Alex with the 2013 title winning team. So what it would do to Erik’s CV to win the title with this lot?