It seems a long time ago now Manchester United fans managed to get a game abandoned earlier this year with Glazers Out protests.
This weekend fans were queuing up on the forecourt to buy Ronaldo jerseys.
The Glazers will be delighted with how it has panned out. Signing Cristiano Ronaldo was their trump card.
Anti-Glazers voices being drowned out
No matter your feelings on the Glazers, Cristiano Ronaldo’s return is worthy of celebration.
This is a world class player, arguably the best of all time, returning to Manchester United.
The Glazers did what had to be done, and while this is a mini-victory for them, it is also a victory for the fans.
The Glazers will make mistakes again, like they did with the Super League, and sentiment will build back up against their ownership.
Priorities become clear again
Sky News reported over the weekend that the Glazers are preparing to make an announcement over Ed Woodward’s successor.
Commercial guru Richard Arnold is set to be promoted into Woodward’s role.
This is from a fan perspective, the worst case scenario. Arnold is not a football man.
He told the Associated Press earlier this year Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was enjoying ‘phenomenal success’ as Manchester United manager. Whatever your view of Solskjaer, that verdict is over-exaggerating it, with United yet to lift a trophy under his tenure.
Arnold was the man crowing about Odion Ighalo making more Twitter impressions that Donald Trump on deadline day in January 2020 [via iNews].
And as reported by The Drum in 2014, it was Arnold rather than Woodward who celebrated United’s new noodle partner, quoted: “We are delighted to welcome Nissin into our family of Global Partners.”
United had a chance to make a forward-thinking move
Getting rid of Ed Woodward is overdue. And it was worthy of celebration.
But now United are set to appoint Woodward-lite with Arnold taking his position.
United had a chance to make a change. Edwin van der Sar would have been the dream appointment, bringing in a football man, with chief executive experience at Ajax.
Van der Sar told Goal in 2017: “I didn’t study marketing for four years at university or make my way up through Unilever or Coca Cola but what I am used to is having 75,000 people judging every save and every mistake I make – that’s real pressure.”
Instead of making a forward-thinking move, the Glazers are after more of the same. This isn’t renovation, it’s a new coat of paint.
Time will tell if the Ronaldo move was a sticking-plaster for the club’s troubles. The Glazers would have been crucified if they let him move to City, bringing him back was a move they had to take.
For all the promises made by Joel Glazer, the transfer window solutions were the easiest ones to make and deliver on.
Appointing Arnold into the chief executive role show their true priorities are making money commercially. ‘Fans not customers’ should be the motto, but now more than ever, it still feels the other way around.
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