Manchester United remain the biggest club in England, but as a player, are they much fun to play for these days?
It would appear not, according to David de Gea, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw; they are all stalling on a new Old Trafford deal.
Some will cite Jose Mourinho as the reason, others will just want a better chance of challenging for major honours; but all seem reluctant to commit their long-term future to the Red Devils.
That is a hugely worrying trend and Ed Woodward has to come under the spotlight once more. We’ve had a closer look and examined whether it’s a symptom of a deeper malaise…
Woodward’s roleWoodward is not a football man, but he is a great businessman. Despite a prolonged period of poor on-pitch performance, Red Ed has boosted United’s profits.
He has created more and more sustainable revenue streams; even if he has been unable to secure the deals for some players his three post-Fergie managers wanted.
So this latest failing is arguably his worst yet; a business brain is letting valuable assets decrease in value before his very eyes.
Even if Mourinho or Woodward want to offload any of the above, it makes sense to tie them down to preserve their market value; the contract extension offered to Marcos Rojo is one example of that in action.
But leaving the club in a position where they have no bargaining power with players, just as they did with Marouane Fellaini last season, is a shambolic state of affairs. It is embarrassing and it is only going to cost the club money; losing players for basement prices and replacing them is not a cheap or easy task.