Newly taken over Newcastle United are hoping to make a change in the established order at the top of the Premier League.
This will provide a new challenge to Manchester United, who have finished in the top four in both of the last two seasons and hope to do the same again this year.
The competitive nature of the Premier League has seen previous top four regulars Tottenham and Arsenal drop out, and none of the top clubs want to follow suit.
BBC Sport report Manchester United were one of 18 clubs to vote to block Newcastle from agreeing lucrative sponsorship deals linked to their new owners, which would have helped them circumvent the weak Financial Fair Play regulations.
Tellingly, Manchester City were the only club to vote in favour at the Premier League meeting.
Newcastle know they must abide by the rules they are set, and even within this, they will be a threat over the coming years.
CEO Amanda Staveley told the Chronicle: “We’re going to invest, heavily, obviously. But we have to do it within the confines of the rules of the Premier League.”
Battle on the pitch
Off the pitch United will fight to ensure the contests are fair. That’s why the club joined in the recent vote to block the spending rules. It probably won’t be the only time various league clubs butt heads over the controversial takeover.
But on the pitch United need to heed the words of former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and just get on with it.
Speaking to Sky Sports in 2017, Ferguson said he was energised by the fresh challenges Chelsea and Manchester City brought after their takeovers.
Ferguson said: “They have always been threats, but at Manchester United you have to accept the challenge.
“At Manchester United, if you can’t, you shouldn’t be there.
“When Chelsea came along, when Arsenal came along, we accepted the challenge, we got on with it, relished it, with players that were quite capable of handling that.
“That’s exactly what Manchester United should be: accept the challenge – it’s good for you!”
Ferguson’s message is simple: He says whatever the challenge, Manchester United should be able to compete.
Even when he was outspent by Chelsea and City, Ferguson managed to build his squad effectively and construct a team capable of winning titles.
United can’t hide this year or in any other year, in response to challenges from Newcastle, City, Liverpool, or Chelsea. United’s task is simply to find a way to be the best, and whoever the rivals are, that should not change.
Ferguson won’t want United’s board or leaders to run scared of anybody. If they are, then as he points out, they should not be there, and replaced with those who do have the competitive spirit and will to win that he does.
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