Ratcliffe’s takeover cannot come soon enough
Since it was mentioned a year ago that the Manchester United owners would be looking for investment, or even to sell up entirely, the club has further stagnated. While the Glazer family could never be accused of being decisive with the footballing strategy of the club, their stewardship in the past year has taken the role of an absentee landlord. Paralysed by the fear that any decision at all might negatively affect the potential sale price of the club, they have let the club drift completely rudderless for a year. In fact, since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, there has scarcely been a sense of footballing IQ or identity at the club.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to own a 25% stake in the club and take control of sporting decisions. It’s impossible to know if those decisions would yield positive results on the field but having a plan is surely better than having no plan at all.
Manchester United have a bizarre squad that often seems to have been assembled without attention towards a sporting direction. This is natural as there is no sporting direction at the club. The club has in its ranks at least three young players in Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo with the potential to be world class stars. If the club continues to drift without a plan, these young men may be better off seeking to fulfil their potential elsewhere.
On Tuesday night, United played against one of Europe’s most trophied clubs. A club with a footballing identity. A club that makes every decision within a footballing and cultural philosophy. Manchester United fans can only hope that eventually, when the price is right, when the contracts have been signed, when money has been moved, that the club finally gets the sporting direction that it deserves.