Brand first, football second - This is the problem

Jamie Shawcross

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It is no news that United is the biggest 'brand' in world football, but to me it is no so evident that the football has become secondary to our revenue and commercial interests. The unprecedented success of SAF both on the field and commercially has created an absolute behemoth of a brand, but the problem is we have figures who have latched onto what he has built and are milking it for everything it is worth. The Glazers, Woodward etc. I am not going to say the clubs hierarchy haven't backed the manager because they evidently have, but I think it is obvious that their priorities lie with the balance sheet and the revenue side of things, and now it seems all they're concerned about on the field is qualifying for Champions League football and protecting the whiter than white brand of United. When the club is run by people who couldn't care less about the style of play or whether we are winning trophies, and only about profits and hitting certain targets, then the entire club will feel it, and we are feeling it now. Jose is feeling it (his comments about no longer being a manager, but only a coach), the squad is feeling it and us the fans are feeling it more than anyone. Ferguson made no secret of the fact that the key factor of his continued success was the total control he had of every aspect of the club, Jose has and never will be given that, nor will any other manager again at this Company...sorry, 'Club'. It is too easy to blame the manager for our current state, but to me its a much bigger problem than that. The DNA of our club has changed, we are no longer a football giant, we are a corporate giant and as long as we are making profits, nothing will change. We need total overhaul from starting at the top, but I worry that is not going to happen until we start losing money, and without intending to be totally doom and gloom, its a lose lose situation for us as fans.

I don't think Woodward cares about results or fans despair so long as hes signing sponsorship deals with vietnamese dental floss products etc.

Mourinho is not THE problem. Its much much bigger.
 

roonster09

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Never understood these arguments. Woodward and owners are not idiots to believe ManUtd will retain brand value if they ignore football side and without on pitch success. I know woodward said something different but he won't say Manutd will fall into obscurity if we don't win trophies in investors call.
 

Adam-Utd

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Mourinho is 1 of THE problems. Plenty of other big clubs are making money and winning trophies.

I guarantee you if we had Guardiola/Klopp instead we wouldn't be in this mess.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Never understood these arguments. Woodward and owners are not idiots to believe ManUtd will retain brand value if they ignore football side and without on pitch success. I know woodward said something different but he won't say Manutd will fall into obscurity if we don't win trophies in investors call.
I don't think its even up for debate mate. I think Woodward and the owners now realise that we don't even need to win things to remain profitable and a gargantuan brand. I would be interested to see what their actual 'targets' are for the team. I worry we are just the new Arsenal.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Mourinho is 1 of THE problems. Plenty of other big clubs are making money and winning trophies.

I guarantee you if we had Guardiola/Klopp instead we wouldn't be in this mess.
Klopp has won nothing of note, ever. His team might be playing good football and at the top of the league currently but his track record is non comparable to our manager. Hype.
 

Sarni

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Never understood these arguments. Woodward and owners are not idiots to believe ManUtd will retain brand value if they ignore football side and without on pitch success. I know woodward said something different but he won't say Manutd will fall into obscurity if we don't win trophies in investors call.
We will retain our value for a long time even without success on field. Glazers are American and they know the way it works in American sports, which is the direction football is heading in with the access to top competition limited to few richest clubs.

Lakers and Knicks are still the most valuable NBA franchises, neither of them have been successful for the last 6 years and in Knicks case they’ve basically not been successful for almost two decades. Cowboys are by far the most valuable NFL franchise and they’ve not been successful either.

We can go 10-15 years without winning Premier League or Champions League and still make a ton of money on sponsorships.
 

roonster09

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I don't think its even up for debate mate. I think Woodward and the owners now realise that we don't even need to win things to remain profitable and a gargantuan brand. I would be interested to see what their actual 'targets' are for the team. I worry we are just the new Arsenal.
Why not? We are talking about people who are paid millions, they know what keeps the brand strong. You can only keep up for few years, not for long.
 

RedCurry

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No, brand is not the problem. We are all trying to find problems where there aren’t any. Commercial revenue is objectively good for our club. We can earn money and be good at football at the same time. It’s not a case of either or. Woodward lacks leadership and he needs to bring in someone senior who can create a long-term strategy for our football side of things. That doesn’t mean that we should spend any lesser efforts on generating revenue for the club though.
 

Adam-Utd

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Klopp has won nothing of note, ever. His team might be playing good football and at the top of the league currently but his track record is non comparable to our manager. Hype.
They were a whisker away from winning the CL, stop burying your head in the sand. If Liverpool (god forbid) do go all the way in the league this year what excuse will be left?

The improvement to Liverpool compared to ours is staggering.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Mourinho is 1 of THE problems. Plenty of other big clubs are making money and winning trophies.

I guarantee you if we had Guardiola/Klopp instead we wouldn't be in this mess.
Also, I bet most of us believed the appointment of Mourinho was a turning point for the club, going off his track record. I think hes too easy a target, people so quick to point to his last season at Chelsea whilst writing off his entire career of success otherwise. I just think we would be naive and short sighted to attribute our current situation to one man. I sincerely hope we give him plenty more time
 

roonster09

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We will retain our value for a long time even without success on field. Glazers are American and they know the way it works in American sports, which is the direction football is heading in with the access to top competition limited to few richest clubs.

Lakers and Knicks are still the most valuable NBA franchises, neither of them have been successful for the last 6 years and in Knicks case they’ve basically not been successful for almost two decades. Cowboys are by far the most valuable NFL franchise and they’ve not been successful either.

We can go 10-15 years without winning Premier League or Champions League and still make a ton of money on sponsorships.
I don't know how many franchises are there in US but I know there are so many clubs who will be better destinations for sponsors if we don't keep up. Not only in England, there are few more leagues where clubs keep on winning and attract new fans.
 

Van Piorsing

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Idealistically brand should help us to get much more better players but sadly that's not happening often while Mourinho is almost forced to play youngsters but I bet he would prefer having Perisic and other players who would allow him to challenge for PL title.

Mourinho and Woodward are tangled in this weird business relationship where one is academy promoter instead of the Special One, securing titles and other is DoF with knowledge strictly in pure financial matters. One causing problem to another, add to that off balanced squad in need of refreshing and we have far more than one problem.
 

roonster09

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No, brand is not the problem. We are all trying to find problems where there aren’t any. Commercial revenue is objectively good for our club. We can earn money and be good at football at the same time. It’s not a case of either or. Woodward lacks leadership and he needs to bring in someone senior who can create a long-term strategy for our football side of things. That doesn’t mean that we should spend any lesser efforts on generating revenue for the club though.
I think this should answer everything in this thread.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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No, brand is not the problem. We are all trying to find problems where there aren’t any. Commercial revenue is objectively good for our club. We can earn money and be good at football at the same time. It’s not a case of either or. Woodward lacks leadership and he needs to bring in someone senior who can create a long-term strategy for our football side of things. That doesn’t mean that we should spend any lesser efforts on generating revenue for the club though.
I am not saying we shouldn't be generating revenue, or should stop trying. It is not 'either or' and I am not saying it is. I am just saying its so clear that the powers that be don't care enough about our on field success whilst the money is rolling in. If they cared more, they would have backed Mourinho properly this summer, or fired him and backed someone else
 

Moriarty

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I agree with the OP. Van Gaal said as much when he was here (and afterwards) and Jose has pretty much said words to that effect.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Why not? We are talking about people who are paid millions, they know what keeps the brand strong. You can only keep up for few years, not for long.
I think you underestimate our brand strength. I think we could go a decade easily without a trophy and still be in profit. Look how long Arsenal have been profitable for. They always were a good 'business' but the football was suffering
 

Jamie Shawcross

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They were a whisker away from winning the CL, stop burying your head in the sand. If Liverpool (god forbid) do go all the way in the league this year what excuse will be left?

The improvement to Liverpool compared to ours is staggering.
True, although I don't think its a coincidence that as soon as Gillet sold to Fenway, that was the turning point for Liverpool. It seems the owners care about the team. Ours don't, at least not nearly enough. We are a much bigger brand than Liverpool aswell. Liverpool spent loads this summer and spent well. The intentions of that club are crystal clear. Its not all down to Klopp. Changes need to happen at the top at United, whether that be new owners (that will be the day) or a complete hierarchy shake up and appointment of DoF like someone above has mentioned. Mourinho turning into a scapegoat
 

Jamie Shawcross

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They were a whisker away from winning the CL, stop burying your head in the sand. If Liverpool (god forbid) do go all the way in the league this year what excuse will be left?

The improvement to Liverpool compared to ours is staggering.
PS - being a 'whisker away' from winning something counts for nothing in my eyes.
 

Minimalist

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For all the talk of having too many Mourinho threads. There sure are a lot of separate threads defending him and blaming every cnut other than him (the tea lady is next! You watch!)
 

Kostur

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They were a whisker away from winning the CL, stop burying your head in the sand. If Liverpool (god forbid) do go all the way in the league this year what excuse will be left?

The improvement to Liverpool compared to ours is staggering.
Actually they were a whisker away from being knocked out by Roma, wasn't it for an inept ref.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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For all the talk of having too many Mourinho threads. There sure are a lot of separate threads defending him and blaming every cnut other than him (the tea lady is next! You watch!)
Hilarious!...on a serious note, I am not defending him, sometimes he can be a jerk but I am just pointing out the problem is bigger than Mourinho's antics and I don't know how anyone can believe that a new manager would 'fix' our problems.
 

Minimalist

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Hilarious!...on a serious note, I am not defending him, sometimes he can be a jerk but I am just pointing out the problem is bigger than Mourinho's antics and I don't know how anyone can believe that a new manager would 'fix' our problems.
If it’s multi faceted, why shouldn’t we fix all of the problems? One step at a time. It starts with a coach who plays dreadful football and seemingly can’t get anything out of this squad he’s been managing for two seasons now.

Still no idea why you thought you needed you’re own thread. It’s not much different from what’s already posted elsewhere.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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If it’s multi faceted, why shouldn’t we fix all of the problems? One step at a time. It starts with a coach who plays dreadful football and seemingly can’t get anything out of this squad he’s been managing for two seasons now.

Still no idea why you thought you needed you’re own thread. It’s not much different from what’s already posted elsewhere.
I have no idea why you're commenting on it. There are plenty of other threads you could've commented on. I am just sharing my thoughts on it, I don't need to apologise for using this platform for the very reason it was created.
 

Mr Anderson

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Mostly complete duds. There seems to be no clear vision since SAF departed. We are seeing that on the field. Theres no identity, no ultimate goal other than to run out and keep making money
Agree a lot on what you have said mate. Jose is only apart of the overall problem - albeit a growing concern week on week at this stage. Say he goes, new manager will obviously want to overhaul as we all know the squad is poor - will he be backed or told to work with what he has got, leading us to stagnate yet again?

The entire package is a mess. Replacing a cog that is Jose, in the machine that is United currently - will only have the usual short-term boost which the clubs vision is the only thing that happens here. There is no plan, there is no structure coming from the top. Youth has a bit of an overhaul but still miles behind our once "noisey neighbours".

First team is relatively poor throughout. Jose not backed in the summer lead to his even more bad temperament on his part - player power these days, they arent as tough as those in years gone by, if it isnt working their way then they are reluctant to change. Those hard working, die for you attitude players Fergie picked are few and far between.

I dont see light at the end of the tunnel whether Jose stays or goes if I'm honest. The club as a whole needs a major change.
 

Le Red

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American basketball fans and worldwide football fans are apples and oranges though...
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Agree a lot on what you have said mate. Jose is only apart of the overall problem - albeit a growing concern week on week at this stage. Say he goes, new manager will obviously want to overhaul as we all know the squad is poor - will he be backed or told to work with what he has got, leading us to stagnate yet again?

The entire package is a mess. Replacing a cog that is Jose, in the machine that is United currently - will only have the usual short-term boost which the clubs vision is the only thing that happens here. There is no plan, there is no structure coming from the top. Youth has a bit of an overhaul but still miles behind our once "noisey neighbours".

First team is relatively poor throughout. Jose not backed in the summer lead to his even more bad temperament on his part - player power these days, they arent as tough as those in years gone by, if it isnt working their way then they are reluctant to change. Those hard working, die for you attitude players Fergie picked are few and far between.

I dont see light at the end of the tunnel whether Jose stays or goes if I'm honest. The club as a whole needs a major change.
Completely agree. This is a much much bigger problem that Mourinho, and is going to take years to turnaround, but that starts with the powers that be acknowledging this and not just focusing on revenue, and that is my concern...that they will never care whilst they're cashing in. I don't even think Jose wanted Pogba. Probably a purely commercial decision with our affiliation with adidas etc. He has very little influence at all. I know he can be a berk but the guy can't win. He probably thought he had landed his dream job, to try and create his own dynasty at united but he will never be allowed. I bet hes gutted.
 

Eckers99

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Woody pulling the plug in the Alderweireld deal didn't have anything to do with the brand - that sounded like him overruling one of the most decorated managers of the modern era on a football-related decision. Which nobody is convinced that he's qualified to do.

As has been said before, it's the structure, clarity and lack of footballing knowledge at board level that seems to be the issue - not the fact that we remain a successful brand. Hopefully that'll be resolved soon.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Woody pulling the plug in the Alderweireld deal didn't have anything to do with the brand - that sounded like him overruling one of the most decorated managers of the modern era on a football-related decision. Which nobody is convinced that he's qualified to do.

As has been said before, it's the structure, clarity and lack of footballing knowledge at board level that seems to be the issue - not the fact that we remain a successful brand. Hopefully that'll be resolved soon.
We agree. Thats what I am trying to say, that theres too much focus on the commercial side and literally NONE on the footballing side. You are right
 

AshRK

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I dont care if Jose leaves today but people are living in delusion if they feel jose leaving will solve all the problem.
 

Marcky411

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We all know this has always been the case with the Glazers, the only time the Glazers and Ed Woodward are going to be interested in the football side is when Utd start to lose money and sponsorship deals, then and only then they will worry about the football side.
Getting back to the situation we find ourselves in today, they shall soon be thinking about the football side of things, as at this rate we will not be getting Top 4 which means losing the money that comes with CL football and the penalty Adidas will be enforcing for not be in the CL, let alone sponsorship deals that won't be extended or new deals coming in.
 

Jamie Shawcross

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We all know this has always been the case with the Glazers, the only time the Glazers and Ed Woodward are going to be interested in the football side is when Utd start to lose money and sponsorship deals, then and only then they will worry about the football side.
Getting back to the situation we find ourselves in today, they shall soon be thinking about the football side of things, as at this rate we will not be getting Top 4 which means losing the money that comes with CL football and the penalty Adidas will be enforcing for not be in the CL, let alone sponsorship deals that won't be extended or new deals coming in.
But it is NOT ENOUGH to just get CL football! As United fans, we want and expect to be challenging for the title. This is just it, they don't give a crap if we win the title or not! Its enough for them for us to scrape top 4. If they are happy our squad can get top 4, they put the responsibility on Mourinho to do that. He has his arms tied behind his back. Their targets do not match ours as fans, and that for me is where the problem lies and the cause of the sense of detachment from the club many are feeling. New Arsenal
 

Jamie Shawcross

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Call me deluded if you wish, but I firmly believe Mourinho wants the same as what us the fans want. He has too big an ego to be a manager who is happy to reach top 4. Mourinho is on our side. In my eyes its us (fans and mourinho) vs the board, yet we are pointing the finger at Jose
 

Marcky411

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I dont care if Jose leaves today but people are living in delusion if they feel jose leaving will solve all the problem.
Fully agree, Jose leaving won't solve all the problems but it would be a good start. A lot a people ask who is better than Jose out there who UTD could bring in, well at the moment everyone seeing how his own student who has only been in his new job for 3 months, outsmarted him tactic wise and whose team out played Jose's team all over the park and that at OT.
 

SAFMUTD

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Sadly the United brand is so huge that the Glazzers can have 10-15 years like the last 5 and continue to have massive revenue. The problem will come when United doesnt produce new fans, I can see the kids in Manchester supporting City instead of United. Nevermind kinds around the world, if you were a child right now why would you support Manchester United? Our style is awful and we havent challenge for a title in years. But for this to affect the brand and revenue is a long long way, right now keeping inside top 4 is all that matters for the Glazzers.

I can imagine this is how Liverpool fans felt after their reign of the 70s and 80s endend, or how Arsenal fans felt after becoming irrelevant. This is us now, sadly I cant see glorydays on the short or medium run.
 

Adisa

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Manchester United is a club synonyms with winning. The club's biggest selling point is that it always strived to compete and play good football. That's our brand.
Adidas are not going to continue paying £75m for a team that is nowhere near titles and competing in the latter stages of the CL. It's just not going to happen.
The idea the Glazers don't know this is ridiculous. They are not idiots.
Now, I hate the Galzers as much as anyone but let's look at the facts here. Manchester United have the second highest wage bill among European clubs. Manchester United have in the last five years, spent far more than any club not backed by an oil rich state. The Glazers also try as much as possible not to interfere in the running of the club.
Looking objectively, from their pov, they have not done much wrong in the last five years. They have backed their managers to the extent that our transfer outlay has been comparable to City and PSG in the same time. Lets Le reasonable here.
 
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sullydnl

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Am I right in thinking our current structure has the manager as the highest ranked decision maker with any actual football expertise?

Am I also right in thinking it is very unusual for that to be the case?

If that's right (which I'm pretty sure it is) then that's the key problem, I think.

I don't have a problem with the likes of Woodward being brand-first. The problem is when brand-first people make up all the club's decision makers.
 

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We will retain our value for a long time even without success on field. Glazers are American and they know the way it works in American sports, which is the direction football is heading in with the access to top competition limited to few richest clubs.

Lakers and Knicks are still the most valuable NBA franchises, neither of them have been successful for the last 6 years and in Knicks case they’ve basically not been successful for almost two decades. Cowboys are by far the most valuable NFL franchise and they’ve not been successful either.

We can go 10-15 years without winning Premier League or Champions League and still make a ton of money on sponsorships.
This is the truth, as long as company’s view is as the holy grail of football.

Look we’re the biggest news almost everyday world wide Almost every day. Go look at who’s looking for what stream or talking about bus online. We are the biggest single ‘thing’ on earth. People from everywhere wake up and check United new first, and they know that.

Most of us can’t even quit if we wanted to and all these sponsors know that.

United is just another tv show with the greatest ratings everywhere on earth and companies don’t care how we’re doing as long as their ads are seen by us.
 

Greck

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After all we spent how are we going to whine about not spending an extra 100m after getting outplayed by Derby and Wolves? Don't know how some Jose apologists aren't even ashamed to do so. Woodward isn't faultless but saying Jose is faultless is borderline delusion. If we only lost to teams that outspent us it would be a different case
 

SirAF

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After all we spent how are we going to whine about not spending an extra 100m after getting outplayed by Derby and Wolves? Don't know how some Jose apologists aren't even ashamed to do so. Woodward isn't faultless but saying Jose is faultless is borderline delusion
I don't think ANYONE says that Mourinho is faultless - not even me. What we are saying is that another manager is unlikely to do significantly better under the same set up.