Monday, September 7, 2009

The end of SAF: Is Manchester United really in danger of decline?

The end of SAF: Is Manchester United really in danger of decline?

By Kieran Pender

So the new season has started, and Manchester United have once again gotten off to their normal sluggish start. But with the new season underway, and Sir Alex Ferguson a year older, we have to once again ask ourselves, what will happen when the legend retires? Will we continue to fly high, or will we flounder into middle table mediocrity?

Sir Alex Ferguson has brought great success to Manchester United Football Club. 11 league titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 Champions League trophies, making him arguably the greatest football manager of all time. However, he is growing ever older and will inevitably have to retire sometime soon. But will the end of Sir Alex really spell the end of Manchester United?

In short, No. At least in the short term, Sir Alex’s reign will ensure at least another ten years or so of success. Looking at the current Manchester United reserves team, it is obvious that there is another era of great players coming through. The Da Silva brothers, Macheda, Welbeck, Evans, Petrucci, the list goes on. These talented young players should ensure another decade of silverware, but what beyond that.

Possibly the most worrying aspect of Manchester United is the financial insecurity. The Glazer family has plunged United into unimaginable debt, which could possibly result in the ultimate downfall of Manchester United Football Club. In the 2007/08 season, United won the Champions League and Premier League double, so apart from the other minor trophies (sorry FA Cup), they delivered the best possible season. However, they still recorded a loss. This is worrying, as what will happen when United have an inevitable ‘off’ year. Will it force United to sell off prized ‘assets’? Or will the club be plunged further and further into debt, and eventually go into the ever dreaded arms of ‘administration’?

Once again, luckily I believe the answer to be no. While I may not be the most economically minded person, I do understand the basics, and the basics being that Manchester United Football club is arguably the biggest football club in the world, and therefore the most attractive to buyers. When, and the time will definitely come, the Glazers sell up, they will pay off the debt and make a tidy profit.

Finally, the legacy left by Ferguson when he finally calls it a day will keep United in good enough stead that they can attract the greatest managers in the world. And with the greatest managers in the world you would hope would come more trophies…

So Manchester United fans, rest easy, the work of Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest manager of all time, will keep us winning for decades to come.

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