Manchester United balls: Van Gaal stays, Mourinho works for free, thank god for Leicester City
No sooner have we read the details of Jose Mourinho’s contract to manage Manchester Untied – £15m a year for three years (Mirror); £300m on players (Star) – than the Sun, which has been hyping the story of Jose to United for days and days, announces: “Louis Van Gal believes he’ll keep job if United make Champions League.”
For reasons only it knows, the Sun dresses LVG as Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi, and declares: “May The 4th Be With You.”
The Mail says Van Gaal enjoys the support of United’s £3m -a-year chief executive Ed Woodward – he’s the man who rubber-stamped the Dutchman’s £250m on new players. But the Sun says in a conference call with United’s major investors Woodward “failed to mention LVG”. It’s not hard to imagine United’s major investors not having the foggiest idea who manages the club, nor caring. It’s all about money. The Star says United are expected to “smash though the £500m turnover barrier in 2016”.
Over in the Mirror, which only yesterday announced that Van Gaal is to leave United in the summer, we hear more from the investors. They asked: “Why Can’t United be more like Leicester?” The cynic would reply: ‘Because big football clubs are vanity projects for the super-rich, or, as in United’s case, a way of raising tens of millions for their owners’ other projects and real passions.” The other answer is that Leicester’s highest ever league finishing position was when they came runners-up in 1928–29 – who wants to be like them?
David McDonell tells Mirror readers: “Leicester have demolished the belief that the only way to become champions was by flexing financial muscles in the transfer market.” They haven’t. Leicester have won nothing yet. the Mirror’s the paper that yesterday reported: “What could Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United team look like.” No unheralded players from Fleetwood town, whence Jamie Vardy joined Leicester for £400,000, in this dream team. The Mirror’s says Mourinho’s United must buy: Cristiano Ronaldo, John Stones and Atletico Madrid sporting director Andrea Berta.
Star Wars, indeed.
Although, once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, United paid £1 million for 23-year-old Cambridge United striker Dion Dublin. He was United’s only major signing of the 1992 summer. (They bought Eric Cantona later.) Next season they won the title for the first time in 26 years. Dublin made only four appearances for United. But the players who featured most heavily in that league campaign – Peter Schmeichel (42), Brian McClair (41), and Ryan Giggs (40), cost United £505,000 from Brondby, nothing, and £850,000 from Celtic, respectively.
Leicester have demolished nothing – it’s the Premier League and lazy media that have turned it into a bubble.