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Man Utd’s Collapse Is A Lesson For Celtic Fans Who Dream Of The EPL And Foreign Owners.

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Manchester United suffered one of the most humiliating afternoons in their recent history yesterday, and that’s saying something considering how bad their recent history has been. It was a full-on disaster that befell them at Brentford, and as shocking as it was the biggest take away from it is that very few people can honestly claim to have been shocked.

There are fans of our club who have, for years, pined for a sugar daddy.

One of the constant critiques of Dermot Desmond is that the doesn’t just put his hands in his pockets and fund the dream.

It is one of the few things I don’t criticise him for.

There are other Celtic fans who dream of the EPL, and think that if only we got there we might wind up with the kind of owners who have poured their money into clubs down there over the years, the clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle and others.

I have never wanted that.

If you need a lesson in how that could well turn out look at the current state of United and understand; in the right or wrong circumstances, that could happen to us. I think it’s unlikely to happen whilst we’re in Scotland, but if we were an EPL club there are very many out there who would think we were an excellent investment.

And that’s the word here. An investment.

Not a vehicle for winning football matches but something to sit on a balance sheet. An asset.

Everything that is happening to United right now is happening because the Glazers see them as a Shiny Thing to own, a guaranteed cash machine, instead of a football club that has to at least pretend to aspire after success.

The Manchester United fans who go every week are enraged.

Of course they are.

But their rage is formless, with the substance of air.

The Glazers barely even bother to turn up at games. They operate the club by remote control, through proxies and placemen. Fans continue to buy season tickets in spite of their opposition, and so on it goes.

The thing is, even if they stopped tomorrow there is some question as to whether or not it would do any good.

Manchester United’s revenues are so vast that season ticket sales would barely be missed if the ground sat empty every week. Their global fan-base would continue to spend huge sums on merchandise.

Their marketing team would barely miss a beat.

I don’t like Dermot Desmond running this club. I don’t like the idea that we have, once again, become a play thing for old white men and their offspring, and so I would rather that when he decides he no longer wants to interfere in every decision this club makes that he did not hand it over to his son. I am seriously opposed to that taking place.

But I realise that there are worse things he could do.

I realise there are worse people he can pass our club to.

Some of our fans worry that we will end up with a takeover that leaves us in the hands of a hedge fund or something worse … and they are right to be.

Ibrox is far more likely to end up in the hands of one of those than we are, and it’s because Desmond and his people essentially want to keep it in the family.

The only true way to be sure though is to have the club primarily owned by we, the fans.

That’s what we should be shooting for eventually.

Anything else leaves that other dark possibility on the table, and we only need to look at the club which was once the biggest in the world, now a pale shadow of that, because of a take-over a decade ago which has brought them nothing but grief to see it.

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6 comments

  • Finbar muldoon says:

    Listened to shortbread half-time hearts v Dundee utd. Reporter spent about two minutes on Nottingham forest v west ham. 5 seconds on killie v Celts. Hun. HH

  • Johnny Green says:

    On what is a feelgood day for Celtic FC and their fans I fail to grasp the point of this scaremongering article. It’s not one bit relevant to us and certainly not today,

    If, if, if 🙁

  • John says:

    You forget to mention how americans invested in liverpool!!!

    For every bad there is a good

  • John says:

    Arsenal another success

  • Benjamin says:

    Not sure what to make of this. I’m no apologist for the Glazer family, but their ownership isn’t the primary reason Man U is struggling in 2022. They took over in 2005 and since then they’ve been won the league 5 times, 4 League Cups, the FA Cup, the Champions League, and the Europa League. And more to the point, there’s very little that differentiates United from Liverpool (or Arsenal) in terms of ownership, yet a compelling argument can be made that operationally – from a footballing standpoint – Liverpool have never been stronger.

    What’s similar to all three of these clubs is that they have billionaire American owners who own multiple sporting franchises and are very hands off in terms of day to day running of the club. They all appoint executive teams to run the clubs. The big difference between winning and losing is (1) having the internal structures in place that allow qualified people to succeed in their positions, and (2) appointing qualified people into the right positions. Since the time that Alex Ferguson left, Manchester United had an investment banker running the show as CEO and no director of football to competently run the football operations of the club. Both Liverpool and Arsenal have strong directors of football that coordinate transfers that fit a defined playing style and are also responsible for hiring the managers. It should also be noted that both Liverpool and Arsenal have football people on their boards as well.

    The best thing that can be said about Desmond is that he’s not in it (owning Celtic) primarily for the money. He cares about winning and is emotionally invested in the club and isn’t going to let the rot set in without periodically getting the broom out when necessary. But beyond that Celtic is run much more like Manchester United than any of the other clubs that have been successful in the EPL in the last 10-15 years. If Eddie Howe hadn’t turned down the job, we’d be floundering under the 2nd failed manager in a row with no clear plan on how to turn things around because there are no structures in place to support the football operations beyond what the manager implements and manages himself, nor are there any key decision makers at the executive or board level with any football knowledge or experience. The perfectly describes Manchester United right now except they’re on failed manager 6 right now and face a much higher level of competition every week.

  • Roonsa says:

    The Scottish football authorities absolutely must do more to improve the “product” in Scottish football. The last team outside Celtic, the huns and (and that zombie atrocity the season before last) to win the League was Aberdeen in 1985. 1985!!! If you look at the EPL, it is BY FAR the best league in terms of the quality of football on show and the competitiveness with quality teams from top to bottom.

    However, would I want Celtic to be part of that? It is absolutely ridiculous, corporate football at its worst. Man Utd have always been at the forefront of that model so it fucking serves them right that they are in the mess they find themselves in. If that level of greed at the expense of the fans is what people aspire to, hell fucking mend them. Dicks.

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