David Moyes - The Good Guy and The Fall Guy.

Posted on: 25/04/2014

The shocking fact and management of the sacking of David Moyes give a stark insight into the modus operandi of the main shareholders, the Glazer family.

It, of course, goes without saying that the Glazers have no interest in the sporting values of one of the Worlds greatest football clubs. They bought what they would simply characterise as a strong "franchise", in the same way that less well-financed families might purchase a McDonald's franchise back home in the United States. And, yes, the Glazers would serve up soccer in the same way as a hamburger if they could: standard "meat" content, perfectly portion-controlled and with unit staff costs kept to the Minimum Wage.

What drives folks like the Glazers is one thing : share price. They would pretty it up by calling it  "building value for shareholders" but, given they own most of the equity, they have a very personal motive. Keeping their wallets filled to bursting.

I am not going to go over the entire history of the Glazers involvement with Manchester United. It is well-documented that they used huge amounts of borrowed money to buy the club,paying interest rates which would have Wonga rubbing their hands with glee. Those interest rates have forced United to pay out hundreds of £millions over the last 8 years, simply to give greedy moneylenders their pound of flesh.

Much has been made of the fact the Glazers retained the services of Sir Alex Ferguson, as if this shows what a bunch of nice guys they are. That is nonsense. They simply supported a winner for as long as he went on winning. Mark my words, if Sir Alex had ever failed to qualify the club for the Champions League, he would have been booted out just as ruthlessly as David Moyes.It is right kind of thing to do, if  all you are considering is that a £6 Million compensation bill can gain you £80 Million in share price increases.

Cards on the table. I am a Manchester United season ticket holder. I have watched many matches live, including most at the end of last season. The truth is that, whilst United won the Premier League in 2014, the cracks were showing as the curtain went down both on the season and Sir Alex Fergusons tenure. Matches were lost but it was the manner of the defeats that shocked me and others. It was clear to most supporters that many of the players were not up to the required standard and/or were fast reaching the end of excellent careers. Drastic changes would be needed to the playing staff.

The required changes never came. David Moyes lacked the support of an experienced CEO. Instead of buying the likes of Gareth Bale, United were left scrabbling around trying to buy "somebody" -anybody- before the start of the new season. It was pathetic.

However, I believe the problem goes deeper than a failure to buy new players. In my view, the Glazers had already decided that following Sir Alex would be impossible for any manager. They therefore viewed any appointment as "interim" and set up all arrangements to allow " The Chosen One" to be pushed out of the exit with as little expense as possible. David Moyes was simply a fall guy.

The sad thing is that David Moyes could have become a great manager for Manchester United. He has all the required qualities.He was simply not given the opportunity to use them.  

I am so disgusted with the way David Moyes has been treated that I cannot see myself taking much of an interest in Manchester United again, unless and until the Glazers finally dispose of their shares. Instead, I will lend my support to my hometown club, Heart of Midlothian. Currently, 8000 plus fans ( myself included) are part of a concerted effort to deliver the club out of Administration and into the ownership of the supporters. If it works, the club will be the John Lewis Partnership of football,which most sensible people would accept as being a very good thing to be!

Bringing Hearts back into the hands of the supporters will be a step in the right direction for football as a whole. A football club is not a business franchise. It is not a vehicle for increasing shareholder value at all costs.

No, a football club, at its best, is the beating heart of a community, a model of togetherness and inclusion, achieved in the healthy pursuit of sporting achievement.

Hopefully, one day, Manchester United can follow the path Hearts are taking, a path less tread but with a wonderful destination.



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