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25 Apr 2020 11:12:57
It's has been suggested that when football returns it will likely be played behind closed doors with all matches broadcast live on TV.

Can somebody please explain to me when this pandemic is over and football returns to normal why we are unable just to pay to watch every Utd game live on TV. I think football needs a revamp!

With the imminent take over at Newcastle it seems curious to me that Clubs like City, Chelsea and seemingly now Newcastle can benefit from mega rich owners yet Utd are unable to take advantage of our huge worldwide following and sell our own TV rights? Thoughts?


{Ed001's Note - because that is what happens in countries like Spain and why their league is a mess. The rich get richer at the expense of the poor and destroys the competitiveness of the league.}

1.) 25 Apr 2020 11:51:39
Ed001 - Thanks for your reply I just want to understand the complexity of the issue.

What happens in Spain?

Forgive me for being naive but I can't understand why in England we can't just choose which Premier League game we want to watch where as if we lived in the USA for example we could have our pick on ESPN.

It's frustrating that we have to pay subscriptions to both Sky and BT for only a handful of live games.

I'm a season ticket holder so I attend home games, it's difficult to get tickets for most away games so I'd like to be able to watch them on TV!

{Ed001's Note - for starters, you can blame your fellow Man Utd fans for the struggle to get away tickets. They can't behave themselves and so almost every club gives you a reduced allocation. It is such silly things as well, in the main, but they are costing their fellow fans as the home club know they will sell out to their own fans.}

I get the frustration for the fans of big clubs, but football is about more than just greedy big clubs wanting it all. As they found in Spain, where they allowed Barca and Madrid to negotiate their own TV deals, it just means the smaller clubs end up losing out massively. No TV company wants to bother with the little clubs, so they end up with little income and they can't come anywhere near competing with the big ones. The reason the English Prem is the best and most competitive is because it has mainly shared everything pretty equally.

The reason you can't watch is because most small clubs have a large percentage of their gate made up of fans of big clubs whose team are playing away that weekend. Put Man Utd on TV every week and most of those fans stay at home to watch instead of going to the likes of Bury etc.}

2.) 25 Apr 2020 12:07:06
No way the prem will finish and please don't believe all what the British government are telling you only last week a vaccine trail was 18 months away and now they are trialing one. You can't think about sport until the lockdown millions have been released its all about the lost millions to the Premier league they don't care about people dying or they wouldn't even be considering restarting. Here in Spain many people are in a hard lockdown and still upto 7000 new cases daily and around 600 daily deaths. Most Spanish people are blaming the Atalanta game for a lot of the trouble. The FA need to study everything very very carefully.😞😞.

3.) 25 Apr 2020 12:45:06
Thanks for your reply Ed!

I agree it's important to protect the competitiveness of the league but Utd also have to compete with the likes of Real and Barcelona in European competition as well. From a selfish perspective I find it a touch frustrating but can understand the bigger picture. When Utd were playing well under SAF I actually considered the likes of Real, Barca, Bayern, Juventus, Milan etc to be bigger rivals than even City or Liverpool for a time. Whilst local rivalries are important they sometimes become less significant as a teams priorities change. I would imagine Liverpools rivalry with City has taken on extra significance over the past couple of seasons and whilst it might still be important to beat Utd perhaps City is the game you now look for when the fixture list is announced. Now Liverpool are consistently challenging in Europe maybe you caste on eye on PSG, Real, Bayern, Barcelona etc and maybe even consider them bigger rivals than Utd at this moment in time. Financially it's important that you are able to compete with these teams as well.

I was aware of the 3pm KO rule obviously designed to safeguard attendances at live games but I'm not convinced not showing premier league games significantly protects attendances at lower league grounds. I'm not aware of that many people not going to watch Bury, Oldham or Rochdale for example because Utd are on TV. Generally these fans support those Clubs as their principe team and have no interest in watching Utd or even the premier league for that matter or certainly not in favour of their own Club. Maybe that's a naive view but certainly true of the people I know.

Anyway I suppose it's a complex issue and from a personal perspective I've always seen Utd as being more closely related to the great teams of Europe then the likes of Norwich, Brighton or Bournemouth.

I think I'd even welcome the formation of a European super league but I'd have to understand the complexity and issues involved. My view is the game changes and evolves and why should we stand in its way!
But I suppose that's a debate for another day!

{Ed001's Note - just remember Barca and Madrid have been struggling because they have an uncompetitive league. They have now swapped over to a joint TV deal split between the Spanish league. Stay with what we have as it isn't broke and is why the English league is the richest.}

4.) 25 Apr 2020 13:30:00
Fair enough Ed you understand the issues and complexities more than I do! Enjoy your weekend pal and stay safe!

{Ed001's Note - just to be clear, if you go along to the likes of Tranmere or Bury etc, you will 100% find their gates are affected by Man Utd/Liverpool etc playing at home. That is why Tranmere for a long time played on a Friday night. Whether that is still as much of a case now people can watch on dodgy streams online is very much up for debate. But I don't think it is fair to take chances on smaller clubs just so rich clubs can get even richer than they already are.

I mean you say it is so you can compete, but much smaller budgets remain competitive, so it is not about money.}



15 Apr 2020 11:28:46
RIP the 96 - All rivalry aside nobody should go to a football match and never come home. More poignant than ever football is after all just a game! Stay safe guys!


1.) 15 Apr 2020 14:39:30
It's not just a game in my eyes and I'll never see it that way 😂😂.

I echo your words on the tragic Hillsborough disaster though mate.



06 Apr 2020 19:17:43
Fair play to all the Liverpool supporters on getting the Club to overturn their decision to furlough their non-playing staff 👏👏👏.


1.) 06 Apr 2020 19:46:29
After been hammered in the press, yeah. But still a good decision. Annoyed how the players are kicking off about a pay reduction however still happy to flaunt the lockdown rules.

2.) 06 Apr 2020 22:17:26
Right decision in the end, but it should never have got to this point. Hopefully the other clubs see sense.

3.) 07 Apr 2020 06:57:34
Right decision in the end does not take away from the initial 'theft' of public money. LFC, always the 'victim'!

4.) 09 Apr 2020 08:59:39
I think this can highlight the disconnect between owners and the fans of their football club. I think anyone with any knowledge of Liverpool and the history of the club/ area would have told the owners this will not go down well.
Lots of friends who are Liverpool fans and they were disgusted with it, their argument being if this happened 3/ 4 months down the line and the club can show accounts to back up the need then a different argument. but so early it felt in their words like a decision made by people living a long way from the club
Well done for turning it over.



01 Apr 2020 21:51:41
Is it just me or is anybody else feeling slightly appalled with the news Spurs and Newcastle have furloughed their non-playing staff amid the uncertainty of the corona virus pandemic, effectively condemning most to a significant pay cut and relying on the Government to now pay their wages.

This news leaves me feeling queasy and questioning the morality of our game. With the star players and the prawn sandwich brigade continuing to rake in millions what does it say about a Club that claims it can no longer afford to pay its poorest staff?

No doubt the world will eventually recover from this virus but what will be the human cost.

Football is the people's game, it brings us joy and distraction from everyday life but it should never forget its roots. It should never turn it's back or forget it's life's blood and will do so at its peril.

In times of crisis we get to see people's true colours. We have people dying in our hospitals, brave health care professionals working around the clock desperately trying to save lives, whilst risking their own, millions of others are unable to work, businesses are going bust and many people are being pushed towards poverty all whilst owners, directors, managers and players of some of our biggest football clubs continue to live in their bubble, protected by their wealth and status. Now we have two of our most famous Clubs claiming they can no longer afford to pay their poorest staff and relying on government assistance. With the enormous wealth in the game at the highest level how can this be right?

I hope at Man Utd we don't go down the same route. I hope we have the moral courage and strength of character to continue to pay all staff their full wages until this crisis is over. I hope the players recognise this and accept pay reductions if necessary, if we have to forgo our transfer budget to ensure all members of staff are protected and valued then it must be done. We must show at Man Utd that every single person is valued and respected right down from the ticket office to the highest paid player. We must come out from this crisis united with our morality in check. The Club must recognise that its entire staff are important and in a world where millions are suffering it did what it could to look after its own. That's the least it can do in these turbulent times.


1.) 01 Apr 2020 22:12:10
Immoral, appalling, unacceptable, ignorant, I could go on. Clubs putting the workers into furlough whilst continuing to pay players £100,000s a week is just unacceptable.

Let’s assume a average salary of £30,000 and the requirement to cover 4 months pay, £7,500. If we take a player who commits £100,000 to the cause the that would cover 13 people for 4 months. Surely players could cover off no-playing staff during this crisis, it’s not like the top players are going to go hungry is it? A handful of players committing a weeks pay would sort out the non playing staff but it’s not likely to happen is it?

{Ed004's Note - Havent united already confirmed that they will pay all staff as expected over the next few months for all postponed games and will pay them again if they are eventually played? I dont think it's fair to blame the players. Yes it has been brilliant to see the likes of Howe and other clubs players volunteer to take pay cuts to cover employees wages but it should be the responsibility of the billionaire owners like Ashley and Levy to cover their staffs wages. The furlough was put in to help struggling companies but ofc a few were going to take advantage of the situation and I'm not surprised by the clubs that have taken this action}

2.) 01 Apr 2020 23:09:42
DLIB best post I’ve seen in a while. Couldn’t agree more. The Premier League obsession with money is pretty sickening.
Has to be said the government’s job security scheme is highly flawed and wide open for cash rich companies to take advantage of, but seriously some of these clubs have limited morals.

3.) 02 Apr 2020 00:18:48
Ed004 - Of course it should be the responsibility of the owners to treat their staff with compassion and respect but sadly some would rather see other people foot the bill to protect their assets!

This virus does not distinguish between rich or poor. Nobody is immune and everybody is at risk. In a national effort where everybody is being asked to be socially responsible, to self isolate, to help slow the spread of the virus and to protect each other sadly some of our biggest football Clubs seemingly want to absolve their responsibility in order to protect revenue, turning their backs on their employees and expecting the public to foot the bill.

It is my understanding that the government will guarantee 80% of a workers wage up to a maximum of £2500 per month. That means every worker will lose at least 20% of their monthly wage. If the figures in the press are accurate this effects around 550 employees at each Club, for the sake of argument if the Club paid all its workers the maximum £2500 per month each for three months it would cost the Club just over £4.1m over a three month period to keep everyone employed. Are you trying to tell me that saving £4m over a three month period would make a significant difference to the Clubs finances? I just can't understand why Clubs the size of Spurs and Newcastle can't afford to cover their staff wages?

Once again it's the poorest people in society being asked to shoulder the burden of national and international crisis because the rich refuse to share their wealth. Ultimately it will the tax payer that foots the bill whilst football expects the world just to turn a blind eye and continue as normal.

Should we have to potentially stomach watching Spurs spend millions in the transfer market lavishing Mr Mourinho with cash when it couldn't even afford to pay its staff wages!

Football needs to get its house in order and re-evaluate its priorities!

{Ed004's Note - I couldn't agree more DLIB. It's nice hearing that barcelona players sacrificed an additional 2% of their wages so staff were not out of pocket. However, at the same time, I don't think that should be expected of them. The clubs make enough money and should be expected to cover their own staffs wages}

4.) 02 Apr 2020 12:24:51
It's a sad state of affairs and just further goes to show how far removed football clubs are becoming from the people they exist to entertain.

Not that it will ever happen but I wish the FA and the Government would come together and agree some sort of a pact where the FA impose a two window transfer ban on all club's that either lay off staff or take tax payers money to pay them.

If you can't afford to pay your staff then you can't afford to spends millions in the transfer market.

Sadly that will never happen.

5.) 02 Apr 2020 22:47:29

Excellent post there matey.



02 Feb 2020 12:46:08
This Utd team remain a confusion to me. I just can't understand Ole's insistence on setting us up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. It's apparent that Ole wants our width to come from the full backs and for the three players behind the striker to be fluid and interchangeable with two holding midfielders providing a shield for the defence. But we don't really have the players to make this system work effectively.

I remember endless debates about fullbacks a few years ago when Young and Valencia occupied those positions yet we find ourselves in the same position. Shaw simply doesn't have the appetite, desire, mentality, courage or fitness to play that way. We signed AWB for £50m yet he can't attack. He simply doesn't have the quality on the ball if you want the full backs to provide width and attacking impetus to the team.

I remember another debate about the signing of Maguire and playing a high defensive line in an attempt to compress the play and press the opposition allowing us to win the ball higher up the pitch. I think Ed001 suggested Maguire was not suited to this role and he was correct. We can't allow our full backs to bomb forward or our team to press aggressively because Maguire and Lindelof can't be trusted to be left exposed. Maguire has the turning circle of a cruise ship and simply doesn't have the pace or recovery speed. Lindelof also lacks pace, physicality and looks particularly vulnerable when exposed in 1v1 situations.

If Ole has a vision or identity for his Utd team then it isn't particularly well represented by his recruitment. Maguire and AWB are both very good players and solid additions but perhaps don't best represent the style he wants to implement.

I thought Fernandes made a promising debut but I get the feeling we don't really know what to do with him. It's square pegs in round holes again.

Without Rashford I just don't think Ole has the personnel to play 4-2-3-1. James progress has stalled, Martial looks lost and isolated and we don't really have a viable option on the right. Our full backs don't get forward enough and lack quality in the final third meaning the entire teams lacks width and penetration. Our CB's look vulnerable when exposed to the counter attack and we struggle at both ends of the pitch.

I suppose the suspension to Matic confused things slightly yesterday but in my opinion Ole should have persisted with the 3-5-2 formation. This allows us to get more width from the wings backs, it's allows us to to play 2 upfront and also gives us numbers in midfield.

In my opinion Greenwood is perfectly suited to the games where we dominate possession. He's a real goal threat when he receives the ball in and around the box. James is more suited to partner Martial when we want to sit deeper and break quickly against the better teams utilising his superior pace.

With the return of Bailly I'd love to see Maguire and Lindelof positioned either side and encouraged to bring the ball forward. Maguire is a very good footballer and more than capable of bringing the ball forward into midfield; likewise Lindelof on the other side. The wings backs can then push higher up the pitch giving us more players in advanced positions. Bailly or even Tuanzebe both have the pace and defensive ability to cover when one of the other CB's moves forward. With Matic, Fred or Mctominay anchoring the midfield, allowing Pogba (when fit) and Fernandes licence to get forward and influence the play.
Two forwards means Martial isn't left isolated and gives us more options in the box .

Traditionally Utd haven't played with 3 at the back but in my opinion this formation is better suited to most of the players in our current squad. The formation provides width, allows us to play two up front, gives us numbers in midfield and defensive cover.


1.) 02 Feb 2020 14:02:11
It’s negative tactics mate. We are set up not to lose and it’s absolutely cowardly. Simple truth is that the likes of AWB and Maguire came highly rated and with the view they would kick on and improve, yet what we have seen is regression with both. How long before that happens to Bruno? The manager and his awful coaching side have a lot to answer for. If so many players are regressing surely the common denominator is ole. Hence why I believe that you can give him 10 windows yet he still wouldn’t win the league. Get a proper manager in and you will see improvements in the performances of the players you’ve mentioned. Yes we need reinforcements, but these players aren’t half as bad as they are looking right now.

2.) 02 Feb 2020 14:41:38
Park - Sadly I think your probably right pal! Enjoy the rest of your weekend mate.

3.) 02 Feb 2020 17:15:56
You too buddy!

4.) 02 Feb 2020 17:33:40
None of your centre halfs are particularly strong in 1v1 or comfortable at defending out wide or the pace to play. in fact I couldn't think of a team more not suited to play 3 at the back than utd. unless you went with maguire centre about and shaw outside him. dalot and the Williams out side them. would need coaching as nd some work.




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31 May 2020 11:48:19
Ed001 - With all due respect if you want to disregard peer reviewed research then that's your prerogative. This is not my opinion but published peer reviewed literature.

Shappy has in my opinion eloquently made his argument and referenced his material, which I have read

If there are studies which contradict his point then please reference them and I will read them too.

Ed I don't know where you've found that the size of the crowd isn't important but here's some more published research for your consideration.

Agnew and Carron (1994) found that the only significant predictor of game outcome was crowd density. It was indicated that as crowd density increases, home advantage increases.   Nevill, Newell and Gale (1996) observed significant home advantage with larger crowds in football.

These are not my opinions but published findings in peer reviewed journals and articles.


{Ed001's Note - I did not say disregard it, I said question it. The same peer review journals were telling us that, for example, margarine was healthier than butter because of a large number of these kinds of papers. It was false because the people writing them made their conclusions based on their own bias - they went into the tests looking to prove margarine was healthier and so set the tests up to prove so. All of these reviews are taking raw data and not a holistic view. They are not using context. They are like Shappy with his debates, which are him looking purely at what agrees with him and discarding what doesn't. That is not how studies should work. They should look at ALL the date and try and fit their understanding around it all, rather than fit the data to their beliefs.

They are negating to look into the fact that as teams do well, crowd density increases. Density is a product of good performances as well and that has not been factored in at all. There has also been no account of player form or availability. They have ignored tactical considerations and team investment etc. Instead they have focused purely on the numbers and it is lacking context.

There are so many variables that they simply cannot factor in with pure numerical values.}



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31 May 2020 01:17:20
Interesting thread!

There is actually a plethora of published scientific research into the question of home advantage in sport.

From what I've read the crowd does appear to be the single most dominant factor when assessing home advantage through a variety of mechanisms. Other factors such as familiarity with the stadium, pitch or traveling time appear to have less of an influence.

Who am I to argue with the academics. Peer reviewed articles/ journals are considered to be the most reliable and respected sources of information.

Initial results in Germany although admittedly a very small sample size do seem to support this view.

Read the research and make your own mind up.




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05 Apr 2020 14:56:33
Fair enough Mumbles I respect your opinion and I must confess it's hard to defend him.

We've definitely struggled at times this season when having to rely on the likes of Lingard and Pereira and the signing of Fernandes has only illustrated what we've been missing.

I agree if we have title aspirations we need better and neither should be regular starters but maybe without the weight of pressure and expectation they can provide cover for the odd injury or perhaps this is just wishful thinking.




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05 Apr 2020 11:50:13
To be fair to Lingard he's scored some important goals for Utd and always worked hard on the pitch.

I think he was given a chance by Ole this season to really cement his place in the team and add some consistency, creativity and goals to his game. Unfortunately Lingard isn't quite at the level needed to get us back challenging for the top honours. He's been unable to deliver when given the extra responsibility and expectation.

Now we have Fernandes the pressure has been lifted somewhat. I still think Lingard is a decent player and more than capable of being able to deputise for Fernandes on occasions or make an impact off the bench. Whether he wants this role is debatable but I just don't see him moving to another big Club or anyone being prepared to match his wages. I think Lingard should get his head down, work hard and try to make the most of his opportunities when they arise. Football is a squad game and he'll still get plenty of opportunities. You have to fight for your place at any top Club and I'm sure even Lingard would admit he's been woefully short of form for the last 12 months.

If he wants to move and we can get a decent fee then fine but we need squad depth and players like Lingard and Pereria whilst not perhaps being good enough to start every game still have an important role to play at the Club. If they leave they'll have to be replaced and both play in areas where we're not exactly blessed with other options.




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25 Mar 2020 22:36:35
Shappy - I think the re-building of this Utd team is almost complete. I've always maintained we were only 2-3 players away from having a very good team. That being said wether it'll will be good enough to challenge the likes of Liverpool and City remains to be seen.

Fernandes has now given us a creativity and goal threat from midfield we've been sorely lacking and just emphasises how the right player can re-galvanise a team and improve those around them. Fred and Mctominay look capable of forming a solid partnership providing industry and discipline in midfield.

Maguire has stiffened the defence, AWB is defensively one of the best full backs in the league and Shaw finally looks capable of fulfilling his potential. I think we probably need a bit more pace and physicality alongside Maguire however Bailly has looked promising since his return and I still have very high hopes for Tuanzebe.

Rashford and Martial have both shown glimpses of real quality and added a touch more consistency to their game. Ultimately their upper ceiling may just dictate how successful this Utd team will become.

In my opinion a RW should be our next priority signing. We need to bring balance to our attack and we need a consistent presence and threat from the right side. Sancho would appear to be our main target and a front four of Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho and Martial looks a mouthwatering prospect. I know Martial
divides opinion but I think he will be given another season to prove himself.

What we perhaps lack most is strength in depth and maybe it's this that needs to be addressed over the summer. Having said that many of our promising youngsters will be another year older and more experienced.

The world has been turned upside down by recent events and we just don't know what the landscape will look like when football returns.

In answer to your question I think the Club will probably sign Ighalo on a permanent deal. He's settled in quickly and made an immediate impact. He's appears content with a squad role but will fight for his place and has proven he is capable of making an impact when required. He certainly adds depth to our attacking options and gives us something others don't.

Could we see one superstar leave and another arrive in the coming months.

A first 11 of De Gea, AWB, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Mctominay, Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho and Martial isn't too shabby.

I wish everyone the very best in these most unnerving and surreal times. Stay safe guys and look after each other.





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26 May 2020 13:07:20
DSG - I completely agree mate, I think Greenwood could be fantastic off the right especially against teams where we will dominate possession. Whilst not typically a winger I wouldn't expect him to provide width but play in the channel between centre back and full back. He is incredibly dangerous with the ball in and around the box as he can shoot from either foot with unnerving power and accuracy. If he can continue to work hard and stay humble from what I've seen I think we genuinely have one of the most promising young players in world football.

I'd love to see him given more game time if the season resumes especially against teams where we will dominate possession. Maybe we already have the answer right under our nose!




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26 May 2020 12:12:26
No Rashford?!


{Ed001's Note - see above reply.}



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23 May 2020 10:57:40
Ed002 - A very informative post, thank you.

Are you in favour of a European League or do you just see it as an inevitable evolution of the game at the highest level?

I would imagine there would be strong opposition from many Clubs especially if it's a closed shop!


{Ed002's Note - I am in favour of it as it is the natural next step in any case. It might benefit clubs from the top divisions across Europe in any case - it will open them up to being more competitive.}



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20 May 2020 14:59:49
Thanks Ed002!

I think we need to be very careful about signing players that are not fully committed to the team.

Sounds like Saul may possibly have better options than Utd. I suppose a lot will depend on if the season can be finished and who finishes in the Champions League places.

A decision on Pogba needs to be made sooner rather than later.

I think City are at CAS on the 8th June so the outcome of that may be pivotal to our summer recruitment.




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20 May 2020 14:32:15
I agree with Jred but let's wait and see the season hasn't even finished yet!

If the season resumes we have Spurs, Sheff Utd, Norwich, Brighton, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Southampton, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Leicester remaining?

With a fully fit squad including the return of Rashford, Pogba and the additions of Fernandes and Ighalo (if loan extended) Ole has a real opportunity to stamp his identity all over this Utd team and embark on a wining run of fixtures!

We are also still in the Europa League and the FA Cup. We have a lot to play for!

I think Ole's recruitment has been solid enough to warrant another year in charge and if we can finish the season strongly it might just be enough to silence the doubters for a while.

Moving forward sorting out the Pogba situation and this summers recruitment will be vital to Ole's longer term prospects!