Considering Jeff Okudah was the third overall draft pick in 2020, his first two seasons in the NFL were quite poor to say the least. In fact, many people were already quick to throw around the word "bust" when mentioning his name. Towards the end of his rookie season, Okudah ranked dead last in yards allowed per route, and according...
Far-Fetched Friday: We Buy Manchester United
By: Ryan Stein
It seems like it's finally happening. The Glazer family might actually sell their shares of Manchester United. After the United players boycotted playing the match against Brentford, leading to a 4-0 loss, movement on the market and reports came out that the Glazers would consider selling for a bid of $5 Billion. That's where we, The ICT Zone, come in.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we buy Manchester United, who says no?
I know what you're thinking. 5 Billion dollars!? Yeah, I know... the magazine really did that well. You probably feel stupid for not buying one, don't ya? It's okay. Just make sure when our bid gets accepted, you buy the battle pass for Fortnite so you can Kamehameha Thanos to get the dub as Fred because you best believe a meeting with Epic Games is on the top of our agenda shortlist as owner.
As the lone Manchester United fan (thanks for the best of the ICT Zone Collective, I will spearhead the takeover. In fact, I already called Joe Glazer. This is a transcript of our conversation:
Me: "Yo waddup J-Dawg? Big Glaze in the house!"
Joe: "Khaqan, my dearest, to what pleasure I owe this conversation?"
Me: "You know how Harry Maguire is our starting Center Back and Captain?"
Joe: "Why yes, of course."
Me: "Yea, no. Lemme own the team."
Joe: "You know the asking price is $5 Billion Dollars, right?"
Me: "Yea yea, what's your venmo?"
Joe: "I got cash app"
Me: "Apple pay it is!"
The first thing I would do as an active owner, after updating my LinkedIn profile, is holding a town hall meeting with fans. Obviously, said fans would be paid actors, of course. In the town hall, I would address the state of the club and establish a trajectory that simmers down expectations. Something like this:
"Hey, fellas, I know this sucks. I didn't know Brentford was in the premier league either, but thems the breaks, am I right? (pause for laughter). We recognize the work ahead of us. We are going to rebuild Old Trafford back into the theater of dreams brick by brick. In order to do that, we will give Ten Haag the proper resources to fulfill his vision, just as long as that doesn't mean he's signing all players he coached before. I have confidence the current core group of players is capable of achieving great success (note to self: hold back laughter). I've met with each and every player even- oh wait, I forgot about Donny. Well, I met with almost every player, and I was upfront with them that there would be competition at every position and that I will support them in every way I can. But the organization will hold them accountable because that's what's best for the club. I can assure you, not one player didn't welcome that challenge."
A statement like that, which to my knowledge has yet to be issued, would go far in appeasing the worries of the fans about the direction of the football club. It would put everyone on the same page about what we're actually trying to accomplish. Notice how I didn't mention anything about commercial goals? Because anyone smart enough to be rich has to realize that when you have a team like Manchester United, you don't have to try that hard with the commercial stuff as long as the team is winning.
BUT, as someone with marketing experience, I would like to try my hand at the whole making money thing. The first branding deal I would do is make every McDonalds in a hundred-mile radius of Manchester sell a burger called the McFred. It'll just be two buns with just meat in the middle. No cheese, no lettuce, no sauce, just like the two in the midfield. It's a win-win because if they suck, the meme of it all distracts the fans from their actual performance on the pitch. If the team goes on a run, fans flock to their nearby McDonalds to get their hands on a McFred bug'r'.
As far as putting proper football people in place, I would try to see if Ralf Ragnick forgot to log out of his google drive. It sounds like they kicked that man out because he actually spoke some semblance of what the brass needed to hear.
Exhibit A: Ralf Rangnick 'was left AMAZED when Manchester United told him they had no scouting reports on Christopher Nkunku'... even after his seven goals in the Champions League group stage.
Exhibit B: Ralf Rangnick knew these players aren't good enough. They sacked him instead of listening
The Glazers did spend a lot of money. Was the money they spent actually their own, or was it either money borrowed or money team generated revenue like Gary Neville pointed out? I don't know, I'm asking because I wouldn't want to spend my own money either. However, I would change how I'm spending the money on players. I would have signed Paul Pogba too, but I wouldn't have spent on Harry Maguire. Maguire is a better player than his recent (last two years) form, but he wasn't the right player for this club. The problem with going for big splash signings every summer is the pressure it puts on the wage structures. When you fall victim to the commercial appeal of Paul Pogba, then you have to pay him whatever you can to keep him at the expense of inflating the base wages of the club. It all goes back to the structure of the club. A lot of the signings would have worked better if there was a proper infrastructure prioritizing on-field development. It's why Liverpool can sign Andrew Robertson for 8 million pounds and not 50 million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. In a vacuum, most of the players recruited are talented and very useful players, but you don't run a team in a vacuum. The result is that stars like Pogba and Sancho fail because they are not acquired with any particular playing style in mind.
Everything is connected, which means everything matters. That's what the previous owners failed to realize. Too content with revenue returns to care about the state of the club. Weekly, former club legends run out of things to say and fall back on desperate pleas. Every week the players have to apologize for shrinking in the face of adversity. Every week, fans spend their hard-earned money just to come to a rotting stadium to hold up a banner calling for the owners to sell the club. That is what you get when you have owners that don't care or are dumb enough not to pretend to care about the team they have the privilege of owning.
When the Apple Pay transaction goes through, and I become owner under the ICT Zone banner, I promise to restore the integrity of the clubs so our fans can return back to being the proper winning wankers the world of football despises us for. #GlazersOut. #ICTIn.
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