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Sacking David Moyes will cost United £200million (sort of) (not at all). Plus United are now as bad as Chelsea and Manchester City, in that they want their managers to be successful

Last Updated: 23/04/14 at 12:36

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The £200m Payoff
'Manchester United face loss of more than £200m over David Moyes' sacking' farts out the headline from the Guardian's website on Wednesday morning.

"Crikey" you're no doubt thinking, that's a hell of a payoff for Moyes. So where exactly do the Guardian pluck such a figure from? Well, let's see shall we:

'The two largest costs to the club will be a slump in revenues caused by United's absence from next season's Champions League - which the accountant Deloitte predicts will be around £50m - as well as an estimated £150m-plus that Moyes' replacement as manager will demand in order to rebuild the team.'

So it's not the sacking of Moyes that will cost £200million at all, but the hiring of him in the first place and then his subsequent underachievement will cost the club £50m in lost revenue.

And that other £150million, it sounds an awful lot like the £150million transfer budget that Moyes was reported to be given this summer had he remained in the job, put aside a number of months ago for improving the squad. So not dependent on the sacking at all.

You may have though that 'click-whoring through headlines' was merely a pursuit of the Daily Mail website. You'd be wrong.

Urgh De Savage
Just when Mediawatch thought it had heard from every expert and angle on the sacking of David Moyes, up popped Robbie Savage on the BBC website like an unflushable turd peeking its head from under the U-bend.

Fear not United fans, because Savage has the answers on how United can be transformed.

'What are the priorities? Who needs to go? Who must stay? Robbie Savage, a former FA Youth Cup winner with United, unveils his action plan to make the Red Devils a domestic and European force again.'

Savage has really got to the crux of the issue, passing on such gems as spending money, getting rid of the worst players, playing better football and getting better results at home. Sh*t , maybe nobody had thought of that.

In fairness to Savage, he does at least know United inside out. Which is presumably why he writes the following in the 'Get Rid Of The Dead Wood' section:

'Those who should be questioning themselves this season include Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Alexander Buttner, Chris Smalling, Fabio, Marouane Fellaini, Anderson and Nani. I don't think any one of them would say they have performed consistently well this season.'

Given that Fabio moved to Cardiff on a permanent deal in January, we suspect that Savage is referring to Rafael. Perhaps they should sell Ricky Van Wolfswinkel too as he's scored just once all season?

Still, a BBC Football Expert can't be expected to know the difference between two brothers, can he?

Narrative Indigestion
Oliver Holt has this morning written a textbook piece in the Daily Mirrror on how the sacking of Moyes means that Manchester United have 'lost more than their Chosen One.' We know this because he uses the phrase 'they lost' on eight separate occasions.

'Manchester United made the right decision when they sacked David Moyes. But they lost something, too.

'They lost the idea that they were a club immune to the short-term vicissitudes of football management.

'They lost the idea that, because they had the substance to stick it out for the long-term, they were better than the rest.

'So United have lost what set them apart. Now they are just like all the rest.

'Managers will come and go every couple of years. Like they do at Chelsea. Like they do at Manchester City.

'When they sacked Moyes, United lost their adherence to permanence and checked into the asylum.'

Mediawatch is starting to get really irked by this idea that Manchester United acted as some sort of saintly being simply because they stuck by Alex Ferguson, who turned out to probably be the greatest manager in British football history, at a time when football was an entirely different entity.

To suggest that Moyes shouldn't have been sacked because of these far-fetched notions of tradition enforced by the performance of one individual in response to a 'crisis' over 20 years ago is frankly ridiculous. Isn't it better to treat each case on its merit and each individual on their likelihood of success? So United should have stood by Moyes simply because they stood by Fergie?

In fact, Holt himself indeed admits that this was 'the right decision' for United. So, the 'right decision' for the club but not Holt's own view of how Manchester United or the game itself should be. Even if you agree with such ideals, which Mediawatch evidently doesn't, why should United keep Moyes in a job for the good of the game?

Finally, if United are now 'losing their adherence to permanence' like Chelsea and Manchester City then someone should probably have warned them of such dangers before they persuaded Wilf McGuinness to step aside in 1970, sacked Frank O'Farrell after less than two years in 1972, Tommy Docherty after less than five years in 1977 and Dave Sexton after less than four years in 1981. Interestingly, Chelsea later gave both of the last two longer than United before getting rid.

Long-term managers are not appointed, they are created through their own impressive performance. Mediawatch understands the desperate clamour for narrative, but every sacking does not have to represent a seismic shifting of football's sands. Sometimes, 'man gets sacked for doing job badly' is enough.

From the Daily Mail's review of where Moyes' departure leaves United's players:

'Michael Carrick - Did not enjoy playing as an emergency centre back. Will hope to get back to being a creative midfielder.'

Firstly, Carrick played once in central defence for David Moyes, a role that he did four times for Alex Ferguson last season in the Premier League alone, at the time expressing his contentment on helping out where required.

Secondly, 'back to being a creative midfielder'?! Does Louis Van Gaal have a time machine to go back to 2004? If whichever manager takes over from David Moyes allows Michael Carrick to operate as a 'creative midfielder' over the likes of Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa, the universal humour surrounding United may not be over quite yet.

Willian Or Williain't
From Daily Mail's match rating of Willian against Atletico Madrid: 'One of the few with attacking ambition. 7/10'

From The Sun's match rating of Willian against Atletico Madrid: 'Reined in a lot from his normal role. Dragged back to do a lot more defending than usual. 5/10'

Short-Term Memory Loss
Bizarre line from Oliver Holt in an aside to his Daily Mirror column today, briefly bemoaning the performance of English clubs in Europe.

'Atletico at home in one Champions League semi-final last night and Real at home in the other tonight. Madrid is the centre of the football world this week and it suddenly seems an awfully long time when English clubs, including Manchester United, were dominating Europe.'

A reminder that a Madrid club has not reached the European Cup final since 2002. Since then four different English clubs have reached eight finals, with three different teams winning the trophy.

A list of European Cup final participation over the last decade, just to cheer up Holt:
Madrid - 0
Liverpool - 2
London - 3
Manchester - 4

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Olic Both Equally' - We've been forced into some questionable pronunciations by The Sun in our time to make headlines fit, but making 'Olic' sound the same as 'I like' really takes the biscuit.

Headline Of The Day
'Trusty Van, miles on the clock, perfect for a careful owner' - We quite liked the Daily Express' take on Louis van Gaal rumours. Sure beats 'Van The Man'.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man charged with first-degree murder in America wants to have his neck tattoo - which says "murder" - removed or covered up before his trial. Jeffrey Champan, of Barton County, Kansas, says that he is worried the ink might influence the jury in his upcoming trial for a 2011 killing.

'He is asking for a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover it up. Mr Chapman's attorney believes the tattoo could strongly influence the trial if seen by the jury. The trial's prosecutors are not against Mr Chapman covering the tattoo' - Daily Telegraph

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Darragh G. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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