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Ethics are subjective
This mornings mailbox touched on the subjectiveness of ethics, and that it is mainly United fans complaining about City and FFP (weren’t PSG mentioned too?), and I’ve two things from about a month ago which speak to both things;
Firstly, it was reported that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia wanted to buy United – which F365 even spun as some much needed positive PR for SA (https://www.football365.com/news/man-utd-not-for-sale-amid-saudi-interest). Whether this is, or ever was, going to happen, would you – United fans – prefer your current, comercialisation first owner hell bent on making as much money from this cash cow as possible, or swap it for a more City styled approach, unlimited resources, tightroped FFP, and a host of unethical, human rights abuse behind the cash? If you were to answer honestly, and not with the current ‘one-up City’ metality, I suspect most would chose the Saudi’s, because it would be better for thier club.
And I believe this becasue of point number two; Der Spiegel published these Financial Fair Play fau pauxs – and people are taking the reporting as gospel to how City are cheating, yet another story they published, about a certain footballer who (allegedly) committed a henious crime and then paid said victim to be quiet, pretty much fell on deaf ears. Apart from news sites reporting the story (albeit briefly and a little under the radar compared to other, similar stories in different walks of life) – I’ve seen no fan cry out against this footballer, in fact, only the opposite. This is something that fell from the spotlight almost immediately, with very little public discourse, because everyone loves Ronaldo, and no cares – or wants to care – that he could be more horrible than we believe.
Again, this might seem like I’m reaching, but if you take the examples of Ched Evans, or Adam Johnson, and the rhethoric and discussion that took place after the allegations were made, but before any criminal proceedings, and you’ll see that Ronaldo is avoiding even that.
I know this is long-winded, but essentially, my point is that ethics are subjective and we only care about something if we have a certain bias towards it in the first place. We are a hypocritical species that’ll stab you in the back to get what we want, but be the first to complain if you do that to us!
Néill, (more of a rant that a pointed argument), Ireland
Samwise, I think the point of difference between net spend and this FFP thing is that the former is an pseudo-moral argument that, given relative levels of investment, Liverpool were punching above their weight and the latter is the alleged co-ordinated systemic violation of the laws of the game to garner an unfair advantage. The former is spirited pub-level debate about doing things “the right way”, the other is (again, alleged) cheating.
Keith and Chris question the validity of the FFP laws as a reason for why its no big deal. This is what’s known as the “I’m a great driver, so I’m allowed to have a couple of pints and do 100 on the motorway” defence. Feel free to run with it, but you won’t get very far.
The point that, as a United fan, I may care more than the average is valid, but don’t try any use that as a way of obfuscating the underlying issue, which is the alleged cheating.
Further, the “FFP just preserves the status quo” point may well be perfectly valid but I honestly do not think that that is the only motivator. A lot of clubs run into financial difficulty after their previously altruistic owners have a change of heart or circumstances – just look at poor Thierry Henry’s and Monaco’s current plight!
Imagine, for example, if Sheikh Mansour wasn’t there tomorrow and his heirs just weren’t interested in the project… Actually, scratch that, City would be fine. As Ian points out, City have a series of totally arm’s-length, market-value commercial deals, as well as a stadium that they definitely sell out for every fixture in the PL and Champions league, so they’d be fine.
United – basically it’s all just a bit sh*t.
I was thinking about a number of points which Rami raised in yesterday’s mailbox. There was one in particular which really quite ground my f**king gears to be honest – ‘So for all the United fans that are unhappy the club are in 8th position, get over it or support someone else’. You sure Rami? Really? Do you not think that we’re entitled to expect a little better bearing in the mind the money United have spent? I am by no means saying that we should be entitled to success or silverware, but we should be entitled to expect a ‘little’ more of this ludicrously expensive team ‘collection of players’.
I have been a season ticket holder at OT for near 25 years now and have never in my life felt as ‘mehhh’ about going to watch United as I current do. Regardless, you’ll still find me at OT for every game, but as it stands the excitement of the beautiful game just isn’t there. It just doesn’t feel beautiful anymore. It feels slow, tedious, laboured and without any cohesion. And believe me, it isn’t just me that feels this. Old Trafford oozes ‘mehhh’ on every match day at the moment.
There is a big problem somewhere at United and it needs to be found sooner rather than later. You say it will take 3-5 years to fix, but can you honestly see Mourinho being given that time if we perform as we currently are? Yes, at the moment the Glazers won’t be particularly arsed about the situation, but they will when the performances on the pitch and lack of silverware finally start to affect our global brand and wider fan base. The problem is, I personally don’t see this being too far off. We need to act. A Director of Football has to be the primary objective to hopefully begin tying everything back together again. And I hope that if reports are to be believed that this is something which is on the cards. It would be a start at least.
You also say that consistency will come. But I just cannot for the life of me see how or where this is going to come from bearing in mind the current state of affairs. Grind out a win, drop some points, ‘crisis’ mode and Mourinho under pressure, grind out win to save job, rejoice/sigh/laugh/cry, repeat. Unfortunately this is how I can see our season panning out until it’s too late to make anything of it. We drag ourselves like a dog with an itchy arse to a 6th place finish, miss out on Champions League football and Mourinho gets the sack. Some will rejoice, but is it what we really need? No Champions League football, and the same problem; who the hell is going to drag us out of this mess? Will sacking Mourinho now solve the problem? Probably not, so what do we do? I don’t know, and I’m not sure that Ewar Woowar knows either. This Director of Football better be a f**king genius! Basically it’s all just a bit sh*t.
Al (don’t even know what my point is I’m just venting) Williams
City, United need to f*ck off to a European Super League
There seems to have been a veritable p*ssing contest in the Mailbox between United and City fans in the aftermath of the derby and the FFP allegations; can both sets of fans please put their biases aside and accept the fact that Manchester as footballing city is currently an immoral cesspit?
In the blue corner, you have the club that a few billion built; a bottomless pit of money, generated from ill-gotten means and on the back of appalling human rights, thrown at a club to improve the public relations of the owners. Sure, the football currently being played is aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t stop it being a hollow, soulless experience; no longer a football club, just a billboard. The most expensive piece of marketing in history.
In the red corner, you have the cash hungry whores who will flog literally anything to anyone for a buck. Classless, clueless and also morally repugnant; essentially the football equivalent of Donald Trump. They are the biggest footballing brand in the world because they were the first to work out which way the wind was blowing and as such the first whore on the street corner. They throw money at players based on their marketability and social media following; no longer a football club, just a business masquerading as one.
So please, stop the moralising and the justifications because there are none, from either side. There is no moral high-horse to mount, both clubs are utterly dreadful and in different ways represent everything that is wrong with modern football and to an extent, wider society.
Frankly, the sooner they both f*ck off to a European Super League, the better… And I say that as a Manchester based, born and bred United fan.
Lewis, Formerly of Busby Way
Following on from Stijn Vermeulen’s missive this morning regarding the French and Dutch leagues, I thought I’d take a look at the other major European leagues to see how they are playing out thus far.
Firstly, just to elaborate on Stijn’s points, PSG top the table with a full 39 points, followed by Lille (26), Montpellier (25) & Lyon (24). Monaco have just seven points and are only off the bottom of the table on GD.
Over in the Netherlands, PSV’s full tally of 36 points is followed by Ajax (31), then a big drop of eight points to Feyenoord (23) & Heracles (20).
In Spain Barcelona still top the table with 24 points, but it is mighty close with Sevilla (23), Atletico (23) & Depor (23) hot on their heels. Real are in 6th on 20 points, with Valencia struggling down in 15th with just 14 points. Interestingly, three points is the biggest gap between any two positions. Could this be the best chance in years for someone to ‘do a Leicester’?
In Italy, Juve have dropped only two points, sitting top with 34 points. The big names make up the rest of the top six: Napoli (28), Inter (25), Lazio (22), Milan (21) & Roma (19). At the bottom, poor Chievo are seven points adrift on ZERO points despite three draws due to a points deduction for ‘accounting irregularities’.
In Germany, Dortmund lead the way on 27 points from BMG (23), RBL (22), Frankfurt (20) & Bayern (20). Leverkusen & Schalke are struggling at the wrong end of the table with just 11 & 10 points respectively, leaving Schalke just a point above the relegation zone.
The Portuguese league is pretty tight from top to bottom with no more than two points separating any two positions. Porto lead the way with 24 points from Sporting (22), Braga (21) & Benfica (20).
The traditional Istanbul powerhouses are struggling somewhat over in Turkey with Besiktas down in 7th (18 points), and Fenerbahce only a point above the relegation zone on 13 points. The biggest points gap in the division is the four points separating table-topping Istanbul Basaksehir (27) from second placed Galatasaray (23). They are followed by Kasimpasa (22) & Yeni Malatyaspor (21).
Hopefully some of you found this mildly interesting!
Vinny (Long time reader, first time writer) LFC
No more firing?
Mediawatch had a little pop at Tim Sherwood today for guessing that nobody would get fired this season a few days before someone got fired, but for once has Tactics Tim actually got a point? Who else is up for the sack?
Is it David Wagner at 19th placed Huddersfield? Very unlikely, the man’s a legend up there and they seem a very sensible club. How about Neil Warnock at 18th placed Cardiff? Again, probably not. His team is built in his image and they’re overachieving just by being here.
How about Mark Hughes at Southampton? For the fans’ sake I hope so, but he’s got a new 3 year contract and apparently 17th is good enough. Uncle Woy at Palace? No chance. Sean Dyche? Nope. Rafa? Try it if you dare, Mr Ashley.
A serious downturn for Watford could see Javi Gracia in trouble, the same for Leicester and Claude Puel, and when Man U officially miss out on the Champions League expect Mourinho to go, but until then? Is this finally the season of stability?
Harry, THFC (honourable mention to Marco Silva who might just wander off)
Man United whinging
As an Arsenal fan, we’re often derided for complaining when we have it better than others. I have a Newcastle mate who would constantly remind me every time I got frustrated by another top 4 finish and no clear direction that at least my club wasn’t being ruined by a fat Dickensian w***er. Which was a fair point.
I’ve never had the opportunity to pay the favour on. So it’s nice to have a chance.
Hey United fans, you’re the richest club in the world, and have been since you rode fortune, an exceptional manager and a huge stadium to prominence in the 90s. Your club has spent money 90% of the Premier League could only possibly dream of to buy success.
It’s not FFP’s fault you spent the last 5 years entertaining some of the most distasteful managers in the Premier League, hired a berk for your director of football (whatever his title is) and spaffed £250m+ on the wrong players.
You’ll be back up there in no time. Fire Mourinho, get in Simeone and you’ll be back to being everyone’s No 1 bastard, not mopiest bastard, in no time.