If you want to match United, try copying Ferguson
With the top four never changing, it is almost more entertaining following the Premier League when there are no matches taking place. So it proved this week, from the takeover and mega-spending at Manchester City to the Kevin Keegan saga at Newcastle and Alan Curbishley’s exit from West Ham.
Curbishley claimed that his position had been undermined by the men in suits selling players without his approval and that is the underlying sub-plot that links all three acts in this week’s Premier League soap opera.
Many of the rich men who now own England’s top clubs want a more influential role in their clubs. They want to bring in the players they would like to see wearing their club shirts, perhaps to help their global brands or to boost sales or awareness in their other enterprises.
It’s a policy that can leave a manager with a team he might not feel entirely comfortable with and it is one that is not necessarily going to bring success.
Putting together title-winning teams is a far more complex science than opening
up a cheque book. Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United are testimony to that.
Everyone wants to be as big as United, but they are a big club because, at the heart of everything at Old Trafford, Ferguson, a football man, controls a football team.
That’s not a coincidence.
PHOTO: Alex Ferguson takes his seat before United’s pre-season friendly against Peterborough United, August 4, 2008. REUTERS/Darren Staples