sport news SIMON JORDAN: Man United need to be more like Man City... but the idea Sir Jim ... trends now
Pep Guardiola has changed that club beyond recognition. They’ve gone from a title-winning side under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini to a team so good they defy conventional wisdom.
Their success hasn’t just come from Guardiola though, it’s come from the support he was given to deploy a clear vision and reach the target the club set for him. Ironically, that’s what United need, to think a bit more like City.
But the idea that Ratcliffe will be some kind of saviour riding in to deliver everything supporters have been crying out for is for the birds, as is the idea he is the financial light to the Glazers dark.
Let’s see if the money he buys the shares with is actually from his own pocket and if it finds its way into United’s coffers rather than the hands of the existing shareholders – predominately the Glazers – with this amazing act of philanthropy.
Pep Guardiola has made Man City the dominant force in European football in recent years
Erik ten Hag's Man United are trailing in their wake, as the club have been for the past decade
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been hailed as their potential saviour, but that talk is for the birds
What he will bring is a fresh set of eyes and he could bring some much-needed coherency to the decision-making process of buying and selling players and employing managers.
But Ratcliffe won’t solve all of United’s problems and supporters should be careful what kind of dreams they want to have because they could end up on Elm Street.
Let’s not forget the so-called curse of Ineos. Through that multi-billion pound business, Ratcliffe has his fingers in many sporting pies – and little in the way of success to show for it.
From motor racing and sailing through to cycling, football and rugby, everything Ineos has touched has lacked the key ingredient United fans crave – successful outcomes.
There are some easy wins to be had though. If I was in Ratcliffe’s position the first thing I’d do would be to fix the communication channel between the ownership and its vociferous fans. Demonstrate a cohesive strategy so United look like a progressive club again rather than a regressive one they have appeared to be for too long.
The crumbling stadium and tired training ground can also be invested in – those are easy wins that shut down arguments that have been ‘gimmes’ to dissenting fans. It’s perplexing that the Glazers haven’t shown any inclination to do any of that. Address those issues and take those arguments off the table.
Fixing Old Trafford and upgrading Carrington are not going to take them back to the top though. It’s feeble-minded to think your training ground needs every conceivable bell and whistle to produce a winning team.
Mail Sport columnist Simon Jordan (pictured) points out Ratcliffe's Ineos have not had much success in the sporting world
Ratcliffe can start to win fans over by fixing Old Trafford. The iconic stadium has been mocked for its leaky roof (pictured) in recent years
Look at Tottenham. Their training ground has the admiration of all but hasn’t helped them win anything. But these simple steps can easily be put into motion so it feels like you’re doing something, changing something.
Look at the structure of the football operation and ask if you’re doing everything you could do. Look around and investigate every aspect of where improvements can be made. United are a blue-chip football club but their mindset has not operated that way for too long.
The culture of the club hasn’t pivoted and moved with the times, in fact it’s regressed. In the early years of the Premier League they had low-hanging fruit, a brilliant manager, the most economic might and momentum. But those advantages have gone now. The game has changed.
There are other people at the table now who have just as much money so you need a change of thinking, a change of strategy to harness the uniqueness of Manchester United. They must go back to having the best in class and out-of-the-box thinking rather than relying on the fact they are Manchester United. That will only get you so far.
The suggestion is that Dave Brailsford, he of the marginal gains theory, will be brought in to sit on top of the football structure. Well, translation of