Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Another view on the "under-26" policy

The Guardian has reported that United have a new transfer policy which prohibits us from signing any players under the age of 26 on the basis that they wouldn't have sufficient resale value.

If true, this is clearly A Bad Thing. Red Ranter does a good job of explaining why, on the face of it, this is potentially detrimental to our prospects.

However, I'm a bit more cynical - I don't believe it's true. You're welcome to accuse me of overanalysing this, bit I think it is quite a clever piece of propaganda from Fergie and the United board.

Think about it. Everyone in the world knows that we now have £80m jangling around in our pocket, alongside the £20-25m that we probably had to spend anyway. This immediately sends all the prices for "proven" replacements for Ronaldo (if such a player exists) through the roof.

Now, with this "under-26" policy so publicly in place - and I expect us to conclude a couple of signings which comply with it - United can look to approach negotiations like this:

Bayern (or similar): "we know how much money you have, and so we want you to pay this ridiculous price for our player, which we wouldn't have even dreamed over before Real opened the floodgates"

United: "well, as you know it's almost impossible to persuade the Glazers to part with money for anyone 26 or over, and if we were to even have a hope of getting the money out of them then the price would have to be very reasonable - would you like to have another think about your asking price?"

It also makes has a couple of secondary benefits:

1) it might stop United being linked with quite so many established stars at ridiculous prices over the coming weeks, and may cool the feeding frenzy over players like Ribery; and

2) of making it very clear to anyone who wants to try to buy one of our players who we have developed that we know full well what they're worth, and you'd better be prepared to pay top dollar if you come calling.

I could be wrong about this, but few people are as adept at using the media for their own devices as Fergie and there is too much upside for United in this leak for the possibility to be ignored.


Anonymous said...

I think you may be on to something, this sounds a bit more plausable than what the Guardian would have us believe!

Penguinissimo said...

I don't believe much of what I read in the Guardian...

vishnu said...

yes, its the usual MUFC control over press releases/leaks, this is no doubt Sir Alex's doing, trying to cool down the market, deflate the exorbitant prices, ( could be in league with Sparky to reduce transfer fees ;) ) and then get who-ever we choose. Just because the press think that's UNited's transfer policy, doesn't mean it true,or binding. Te fact that united bought Berbatov in the midst of a bidding war musthave annoyed Sir Alex, David Gill and the Glazers, as we were forced to pay top dollar for a striker that United initially tried to buy for 25mil.
Could work a treat, but it could also back-fire if Real just sweep up all the big-names, and Chelsea/City fight over scraps, leaving UNited with only youngsters to "develop".

Red Ranter said...

The reason I was willing to go with the story on the Guardian was that it wasn't only the Guardian that carried the same story. The Independent ran with it at about roughly the same time. There must be some truth in it, as well as some spin to it, and certainly some exaggerations.

And didn't Fergie say the Italians invented the smokescreen. :)

Penguinissimo said...

Wasn't it - "if the Italians tell me it's pasta, I check under the sauce"? Legend.

Dan said...

Great angle. Lets hope you're right

Anonymous said...

I cant see big clubs just forgeting that united have over £80 mill to spend no matter what the club try and tell them.
You cant really believe that a club like Bayern would just drop the price because United said their board werent prepared to pay a lot for someone over 26.
If United arent prepared to pay the inflated prices someone else will.
Its a sellers market as nearly all the big clubs dont really need to sell their best players ( apart from maybe valencia and they will try and wring every £ out of any deals they do)
It looks like the glaziers want united to be prepared to be a selling club.

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