I was going to start getting back into the swing of things by writing up an analysis of the transfer market thus far this summer, however I’ve had to deviate from that idea.
Not purely because we’ve not done a lot in the transfer market, but mainly because we have problems in the striker department that have been heightened by the apparent breakdown of relations between United and star striker Papiss Cisse.
Long story short, Cisse is not happy about wearing the new club sponsor on his shirt as their exorbitant interest fees and charges go against his religion. The club are also not happy that he is currently refusing to wear the brand and with no agreement reached Cisse has found himself frozen out at what is arguably the most important time of the season for a professional football player.
Now I’m not so sure where I stand on this and I don’t want it to turn into one of those articles where religion is at the forefront of discussion. Yes Cisse has worn a short with Virgin Money on the front and on that basis there is little difference between one lending company and another, but companies like Wonga have come under ethical scrutiny in general just recently, even without the religious beliefs behind it.
At the end of the day a resolution needs to be found. There is precedent for a resolution as evidenced by Freddy Kanoute and Sevilla, with Kanoute being given special dispensation to not where the shirt of a gambling firm who sponsored the club. Surely something similar can be agreed upon in this instance?
Cisse’s argument is weakened further by the acceptance of his colleagues, some of whom are also Muslim, who seem happy enough to wear the shirt and the sponsor on the front of it. Does that mean Cisse has stronger beliefs than the rest of them?
I’m not interested in politics or religion in fairness, but I do feel slightly nervous about this one as it has such an impact on our team. Cisse is vital to us and even though he misses chances (as all strikers do I’ll add!) he still scores the bulk of our goals. Without him, or with him sat on the sidelines instead of being out on the pitch, where are they going to come from?
What’s going on?