By Graham Watson
Where did United’s Owners position the club in the grand scheme of things, well he certainly took us away from Europe before the Brexit vote, that’s for sure.
But looking at the value of the squad as a means of identifying his mood swings it seems to be a level of punishment has reached a new lowly plateau.
There are three distinct stages the first culminating in relegation and the second a bounce back as he attempted to hold the club in a mid table limbo. It failed spectacularly as it was destined to.
The third phase was to push his company back onto the gravy train, which is all the more remarkable as positioning the club to struggle meant it surely would.
The table I’ve produced shows the relative Valuation position (PL & EFL) – As if the top two divisions were one financial league?
OVERALL POSITION by the VALUE of SQUAD
2005/06….6th Shepherd Hall
2007/08… 6th Shepherd/Hall/ [Ashley takes control]
2008/09….8th Ashley relegates United.
2011/12….10th Attempts to hold mid table
2015/16….8th Ashley Relegates club again
2016/17…14th Championship with no further advance
Charnley asked the question himself…. ‘Is the squad better than last year?’, but It doesn’t matter, it has to be better than the competition not better than it was.
An owner with a club that is positioned to struggle will struggle. Nothing to aim for and relegation will come. Football is about competition and that means competing at every level. If this owner didn’t want to compete from the start then why buy the club in the first place only to destroy it bit by bit.
That 6th place position could have been maintained if Ashley had allowed the club its own income streams, (that position was maintained by the previous regime who were taking money out as well, via wages, dividends, warehouse and catering contracts) the difference between competing and stagnation or spiralling out of control to the next relegation is care and ambition…something to aim for perhaps.
Ashley certainly doesn’t need the few million he hacks off the club, but the club does need it.
If it was maintainable under the previous regime is should have been a doodle with a billionaire with his own merchandise and marketing company.
Stop the fleece of the club.