I was just reading a report in the Daily Mail that David Beckham, his friends and ex-team mates of the “Class of ’92″ (Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and the Nevil brothers) are bidding to acquire Manchester United from the Glazer family. The bid is supposed to be funded by the Royal Qatari Family and is over 2 billion English Pounds.
Well, when the “Daily Mail” and “The Sun” report news, one never knows how much of it, or anything at all, is true. So, it is kind of difficult to add some meat to this. However, if the news has legs, this is probably the best football/soccer idea for over 40 years.
Why is that? Well, do you know Bayern Munich? Over 40 years ago an ex-player took over the business matters in that club. The guys name: Uli Hoeness! As a world cup winner with Germany in 1974 and multiple domestic title winner with Bayern Munich, there was no doubt that Hoeness knew what’s going on in the football/ soccer world. The guy has also displayed a huge mind and sense for business and made Bayern Munich one of the most successful clubs of recent times. As of today, Bayern is arguably the best team in the world. And it doesn’t look like this will change quickly.
Not that Manchester United was unsuccessful over the past 2 decades, the opposite is true, they had lots of success. However, recent changes, most notably Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement let the club slide down the rankings like a bobsled the ice track at the Olympics. As it stands today, it requires a major financial infusion to get the team back on track. On track means on top of the English Premier League, not second, third or fourth. On whether that will be sufficiently accomplished under the current ownership has to be seen. The Glazer’s have been known to fill their own pockets first, before significant money has been spent to strengthen the team.
Beckham and his friends have the same understanding of football/soccer that Hoeness had when he started at Bayern. Over time, he got many other German football greats in to the management team. Beckenbauer and Rummenigge are the best known. Both are still in more or less important roles active at the club. Beckham and his friends would find a franchise that is already established as a brand and could start the project of bringing Manchester United back to relevance way further down the road than Hoeness with Bayern did over 40 years ago. These guys know football/soccer and as far as I can tell, at least Beckham has a sense of big business. There is a good chance that this idea could turn out to be a fantastic one.
If true, this could be huge for Manchester United and English football/soccer. For my part, not as a Manchester United fan, but as a football/soccer fan, I am hoping!