The Times reports that Manchester United are swanning off to Saudi Arabia to play in a testimonial match for Saudi legend Sami Al Jaber which will net them “more than £1 million”. Rumours are rife that this 6,000 mile round trip won’t be good for the players, but Man Utd chief exec David Gillvigorously defended his team’s mid-season sojourn. Gill said:
“People can level what they want at us, but we are relaxed about that.
“People don’t understand how the decisions are taken at Manchester United. We understand, quite rightly, that what happens on the pitch is the main driver of all our success, so we never make any decision that, in our opinion, will harm the push for honours.”
Times columnist James Ducker writes that:
“Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, blamed United’s failure to win the title in the 2004-05 season partly on the summer tour to the United States that preceded it.”
So will Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of United needlessly knackering themselves out?