In a scathing attack on Manchester United owners, Joel and Avram Glazer, the club’s former merchandising manager has lifted the lid on how the Red Devils could well have had Etihad Airlines as their major shirt sponsors rather than neighbours Man City.
According to the Daily Star, Edward Freedman questioned the Glazers and their methods, believing that the Red Devils were close to securing a great shirt deal with the airline before the owners pulled the plug on the deal.
In criticising their way of doing business, he certainly didn’t hold back.
“They (the Glazers) haven’t got a clue what a brand is,” he said to The Athletic, cited by the Daily Star.
“It’s a very clever money-making move for them to get those deals. However, I’m sorry to say that, as far as enhancing Manchester United, it doesn’t work.
“I really can’t deal with it. We were offered all that long ago and never would accept any of it.
“Not for all the money in the world. Then, of course, the people who understood the brand left and people came in who saw only the recompense of taking money.
“But taking money for things that aren’t compatible with your brand will eventually ruin your brand. That’s what I can see them doing. The whole charisma, the whole glory of Manchester United, seems to have gone.”
On the flip side of the argument is the fact that Ed Woodward has been resourceful in his dealings and has seen to be consistent in bringing money into the club via various commercial deals, regardless of whether they are the right ‘fit’ for the organisation.
That is, evidently, his forte, and not the acquisition of players, which appears to be the major bone of contention with ex-players and supporters.
Quite what they’ll make of this latest outburst is anyone’s guess, but it’s bound to be another terrible PR issue for the club.