Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Archive for February, 2010

Quote of the Day: Football’s true colours

Posted by hakanrylander on February 27, 2010

“At Gigg Lane today and in green and gold at Wembley tomorrow, supporters will be united in campaigning for football to reassess its tortured relationship with money and rediscover its true colours.”

David Conn in the Guardian.

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Que Sera, Saha

Posted by hakanrylander on February 11, 2010

I always had a soft spot for Louis Saha. And of course I like him even better after he scored two goals against Chelsea last night.

Even though he was injured most of the time during his spell at Old Trafford I was sad to see him leave. When fit he made a great contribution to the team as the focal point of a very mobile attack. I don’t remember United ever making better use of the 4-2-3-1 system than during Saha’s longest injury-free run when for maybe a couple of months he played up front with Ronaldo, Rooney and Giggs just behind him. His pace, mobility and aerial ability made him perfect for the position.

It’s good to see that he seems to have overcome his injury problems and is back to his best even though I would prefer him not to hit top form when we play Everton a week on Saturday. But the future’s not ours, to see. What will be, will be.


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The Glazers and the Art of Customer Relations

Posted by hakanrylander on February 9, 2010

As any management consultant will tell you, a key to long term success in business is to keep the customer satisfied. I therefore find it very strange that our owners don’t seem to give a shit about their customers (or fans as some of us still prefer to be called). It simply seems to be in their own interest to try to keep relations at a decent level.

But while the wave of protests against the Glazers have gathered pace in the last few weeks I haven’t noticed a single serious attempt by the owners to improve their relationship with the customers. Just a few, fairly empty, “statements”  from a spokesperson. This is all the more puzzling since the Glazers more than any other owner in the PL regard the club as “just” a business. And companies normally take great care to maintain good relations with their customers.

One possible explanation is that the family do care (if only because the protests might hit their pockets), but are at a loss how to handle the situation. This is unlikely since there are lots of highly qualified consultants for hire if you need help with public relations or crisis management.

Another, more ominous, explanation is that they don’t care about customer relations because they don’t care about the long term. Maybe the strategy is just to milk the cash-flow for a few years (you can find  a brief analysis of their actions so far here) while the present squad keeps us in the CL without much investment in new players. And then sell the club on for a residual value that they, probably quite rightly, expect to be high.

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