EPL

Ronaldo exit no issue for potential Manchester United buyers, says financial expert

By Sports Desk November 26, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo's exit will not be an issue for any potential Manchester United buyers, believes football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

The Portugal forward has departed the Red Devils by mutual consent following an disappointing homecoming spell with the Old Trafford outfit.

Having been the face of the club since his return last year, Ronaldo's abrupt farewell - though likely in line with Erik ten Hag's vision for the club - sees United lose one of their prior assets, as the Glazer family mull a sale.

But speaking to Stats Perform, Maguire does not feel his exit will be a stumbling block to future investors mulling a takeover, particularly from a commercial standpoint.

"[The] club's bigger than the player," he said. "Cristiano Ronaldo thought he was bigger than the club. His management teams was more concerned about his brand tie-up than Manchester United products.

"Success hasn't existed at Manchester United for many years. If you've got Ronaldo on the back of your shirt, it simply means you've switched from having [Marcus] Rashford or [Bruno] Fernandes."

"You've still going to be one Manchester United shirt [even without Ronaldo], you're simply going to go and change a bit on the back of it."

News that the Glazer family - long opposed by a large section of supporters - are selling the club has been welcomed with open arms by the fanbase.

Maguire believes it has been a prosperous ownership period for them, if not the club, and that he understands the frustration felt by those who follow United.

"I think we're seeing an opportunity for some legacy owners to withdraw at a tidy profit," he added. "They can leave on a significant multiple of the original investment.

"[But] when they acquired the club, they did commit it to financial jeopardy. [Also[, when a club is no longer successful, you look for scapegoats.

"The Glazers are a lightning rod. They've got not connection historically to Manchester. Their relationship was purely financial.

Maguire concedes on-field success would paint a different picture however, adding: "If Manchester United had won the Premier League for four years out of the last five... I'm not saying that fans are fickle, but fans are fickle."

Related items

  • Roma working on solution to Zaniolo saga after apparent Bournemouth snub Roma working on solution to Zaniolo saga after apparent Bournemouth snub

    Roma are targeting a solution to their Nicolo Zaniolo crisis before Tuesday's transfer deadline after the winger was "not very happy" about the prospect of joining Bournemouth.

    The Italy international was strongly linked with Tottenham earlier this month; however, Antonio Conte subsequently signed Arnaut Danjuma on loan from Villarreal as a solution to his wide attacking midfield needs.

    Bournemouth subsequently emerged as frontrunners, with the team third from bottom of the Premier League seeing Zaniolo as a player who could help them to safety in their first campaign back in the top flight.

    Reports suggested Roma and Bournemouth had reached an agreement on a deal worth an initial £26.3million (€30m), but it appears Zaniolo is not sold on the idea of joining the English south-coast club.

    Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has expressed major frustration over Zaniolo asking to leave and then stalling when the opportunity arose, saying it "unfortunately" seemed the 23-year-old would end up staying with the Giallorossi.

    When asked about firm opportunities to sell Zaniolo, Roma general manager Tiago Pinto said on Sunday: "I have no problem answering this question, everyone understood what happened.

    "Zaniolo asked to be sold, and together with the agent we found a solution. We succeeded, but now Nicolo is not very happy with the solution that has arrived, and obviously we are all in a bit of difficulty."

    Last season saw Zaniolo score the only goal of the inaugural Europa Conference League final, as Roma beat Feyenoord, yet his time at the Stadio Olimpico may be up.

    Speaking to DAZN, Pinto said Roma would not be able to buy a player to take Zaniolo's place before sealing the sale of the former Inter youth-team player.

    He, too, is frustrated by Zaniolo's stalling on a transfer, with time at a premium.

    "We found this solution following a request from the player and, as you know, with all the limits that we have with financial fair play we are not exactly a company that can yield to Zaniolo's no and take on other players," Pinto said.

    "We are always bound by those limits. Now we have another 48 hours, let's see what happens. I don't want to dwell on this issue, it is really a difficult situation for us."

  • Liverpool 'nowhere near good enough this season', says Robertson after FA Cup exit Liverpool 'nowhere near good enough this season', says Robertson after FA Cup exit

    Liverpool wanted a fresh start in 2023 but Andrew Robertson says the Reds have been "nowhere near good enough" this season and played "worse" since the World Cup.

    The Scotland international captained Jurgen Klopp's side at Brighton and Hove Albion as Kauro Mitoma's last-minute strike dumped the FA Cup holders out in the fourth round.

    Liverpool had taken the lead through Harvey Elliot before Lewis Dunk's fortuitous first-half equaliser paved the way for Mitoma's deserved late winner in Sunday's 2-1 triumph.

    Klopp's men are out of both domestic cups and sit only ninth in the Premier League, having won just eight of their opening 19 top-flight games.

    Having lost nine times already in 31 outings across all competitions this campaign, Robertson bemoaned Liverpool's abject performances that have continued after the World Cup break.

    "This season has been nowhere near good enough," Robertson told ITV Sport.

    "At the start of the year, we wanted a fresh start, but that hasn't happened – we've been worse. In the league, we haven't been good enough and now we're out of both cups."

    The Reds' downfall may have appeared somewhat of a surprise after falling narrowly short of an unprecedented quadruple last term.

    Liverpool missed out in the Champions League final to Real Madrid and saw Manchester City secure the Premier League title on the last day of the season, though they lifted the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

    Sadio Mane's sale to Bayern Munich and Roberto Firmino's diminishing role should be factored in, while Mohamed Salah has failed to hit his usual lofty heights after scoring just nine goals in 19 league games.

    Luis Diaz has been out injured after a promising first campaign at Anfield and signings Darwin Nunez and Cody Gapko are still settling in, yet Robertson struggled to explain why Liverpool continue to falter.

    The left-back added: "It's really disappointing. You can't put your finger on one thing that's gone wrong. It's more than that. It's about trying to put a performance together where all these things click and that's proving difficult right now.

    "You can tell we're not as confident in front of goal, and defensively we're still a wee bit open in certain areas.

    "We were on the back of two clean sheets, which was positive, but today, two disappointing goals and they had a couple of big chances as well.

    "We need to try and get the confidence back. It's easier said than done but that's the only way we can pick up results. You have to be able to score goals and you have to be able to keep clean sheets.

    "We're not managing that just now and we need to do it. We keep saying that and it doesn't help the fans. I feel sorry for them, the way we're putting on a show for them just now.

    "We let them down again and we're obviously disappointed to be falling out of the cup."

  • Gordon explains Newcastle move to Everton fans: 'I know many won't understand' Gordon explains Newcastle move to Everton fans: 'I know many won't understand'

    Anthony Gordon penned an emotional message to the Everton fans after leaving his boyhood club for Newcastle United in a £45milion transfer on Sunday.

    In his post, hours after joining Newcastle, the England Under-21 winger acknowledged many Toffees supporters will not forgive him.

    Gordon played a key part in Everton achieving Premier League survival last season, but he failed to live up to those standards as the team struggled again this term.

    Having been linked with moves to Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham at the start of the campaign, Gordon came in for particular abuse from sections of the Everton support.

    Social media footage showed Gordon's car being held up outside Goodison Park following a recent home defeat to relegation rivals Southampton.

    Gordon has now secured an exit to high-flying Newcastle and is excited about his "next chapter", but a message on his Twitter page paid tribute to Everton staff, team-mates and fans.

    "I came to this club at the age of 11, and not only did it give me a place to play football, but it gave me a second family," he wrote.

    "The club has shaped me into the footballer and more importantly the person I am today. It has given me everything I could have asked for and more."

    He added: "Last year felt so surreal because all of my childhood dreams were becoming reality. I wish I could relive some of [those] days, but I'll settle for the memories, which will last a lifetime for me.

    "To the fans, you gave me some of the best nights of my life. You made me a better player. I have always thrived off your energy, and you always made me run harder and faster.

    "There [have] been some difficult moments this year, but I never took any of it personally; stick by the team because they need you."

    Gordon, who said he would "miss everyone deeply", continued: "I love this club and I always have from the day I joined, but the time has come for me to leave.

    "I know many won't understand, but the next chapter awaits. I will always wish the best for this club and always be watching on.

    "From the bottom of my heart, thank you and good luck."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.