Opinion: Manchester United's fall from grace
Hindsight is a really beautiful thing. It is easy to look back and pinpoint the exact moment when Manchester United railroaded and became what Paul Ince aptly described as a laughing stock.
How a football club which perfected the art of winning and playing great football descended into abysmal depths is tragic. A cursory look at Manchester United post Ferguson is a sorry definition of how not to run a football club.
The great man himself was a colossus with a personality that would overshadow and drag severely limited people to his status.
The Glazer takeover in 2005 would be some fans' pick on when the eventual end began, some would state that the shoddy job that is the appointment of David Moyes and Ed Woodward as replacements to Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill is the exact moment this club railroaded.
The truth though is that Manchester United as a club isn't just what it used to be. It is true that this is a club with the largest fan base in the world, it is true that this is a club which posits the highest annual revenue of any football club ever, it is also true that this is a club with a commercial side to it that would rival any global franchise.
Sadly these achievements as Ed Woodward sees it has rarely transcended to the field of play. From the replacement of probably the most exciting player this football club has produced in Ronaldo with admittedly an able but sub-par imitation in Antonio Valencia, down to the nadir that is the defeat at the Amex to Brighton (don't think the defeat to Olympiacos or the turgid football played under Van Gaal are forgotten), Manchester United has let itself be sidetracked from it's one true purpose, which is being a great football team.
It is laughable that football teams like Tottenham have been able to match them on the field of play, and Manchester City catching up with them, as well as superseding them is downright intolerable and unforgivable.
Commercial revenue is definitely nothing to sniff at in this clime of inflated fees for footballers, however the sooner the club gets it's act right, the sooner incidents like what happened at the Amex stadium becomes a thing dissociated with to what in theory is actually the biggest football club in the world.