In November last year, the information space in English football was stirred up by an interview with the Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who criticized the current Manchester United to smithereens. The star footballer told journalist Piers Morgan that he did not respect the Red Devils mentor Eric ten Hag, that the club urgently needed radical changes, and also directly stated that he was betrayed by Manchester United.
The scandalous interview led to a serious resonance, and in the end everything ended predictably – despite the star status, the club from Manchester wished to immediately terminate the contract with Ronaldo, and on the eve of the start of the final part of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he found himself in the status of a free agent.
Ultimately, Ronaldo was able to find a job in the Saudi Al-Nasr, although he dreamed of continuing to play in a team participating in the Champions League. A lot of criticism poured out on the Portuguese: for the lack of corporate ethics, for disrespectful attitude towards the coach and disparaging comments about some partners, for excessive self-aggrandizement…
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But at least some of the arguments of Ronaldo should be heeded, discarding all the false tinsel that is always present around the person of the Portuguese. To be frank, the infrastructure that Manchester United has is really noticeably outdated and inferior to the similar conditions of most competitors. And Cristiano spoke about it unambiguously…
“Progress has been zero. Since Sir Alex (Ferguson, former Manchester United manager and club legend) left, I have not seen any changes at the club. Nothing changed. He (Ferguson) knows better than anyone that the club is not on the path it deserves. He knows it. Everyone knows this. People who don’t see it… It’s because they don’t want to see it. They are blind. I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. That’s why I went to Manchester United.
“But there are some things going on inside the club that don’t help us reach the top level and be on par with City, Liverpool and even the current Arsenal. In my opinion, a club of this caliber and status should be at the top of the pyramid, but unfortunately it is not,” Ronaldo said.
He added: “Nothing has changed. It’s not just about the jacuzzi, but also about the pool, and even about the gym. Many technological moments, cuisine, chefs – whom I really appreciate, they are wonderful people – all this has frozen in time, which surprised me very much. I thought I would see other things, technologies, infrastructure. Unfortunately, we see a lot of what I used to when I was 21, 22, 23 years old. It really surprised me.”
“Since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero.”
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) November 13, 2022
The Manchester United training ground, which is located in Carrington, was opened in 2000, and since joining the club as owners of the Glazer family, it has never really been subjected to major reconstruction or technological improvement. Over the past thirteen years, the Red Devils have invested £98m in infrastructure. By this measure, United lose not only to the “noisy neighbors” from City (£421m) and the undisputed leader Tottenham (£1.525bn), who poured incredible money into the construction of a state-of-the-art new stadium, but also to a number of other clubs – Liverpool (266), Brighton (195), Leicester (153), Brentford (126), Arsenal (122)…
Of the so-called “English top 6”, only Chelsea have spent less on infrastructure than Manchester United over the past decade and a half, although the differences between these clubs in investments are small – only 3 million pounds. However, the Blues have managed to bring many truly stellar characters to Stamford Bridge all along, helping Chelsea win the Champions League in 2012 and 2021 and the Premier League in 2010, 2015 and 2017. m.
Realizing this, the management of Manchester United for several years, according to media reports, plans to spend heavily on major repairs, if not even on a radical restructuring of training facilities. However, planning is not doing, and therefore the Glazers get a decent amount from the fans, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s fiery speech added problems to the American owners of the Red Devils, partly because of which they very quickly thought about the possible sale of all or part of the club’s shares.
It is rumored that the richest man in the UK, Jim Ratcliffe, could become the new owner of Manchester United. Fans of the Red Devils will probably have no less questions for this person than for the Glazers, but in the event of a change in ownership, the club will really get a chance for long overdue transformations…
The other day, The Sun, which has the fame of a representative of the “yellow press”, but at times gives out very accurate information about specific things or circumstances, published the news that in the summer at Manchester United, progress will indeed begin on the issue of modernizing the training base. In particular, it is allegedly planned to build a new health complex, where there will even be a place for yoga.
Echoes colleagues from The Sun and another popular, but also not having an impeccable reputation in terms of the veracity of the data provided, the Daily Mail. According to him, Ronaldo’s criticism of the outdated infrastructure has had the desired effect, and in the summer the club is preparing to invest “millions to turn its training facility in Carrington into a new top-level luxury complex.”
Interestingly, the Trafford training facility in Carrington has replaced the Cliff, Manchester United’s previous training facility, which was located on the banks of the River Irwell. After that, the Red Devils became the champions of England eight times and won the Champions League once, but since 2013, when Alex Ferguson left the coaching bridge, Manchester United has not achieved any high-profile success.