Jose Mourinho has privately expressed concerns that Manchester United players are spending too much time promoting the club’s sponsors rather than focusing on improving on the pitch, according to reports.
Man United have 46 official sponsors, including Adidas and Chevrolet, who have license to work with players to promote their products throughout the season.
Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw, Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Michael Carrick all recently featured in an advert promoting the release of Deadpool 2, a movie by the club’s official feature movie partner, 20th Century Fox, and further players will no doubt be required to take on various commercial duties during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
According to the Times‘ Paul Hirst, Mourinho has expressed concerns that players are spending too much time working with sponsors and not directing enough attention towards improving as a collective on the pitch.
Louis van Gaal also complained that the players were spending too much time on commercial shoots during his first pre-season as United boss in 2014. This is a club which, as revealed last September, earned over half a billion over the course of the year, with a large portion of that coming from their vast number of sponsorship deals.
To roll back the number tacky photo shoots, cringeworthy videos, mundane and time consuming interviews these players take on would no doubt be a good thing. Mourinho relies on a tight-knit, assiduously focused circle in which to function properly, the noise outside the ultimate enemy. And sponsors are no doubt a part of that. These companies, from Adidas to Disney, have a diluting impact on our lives. They are everywhere, and therefore empty.
At the same time, however, a club of such magnitude and global outreach will never entertain the idea of reducing their marketing ambitions. This is modern life. This is just what high end business entails. Mourinho, for his own good, needs to stop pointing the finger anything possible and start working towards improving next season.