Manchester United have announced a major partnership with Chinese conglomerate Alibaba as Ed Woodward records another victory for the club off the pitch.
The company, who announced revenues of $56bn last year, specialises in commerce, retail and technology, forming part of a wider Chinese tech zeitgeist that will, one day, consume our pathetic western markets.
United and Alibaba made a joint announcement announcing the partnership on Friday morning.
United are also in talks with Chinese company Haier over a shirt sponsor deal worth around £70m, which could go into effect next season, with Chevrolet keen to prematurely end a six-year deal signed in 2014.
Ever the astute businessman, Woodward is embracing the Asian century with open arms, providing United with an important level of investment from a stable source of growth in China.
Honestly, United as a whole would be better off if the whole enterprise was taken away from its Florida-based, stock market acolytes and instead transferred to the Chinese Communist Party – and I’m only half-joking about that.
Could this open up more money for transfers? Well, unfortunately, that can only happen if those at the very top allow it to happen, regardless of the channels of investment available to the club.