Home » Joel Glazer’s decision to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: will it happen sooner or later?

Joel Glazer’s decision to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: will it happen sooner or later?

by Red Billy

It is hard to understand why Manchester United have not yet sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the first team’s dismal start to the season.

It has been reported by Fabrizio Romano that the decision lies with controlling shareholder Joel Glazer, and while the much reviled oligarch is known to not be a football man, he can hardly be described as a bad businessman. And, on a business level just as much as a football one, endangering the club by not taking action makes no sense at all.

If Solskjaer stays in place, United could crash out of this season’s Champions League, costing the club a minimum of €9.6 million (prize for qualifying for the knockout stages) plus extra TV and sponsorship revenues, to a maximum of €52.7 million plus TV and sponsorship revenues (total prize money for winning team).

In addition, if United fail to finish in the top four of the Premier League, it would immediately cost around €16 million plus TV and sponsorship revenues for next season.

Arguably even more worrying is the mass exodus that United could face if Solskjaer stays in post.

Paul Pogba is holding out on signing a new contract and is likely to leave at the end of the season when his current deal expires. Regardless of current form and fans’ opinions on the World Cup winner, the fact is that he is an asset worth at least €60 – €70 million and Glazer would surely not want to lose that amount of money unnecessarily.

Jesse Lingard is in a similar situation and worth around €30 million.

There is now even talk that Cristiano Ronaldo is unhappy at the club under Solskjaer and could also seek a move away. This would be the biggest commercial blow of all were he to leave at the end of the season.

Edinson Cavani, Dean Henderson and Donny van de Beek are all rumoured to be looking for moves away in January and whilst the club does not need to grant those requests, dressing room harmony could deteriorate even further should they be held against their will.

Anthony Martial is another name linked with a move away.

There are other commercial outcomes of United’s poor performances. Gate revenues and megastore income will take a hit and it will be harder to attract sponsors. The first team training kit remains unsponsored since the HUT Group pulled out of a new deal at the last minute in the summer following the #GlazersOut protests.

We have heard stories of how the Glazers like Solskjaer because he is a ‘yes man’, easily manipulated, how outgoing executive vice chairman Ed Woodward does not want the sacking to be his final act, and how the club have been caught off-guard without a suitable replacement.

But the fact is that the club is now bleeding money as well as leaking goals and none of those reasons would compensate for the commercial impact that continuing to flog this dead horse will have.

And, no matter what Glazer’s understanding of football is, his understanding of the bottom line surely means he must and will act sooner rather than later.

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