United efforts to help during this outbreak cheers fans

Manchester United players led by captain Harry Maguire have taken a 30% pay cut on their one month salary to donate #3.5 million to NHS, while rest of the English Premier League (EPL) and Professional Footballer's Association (PFA) are yet to agree on a similar proposal. Last month the club decided to continue to pay the match day staff numbering 900, perhaps the largest in the EPL during the suspension of all matches while few other EPL clubs had put their staff on furlough. United joined hands with rivals City to donate #100,000 to local food banks. These series of measures by the club have made the supporters proud.

However the Club did release a video of how two of its players having a difficult season are coping with the shutdown in Paul Pogba & Jesse Lingard. Perhaps aimed at building bridges with the fans! Futures of both at United remain uncertain. Lack of live football has been partially compensated by re-run of classic matches including that famous away win in Turin vs Juventus with unselfish captain Roy Keane ensuring passage to the Champions' League final while he himself being suspended wasn't available for a momentous night at Nou Camp, 1999.

Too soon to call the PR appointment of Neil Ashton a success but the above steps certainly bode well. Challenges on clearing the deadwood from the playing squad remain as United contemplate the return of its highest earner Alexis Sanchez having flopped at Inter on loan. Will he move to a Chinese club on a high wage or loaned out again remains to be seen. Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Chris Smalling, Andreas Pereira being the others. Benefits of removing Fellaini, Herrera, Valencia, Darmian, Lukaku, Young has been the emergence of Scott McTominay, James Garner, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood from the academy.

UEFA having postponed the Euro's to next year a move that has reiterated their commitment to complete this season's competition's including the Champions' League, Europa League and local leagues to ensure the clubs do not lose the lucrative revenue from TV sponsorship. Various scenario's have been discussed including hosting all pending European or league games behind closed doors in a single city with multiple stadiums like in China or Birmingham. Postponement is possible as far as September with a curtailed season next term but anything later might lead to freezing the league table as is like in Belgium or voiding the season.

Summer transfer window and players contracts that run through to 30, June might be impacted. Bayern Munich chief rightly predicted the huge transfer prices of players might fall by about 10-25% or more in a few cases. This presents a unique opportunity for clubs like Manchester United who might have more cash to burn than most clubs to use it wisely for a bargain to get a superstar but not make a mistake like Alexis Sanchez again. A storm blew the top of Victoria Ground home of Stoke City in 1976 which was uninsured and led them to sell Jimmy Greenhoff to United who was instrumental in denying Liverpool the treble in '77 by scoring the winner in the FA Cup final that year. Scenario now is far more serious as clubs across Europe will be fighting to survive with absolutely no earnings for unknown length of time. Clubs like Barcelona, Athletico Madrid might need to sell presenting United with an chance to pursue Antoine Greizmann or Saul Niguez. If Paul Pogba is moved out then Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek or Saul Niguez, Thomas Meunier would represent an excellent transfer window. Dean Henderson must spend a year as understudy to David de Gea before taking over as number one choice else United might look at another loan move next season.

Solskjaer revealed how Carrick and McKenna are working on a plan for a two or three week pre-season if the league resumes. Seems like the new coach Martyn Pert whom United hired in December, 2019 is becoming another of Solskjaer's great hires and Fred is an example of how Martyn has worked on individuals to get the best out of them. Meanwhile Marcus Rashford has become the best symbol of how players can play their part during these tough times by contributing to the society.

#StayHome #StaySafe

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