Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews Bournemouth game
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has made a ‘bizarre’ decision by allowing Richard Arnold to visit the dressing room after matches. The Red Devils supremo replaced Ed Woodward last year. And while he seems to be more popular than his predecessor among supporters, his long-term future is up in the air as takeover talk continues to surround the club.
It recently emerged that Ten Hag had reinstated a Sir Alex Ferguson tradition by allowing club directors to visit the dressing room after matches.
But football finance expert Kieran Maguire, speaking to Football Insider, has branded that decision as ‘bizarre’.
“I’ve always taken the view that a dressing room is sacrosanct and what happens in the dressing room stays there,” he said.
“That comes from playing sports myself at an amateur level.
“As soon as an outsider enters the dressing room the environment completely changes.
“Having said that, we are seeing more and more intrusion pre and post-match into the privacy of players and managers.
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“I’m a great believer in keeping the magic, magic.
“The idea of Richard Arnold – an investment banker – being brought into the dressing room at Old Trafford is bizarre.”
Ten Hag relies on Arnold at Old Trafford, even if the United chief keeps himself away from footballing matters.
And there’s a possibility the 52-year-old will leave the club should a takeover go through.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has his own trusted circle that he’d want at United should INEOS steal a march.
And there have been suggestions Sheikh Jassim will look to overhaul the Red Devils behind the scenes should his own takeover bid be successful.
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Meanwhile, Arnold went viral nearly a year ago when he decided to sit down with fans at a local pub to discuss the pub.
He pleaded for their help, while also making it clear he’d hated attending matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season.
“I respect your passion but I need some help from you,” he said in a candid chat.
“This sounds self-serving, right, we’ve not bottled you protesting, I love the passion of the fans.
“The other thing we did, and I’m gonna tell you this is, we said any team who’s in the country who doesn’t give our away fans our 3,000, we’re gonna reciprocate, you can put that up on your [inaudible], and we’ve got full allocations at every stadium.
“You know our away fans are lively, my kids go to away games, they’re lively.
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“[But] this has been horrible. A lot of our players are young and they have had a torrid time. The abuse they got after the Euros, no wonder confidence was shot.
“A lot of our players are young, they’re young lads, they came back after a torrid time at the Euros, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jadon] Sancho, the abuse they got after the Euros, they’ve come back for the new season, the crowd were on them.
“I’m not surprised their confidence has gone. For me, I want to put us back together as a club, so we’re all solid, to be successful.
“I’m going to do my bit to make sure the money’s there, that’s all I can do.
“I’ll talk to any fan. I’ll answer every email. I can’t make you do anything, carry on letting people protest, but we’re going to have to stop the flares [in case] someone gets hurt.”
Arnold was asked about the Glazers, too, and said: “You might not like our current owners — I can’t help that.
“But if you want someone else to come in they will see that the fans love the team and that is positive.
“But last year was a f***ing nightmare. There was hate at every game.
“There were a couple of things. For one, the protests, protest to me. It’s my job and I should take it. Protest to the owners, but the sponsors have put money into the club.
“They shouldn’t get punished, what have they done wrong? They’ve put money in to help the club. Does it really [pressure on sponsors hurt the Glazers]?
“You know what it was like in 2005, the pressure put on the owners not to buy the club.
“They bought the club anyway. If you want to think about them that way, they’re hard rock hard. [To say they] don’t care is the wrong word… they’re not frightened of people.”
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