Earlier this weekend, Manchester’s Red Devils suffered a devastating loss of 4-0 against the Brighton Seagulls. We understand that Man United was a very popular team with many trophies in their case. If you were Premier League betting on them, you have our condolences.
But this is a loss for people who weren’t gambling, too. Why? Read on.
Another year on the dawn
Manchester United are a club in crisis, an institution that has been steeped in mediocrity for the best part of the last nine years and change is strongly required at Old Trafford.
Knocked out of the Champions League, and all domestic cups stretching the club’s trophy drought to a frustrating five years for the Old Trafford faithful. To make matters worse, the way things are shaping up in the Premier League table as of right now, a respectable fourth-place finish to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League is out of the picture, yet again.
The current squad is simply not good enough, filled with household names who are performing exceedingly below expectations.
But there’s more than the sentimental value on the line when a big team like Manchester United loses this badly.
Show Me the Money!
Manchester United is also a very profitable club. According to the BBC, Manchester United was the single most profitable club in January of 2018, earning around 578 million pounds. As of March 2022, their value was 3.13 billion pounds! They have been sponsored by big brands such as Nike, General Motors, and Chevrolet.
But Manchester United is also a brand, and IP, in itself. This loss isn’t just a black mark on the team’s record; the more the team succeeds, the more valuable its brand becomes. The more valuable they become, the more screen time and merchandise they get. If you need any proof of this, the existence of the movie Bend It Like Beckham, named after Man Utd’s David Beckham, suggests a lot of value can be put on a single player! If their recent loss is any indication, Man Utd may become a damaged brand. People are right to be irate!
Why Did This Happen?
Nobody enjoys watching one-sided matches. The Seagulls slaughtered the Red Devils, but why?
Part of it was brilliant playing on Brighton’s part. As Eurosport.com details, Graham Potter, the team’s coach, encouraged them to “go for the jugular.” Potter is a gambler, and thus a risk-taker by nature. However, he also favours planning for the right time to strike rather than rushing with everything at once. Over time, he has accumulated players that excel at defence and midfield. If the opposing team was expecting defence, and the Seagulls suddenly became aggressive, that may have caught them off-guard. They simply played, and planned, much better.
Football is as much about skill as it is about luck. We are not denying that the Red Devils’ loss was particularly unfortunate, not just for them, but for everyone invested in them—both sentimentally and monetarily. The Brighton team manager suggested an unusually aggressive play, and his gamble paid off. Perhaps the rest of us can learn something from this loss, no matter how much it might hurt.