Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United, the club has been run by Ed Woodward. Currently, he is the chief executive of the club. Though football-wise things haven’t been good for the Red Devils off the pitch, they have a big commercial success thanks to Ed Woodward.
Manchester United commercial success is something many top clubs across Europe must be jealous of. The Red Devils are not just a football club, they are now a very big brand as well. However, there have been some other off-pitch issues as well for which Ed Woodward has often faced the wrath of United fans.
The Englishman’s poor handling of the transfer deals of the club has been often scrutinized and criticized. Even this summer they signed five players but it is still considered to be poor recruitment. Many complained that the likes of Edison Cavani and Alex Telles joined the club very late in the transfer market.
The bigger concern for the Red Devils has been the poor planning in the transfer window. They spent the majority of the summer chasing Jadon Sancho but failed to sign him. While no other alternatives were signed by the club. More pressure has mounted on them since the 1-6 defeat at home to Tottenham.
The dream signing for Ed Woodward
These days top clubs focus a lot on commercial success as well. Every day more and more markets are being searched by the clubs to generate potential revenue. The coronavirus pandemic has already trimmed the matchday revenue for the clubs across Europe.
During the 1-6 defeat to Tottenham, Son Heung-min was a key player. The South Korean winger is very popular in his homeland. It is no wonder that 21% of South Korea’s population supports Tottenham. While United are second at 6 %.
This summer they have signed three South American players in Edinson Cavani, Facundo Pellistri, and Alex Telles. However, the Asian market’s full potential is yet to be realized in the football world. Ed Woodward now wants to tap into that potential for further growth.
The club would now like to sign a player similar to Son, who can then promote Manchester United in his native and neighboring countries. Thus for Ed Woodward, a player who can play well on the field and promote United in Asia would be his next dream player.
Will it happen? Is it right for United to do so?
The idea seems to be very good but it will have its own set of difficulties. If United sign a player from Asia, it is unlikely that he will be a ready-made Premier League material. The level at which European clubs play is superior to that of Asian clubs.
If United wants to sign him as an Asian teenager then as per FIFA rules either his guardians or parents must be there with him in Europe. But when there is a will there is a way as well. It is true that for the football world Asia is still a market whose full potential to be tapped for financial growth.
However, just signing a player won’t be enough for the club. He must regularly play well for the club in order to attract fans to the club. Shinji Kagawa was signed by the club in 2012 but he did not do very well and only two years later he was sold by the club.
It seems like this is a long term strategy by the club. They have already started to invest in Asia as well. Currently in Mumbai, India United already has a football school. However, due to the current financial crises plans to expand in Asia have been stalled.