If you happen to wake up each morning – as I do, hoping against hope that a surprise headline may appear stating that Qatar Holdings has announced confirmation of its purchase of Manchester United from the Glaziers, you can now forget that slim possibility completely, at least in the short term. When Sir Alex Ferguson revealed details of the second successive pre season tour of the United States in July, he was indirectly making it clear that there’s definitely no change of ownership in the wind.
Despite that reality however, my suspicious, ever optimistic mind keeps telling me that as unlikely as it seems, there just may be another possibility. This could be a chance for the Glazers to have a last hurrah by once again making a few million dollars from such a tour before relinquishing their hold on the club. While that will admittedly appear to be merely clutching at straws, anything is possible in the world of high finance.
For his part, Ferguson is only interested in the business of football “We’re finding it increasingly more exciting every time we come to the States” he told a packed Tour 2011 press conference in New Jersey. “Major League Soccer is now developing into a very competitive league and producing good teams who are making games much more difficult, as we found last year when he played Kansas City Wizards.”
Sir Alex continued by stating that “It’s great to see that improvement and, of course, the national team did well at last year’s World Cup. There’s a definite sense of there being a good future for soccer in America. It’s not only that though. It’s a fantastic country to bring the players to – the training facilities are fantastic, the hotels are good, everything about the country is perfect for the build up to a tough season.”
United start the five match tour in Boston on July 13 against New England Revolution then meet the Sounders a week later in Seattle. Next comes a game against Chicago Fire on July 23 before they take on the MLS All Stars in New Jersey on July 27. The tour winds up with friendly against Barcelona in Washington three days later. “To finish off with a match against Barcelona will be a special moment for all our fans in the States” an enthusiastic Ferguson told the press conference.
Is an overseas pre season tours just a money making exercise or good preparation?