Friday, May 23, 2014

"Silence is the ultimate weapon of power."

“It's not me who can't keep a secret. It's the people I tell that can't.” 

Between Charles De Gaulle and Abraham Lincoln, everyone can learn something from these great leaders, and Ed Woodward can stand to learn a lot from them about getting things done.

The new man needs to learn a few tricks
In years gone by, United have done deals to bring top quality players, top young talent and players with potential who are effectively a long shot. More often than not, when United have done deals for top players, they've done so under a veil of secrecy.
I don't think many people can claim to have known through the media that we were going to sign Rafael, Fabio, Buttner, Tevez, Anderson or Nani, and if it weren't for the counter-parties in the transactions, we wouldn't have heard about the deals for Carrick, Berbatov, Hargreaves, Rooney and Ronaldo.

The United of old liked to do their business in private, to keep negotiations out of the media and to announce deals once they were confirmed. In the Gill era, whenever possible, deals only became public when they were done and when contracts were signed. Deals for talented kids, like Macheda, Petrucci & Pogba only became public when their former clubs kicked up a fuss and complained to UEFA about unfair practices. 
There were never sourced leaks about future bids, who the manager was interested in and no running commentary given to the papers about how an acquisition was progressing.
The combination of great journalism, Ogden, Taylor, Jackson, Payne, Mitten and so many others at ESPN and a sieve like set of staff at Manchester United have led to so many stories linking players to the club. Whether it was the influence of Sir Alex, David Gill or that United was more of a united club, international and domestic fans alike had no idea about who the club were planning on signing before said player went into Manchester Hospital for their medical test or were seen getting picked up from the airport by the club car, or in Dimitar Berbatov’s case, Sir Alex’s car.
Given the current situation, I’m not surprised that we are unable to attract the world top talents, but having the club’s name linked to so many failure’s will become a self perpetuating downward spiral and we are going to struggle to get mid-level talents to play for the club.

Yes, it’s very important that we sign a few players to strengthen our midfield, defence and add to the creativity on the wings, but more importantly, we need the club to stop leaking stories, whether it be that Moyes was showing Vidic and Ferdinand videos of Jagielka, that we wanted to sign Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Ander Herrera and that Fellaini was our back-up plan. Woodward needs to copy his Mata-formula and complete deals silently, and until he can ensure no one leaks to the papers, he should trust no one.


The new team need to learn, quickly.