Well, the European Football Associations Regulatory Commission (FAC) ordered a fine against Manchester United because the club did not follow the guidelines laid down for clubs wishing to upgrade their stadiums. The regulations state that clubs must provide a playing surface suitable for football; it cannot be higher than a minimum of three hundred meters and cannot decrease more than twenty-five percent. Failure to comply can lead to heavy fines and in serious cases, disqualification from European competitions. That’s why the UEFA has punished the club.
Unfortunately the new Manchester United stadium has turned out to be a disappointment, and United have actually lost more football games at Old Trafford than at any other ground. The fans have not been good by the club officials who have let them down with a slow start and poor finish. There has been major unrest over the perceived lack of progress; and the long waiting times for access to the new stadium. Some United fans are even blaming the Premier League for this; as they are demanding that the governing body to take action against the perceived bad press.
To compound matters even more, the proposed changes to the stadium also mean that the club may lose three of its sixteenth century old fixtures – the famed Old Stand. This is the one thing that most United supporters cherish; along with the memories of all those famous matches that have been play in the Old Stand, onfulfilling memories for many fans. However, if United fails to show progress soon then the Old Stand could become a distant memory. That’s going to be a big, financial hit for the club and one which will undoubtedly affect the players, the staff and the supporters. Financial matters do not help when you are trying to survive in the game that we call football. It has certainly made things tougher for the club, but it is not as bad as the cancellation of the Stadium renovation project.
The question of replacing the old stadium with a brand new one; has been delay until further notice due to financial problems. This means that United will be visible to play at the Ryman Stadium, located in the Olympic Park in London; until the summer – and that’s a very uncomfortable situation for the supporters. They have given their money for the new stadium to the right people; so it’s time to give them the money back. I don’t blame the UEFA for this decision; it is the club’s mistake and they should have known better.
In my opinion, this is a clear message to the rest of the clubs that you need to follow the rules and regulations; otherwise you will get banned from the European Cup; and you will lose your sponsorships and this will mean money losing for the club. We need to keep financing our teams with the big profits that we make from the commercial activities; because without them we will not be able to maintain the level of performance that we have nowadays. Financial fair play is an important part of the European soccer clubs, without it we cannot be considered European. There are other great European teams that we could compare with United; if we don’t start complying with the regulations then we might soon find ourselves outside the competition or even missing out entirely. So the choice is clear, and we have until the summer to decide what to do.