One for all, and all for one… it’s a terrible cliché but nevertheless it does sum up one of the essentials for success in team sport. The family of Manchester United is under pressure as a result of all the issues and controversies surrounding the ownership and financial situation of our club that have been stirred up in the media.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express their disapproval if they don’t like what they see around them, just as it has always been the right of fans to let it be known if they are not happy with the way their team are playing. I’m not slow to express disapproval myself if there is something I don’t agree with, even in the boardroom with the directors, but once I walk out of the meeting I get on with my job as manager of the team.
Some of our fans are clearly unhappy with the financial position but we mustn’t allow the situation to become divisive. The danger as I see it is that we could be presented as being split, which would be harmful and inaccurate because I believe the vast majority of United fans are behind us and appreciate the importance of standing together in support of the team.
I could see our opponents rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of watching us fall out among ourselves if we don’t all think carefully about what we are doing. We must not lose our focus, which from where I stand is about building a strong football team that will win trophies. That’s what we are about, or at least should be.
We must remain loyal to the cause of Manchester United. The staff and players should be quite one-eyed about that and stay true to the history of the club and all the work done by Sir Matt Busby and the other managers who have contributed to creating the great club we have at Old Trafford today.
This is not about stifling criticism; it’s simply a plea to stand together rather than take action that will damage ourselves more than anyone else. Manchester United is bigger than me, the players, the directors, officials, and the fans, and at this critical stage of our season particularly we need to pull in the same direction. It would be a shame to lose our concentration now because I can really see light at the end of the tunnel as we ready ourselves to push for the championship.