United Suffer After Effects Of Indiscipline
Manchester United resume their EPL title challenge after the international break five points clear of nearest challengers Arsenal but with continuing defensive injury problems and disciplinary problems on-and-off the pitch.
Centre-back remains a problem position for manager Alex Ferguson’s men, with Northern Ireland international defender Jonny Evans suspended for this Saturday lunchtime’s pivotal EPL clash at struggling West Ham United, to go with longer-term injuries to Rio Ferdinand et al.
Ferguson’s conduct came under fresh scrutiny last week when the FA Commission, which recently issued him with a five-game touchline ban and a £30,000 fine, published details of its rulings, claiming that Ferguson had “undermined” the FA’s campaigning work on respect for referees.
And United’s finances also came under fresh scrutiny last week when it was announced that the club’s parent company, Red Football Joint Venture (RFJV), made losses of £109m during the 2009/10 financial year.
Jonny Evans was suspended for three matches after being sent off in United’s 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers in their most recent EPL fixture on March 19th for a reckless tackle on the Trotters’ American midfielder Stuart Holden.
Holden received an ugly gash on his knee and the injury will keep him out of football for six months. But Evans insisted there was no malice in the tackle. He said: “At the time, I did think I’d gone in for a fair challenge and I’d won the ball.
“But when I went straight off the pitch into the changing rooms and saw the tackle again, I realised it wasn’t a good tackle by myself.”
Ferguson began a five-match touchline ban at the Bolton game, as punishment for criticising referee Martin Atkinson after United’s 2-1 EPL defeat at Chelsea last month. Ferguson claimed Atkinson had not been “fair or strong” and an independent FA Regulatory Commission ruled that his words “risked damaging football’s integrity.”
In the Commission’s findings, chairman Greg Moore criticised Ferguson for not apologising to Atkinson. Moore wrote that this failure “undermined the attempts by the FA, through its respect campaign, to encourage higher standards of behaviour within the game.”
RFJV’s losses to July 2010 were attributed to one-off costs connected to dealing with United’s £500m debts resulting from United’s 2005 takeover by the Florida-based Glazer family.
The accounts also blamed a drop in player sales’ income, having the previous year netted £81m from the sale of star man Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.
Tags: Manchester United, Alex Ferguson, Jonny Evans, EPL