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Ander Herrera says Manchester United put commerical deals ahead of football

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Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera took a jab at his former club a just-released interview. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is taking a slight dig at the club he used to call home for five years. The 30-year-old, who left Old Trafford this summer on a free transfer to Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germai (PSG), is accusing United of prioritizing money over football.

In an interview with French magazine So Foot, Herrera admitted he was happy at United, but confessed that he got the impression that football was not the most important thing at the club.

“I was very happy in this incredible club,” Herrera said. “I am very grateful to the supporters. I was immensely happy in Manchester but in the club there were times when I felt that football was not considered the most important thing.”

When pressed about whether he believed commercial business deals was more the focus, the Spaniard would neither confirm or deny those claims.

“I will not say it. That does not come out of my mouth. I do not know but football was not the most important thing in Manchester. I do not want to compare. All I know is that, here, I feel like I am breathing football on all sides — I like it.”

Herrera then drew comparisons to his new life in France, and expressed his joy in finding a club that actually focuses on the development of their players, despite the often flashy reputation they may have.

“And I say it sincerely, huh, because sometimes, seen from the outside, PSG can have a glamorous side that can irritate some. But here, we sweat, we train, we work!”

In an apparent jab at United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, the Spanish international hailed PSG’s sporting director Leonardo Araújo as a hands-on professional, making his presence known on a daily basis.

“When I arrive at the training centre, the physios, podiatrist and physical trainer are already at work… Football, football, football… Leonardo is there every day.”

United Under Pressure to Perform on and off the Pitch

The Reds, owned by the Glazer Family, are currently valued at $3.8 billion, and much of their revenue remain tied toward how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men perform on the pitch.

Despite enduring a tough couple seasons as of late, including the departure of former manager Jose Mourinho for current boss and former player Solskjaer, BBC reports that United’s yearly earnings reached a record high of $800 million (£627 million).

Unfortunately, that figure is expected to fall as we enter a new calendar year. The 2008 UEFA Champions League winners failed to qualify for the tournament this campaign, and that will result in revenue of £560 million-£580 million this season, the first drop in income the club has experienced in more than a decade.

Responding to separate reports that he has turned his attention to strengthening United’s commercial success, Woodward maintained his argument that everyone’s goal at the club is to win more trophies.

“Everyone at Manchester United is committed to delivering on our primary objective of winning trophies,” he emphasized, via BBC. “We remain focused on our plan of rebuilding the team and continuing to strengthen our youth system, in line with the philosophy of the club and the manager.”

Reds Allegedly on the Hunt for a New Shirt Deal

As of late United have been shopping for a new shirt sponsor, having been locked into a seven-year, $559 million deal they signed with American car manufacturer Chevrolet in 2014.

The iconic logo sits firmly in the center of United’s home, away and third shirts, but that could change when the contract expires in 2021. According to Sky Sports, United are involved in “discussions with a number of major organizations”  that could potentially exceed the lucrative Chevrolet agreement. In the past, United have rocked kits bearing the logos of tech corporation Sharp and telecommunications company Vodafone.

 


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