clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Productive preseason training? Not for Manchester United

New, comments

There’s a lot in this big ol’ world I just don’t understand, like cold soups, and how many TV shows America really needs about slovenly dingdong men who somehow marry hot wives. That one’s a lulu.

Here’s something else that somebody smarter than me will need to explain:

How does one of the world’s glamour clubs, one of the biggest sporting brands in the world, figure to get a productive pre-season training when they are barnstorming around the United States, hobnobbing in nightly appearances and traveling extensively in the U.S. summer swelter?

The men of Manchester United arrived Monday into Chicago. They began training on Tuesday.  From there, over the following 14 days Manchester United will play four matches and travel four times.

They play on Friday night in Toronto (the first time in their new kits by the way, and the game against Celtic is on ESPN2), then in Philadelphia on July 21, in Kansas City on July 25 and finally against the MLS All-Stars on July 28.

United’s Premiership opener against Newcastle is less than a month away (Aug. 16).

I mean, I know their travel is mostly in the middle of the country, so they aren’t crossing a bunch of time zones. And I know they have a big squad and they aren’t likely to be worn out by the likes of Kansas City and Philadelphia from MLS. Still …

When I think of pre-season training, I think of tough two-a-day workouts to establish a good base of fitness fro the prolonged season to come.  And I always hear managers talk about the importance of rest and recovery and proper eating in between these taxing preseason sessions, the better to ensure that tomorrow’s workout is as productive as today’s.

But how do they get proper rest when they are stepping on and off airplanes (and getting delayed, as they did out ofChicago into Toronto?)

So I’m left with just one conclusion: this is not, in fact, the ideal set of circumstances for clubs like Man U and others touring the United StatesAsia, etc.  Rather, these are cash opportunities, no more and no less. These are chances to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars (or in the case of Man U and the true global heavies, millions of dollars) in appearance fees.

Teams like Manchester United are swimming in debt, after all. I suppose Malcolm Glazer simply needs the money.

(By the way, for those wondering, most World Cup players are not on this tour. That means no Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung and new Mexican signing Javier Hernandez, among others. They’ll be reporting into Manchester on July 28, or perhaps even later.)