We all knew it was just a matter of time before Manchester United were dragged into the expanding Football Leaks scandal, and sure enough, here we go. Apparently, allegedly, the club paid Monaco £3.5m for a friendly that never took place, in order to smooth the transfer of Radamel Falcao.
However, the scandals don’t stop there. Exclusive investigations by the Busby Babe have revealed that Manchester United have been shockingly wasteful, consistently shovelling money into the metaphorical flames. Some projects never existed in the first place. Others never came to fruition, and perhaps they were never even meant to.
Here, for the first time, is the appalling list in full. Happy Black Friday.
During the latter days of David Moyes’ tenure, as dissatisfaction grew, we understand that United held initial talks with various small aeroplane hire companies around the Manchester area. The plan was to ensure that even as the fans complained, the protests would ultimately benefit the club. There was even talk that Moyes’ inevitable dismissal could be delayed, the better to ensure continued business.
Plans for a theme park based around the life and adventures of Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman were considerably advanced by the time the project was shelved in 2014. Attractions would have included a rollercoaster in the shape of a large colourful scarf, and an interactive virtual reality experience where visitors would have the chance to negotiate a sponsorship deal with a manufacturer of thermal underwear.
“Excuse me, I’d like to return this football manager.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. And why is that?”
“Well, I bought this Jose Mourinho in good faith, but he doesn’t appear to be working properly. I was expecting inspiration and have had nothing but bitterness and bad temper.”
“Oh dear. That is a shame. Have you ... have you tried offering him a new contract? A large one?”
“Ooh, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll give that a shot. Thanks!”
“You’re welcome, sir.”
Red Fred Redemption
After the runaway success of Grand Theft Auto 5, United approached Rockstar Games with a partnership offer that would have seen various United-related characters appear in Red Dead Redemption 2. Proposals included a town called Old Trafford, complete with old-world soccer stadium; Roy Keane as a man who lives with a bear; and Fred the Red as the game’s ultimate antagonist, an oil baron driven mad with power.
Thinking about it, Radamel Falcao
Just, like, generally. See also: Angel di Maria, Morgan Schneiderlin, and plenty others that it’s too depressing to list in one place. God, what happened with Schneiderlin? He was supposed to be great. What a waste.