Manchester United to play overseas friendlies during the regular season?
What’s that, you didn’t get a chance to see Manchester United during their preseason tour in the US this summer?
Don’t fret, sounds like they could be back pretty darn soon.
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According to United’s managing director Richard Arnold, the Red Devils are exploring the idea of playing lucrative friendlies overseas during the regular season.
With United out of European competitions this season, executives are said to be keen on making up the cash they lost from not qualifying for the UEFA Champions League by playing across the world in midweek friendlies.
From the Associated Press, here’s what Arnold said it was “something we continue to look at” but after van Gaal voiced concerned over the clubs preseason tour of the U.S. and the vast travel involved, apparently he’s all in to take his squad across the globe and play in friendlies.
Arnold added that van Gaal knows “what’s required to get a first-class team onto the pitch and also what’s required for running a club of our magnitude.”
So, where could United go?
Between now and May they have so many options but one of the better ones would seem to be the Middle East as several PL teams, including United, have headed for warm-weather breaks to Dubai and Qatar over the past few seasons. Travel time from England is six to seven hours to those venues, so perhaps a trip to the East Coast of the U.S. wouldn’t be out of the question either? For a friendly game during the season, you would think the only real option is Florida as the climate elsewhere in North America would make it tricky. Other options further afield include Asia, but trips of that nature would surely upset van Gaal as his squad would find it tough to recover after that incredibly long journey overseas.
Regardless, it is an interesting and certainly innovative idea from United’s directors to help curtail an expected 10 percent drop in revenue after their failure to qualify for the Champions League. The big question for me is, would United risk taking all of their big name stars overseas or just a sprinkling and then let the fringe players and youngsters get a run out but still pack the stadiums and pocket plenty of cash?
Let’s see if this gets off the ground.