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Is the World About to See the Revival Of the Most Supported Football Club on the Planet?

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Is the World About to See the Revival Of the Most Supported Football Club on the Planet?

Manchester United has historically been the world’s best-supported football team but the last few years have produced one of the most underwhelming runs in the club’s history.

This would have, undoubtedly, seen a drop-off in numbers as far as their fanbase goes with the team renowned for picking up its share of fairweather fans over the glory years under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Indeed, with the emergence of Manchester City, Chelsea, and even Newcastle United to a degree, there are now far more attractive options for fans to support.

Still, it’s worth saying that the loyal support from within the red half of the city of Manchester and indeed those who have remained committed to the Red Devils’ cause from around the globe make up a number close to 75 million.

This, at least, is the estimation from sports industry consultants Deloitte which speaks volumes about what the size of the fanbase would have been had Manchester United not been stuck in this limbo over the past few seasons.

Sadly, the inescapable truth is that the latest sports news pages have reported a story of steady decline at Old Trafford but there has, tellingly, just been a glimmer of hope for the first time in years after the Red Devils managed to beat Liverpool in a Premier League game in late August.

Of course, it’s easy to dismiss a one-off result as just that and not the sign of new dawn but that would be choosing to look past the fact that Manchester United finally looked like a team again as they put Jurgen Klopp’s men to the sword. This isn’t a coincidence.

In fact, you could argue that ever since Erik ten Hag was appointed as the Manchester United boss, his team have slowly become more of a unit.

Admittedly, this hasn’t been immediately evident if you were to focus on the early season results but the determined Dutchman has quietly been making changes behind the scenes that, critically, involved dropping Cristiano Ronaldo – who has missed matches for various reasons – from his matchday team.

Ronaldo’s exclusion boosts Manchester United’s chances

Ronaldo is without a doubt the most famous sportsman on the planet and the most marketable athlete in the world.

Indeed, from tech companies to the globe’s leading fashion retailers, Ronaldo can boast a profile of endorsements that no other footballer in the world can.

This is why the Portuguese icon’s exclusion from the starting XI that beat Liverpool sent shockwaves around the world and reinforced the message that Manchester United were now more concerned about winning than the commercial aspect of the club.

It was a bold call but ultimately the right one from Ten Hag who was praised after the game for making the decision in the best interests of the club.

What the future holds for the Nike athlete after his new boss omitted him from the team remains to be seen but the club has now been tipped to build on this momentum without Ronaldo.

This prevailing opinion can be seen in the latest Premier League betting odds for the Premier League’s race to finish in the top four with Manchester United, as of 22 September, back at a price of 13/8 to qualify for the Champions League.

Those are telling odds and speak of the expectation now on this Manchester United team.

It goes without saying but Ronaldo is, of course, not the root cause of the club’s various problems that run deep at Old Trafford.

However, the great rebuild of the world’s most famous football team starts with getting the smaller decisions right by prioritizing the business of winning football matches again.

A return to the ways of old

Encouragingly for Manchester United fans, this seems to be back on the agenda which also means that the entertainment that supporters from across the world crave – who look to stream the Premier League online – won’t be far behind.

This perhaps is the most crucial point in United’s revival given that at the very heart of the club’s ethos is the obligation to entertain.

It began during the 19th century when living conditions for fans were not what they are today.

Essentially, a hard week in an industrial city was made more bearable by going to watch the famous Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.

It is this duty to the fans that drove the club on for over a century but, until recently, had stopped.

Is this a new dawn at Old Trafford? It’s impossible to say for certain but it’s the closest thing to looking like one in ten years.

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