Manchester United vs Burnley: Preview

Just as the dust has almost settled after the dismal performance against Birmingham, we get the fantastic news about our financial situation. The doomsday soothsayers are out in force and every Manchester United fan in the land is slightly worried. Apparently the club are in crisis. So what better time to be facing a team that has just changed coach? Burnley visit Old Trafford later today and this could well prove the match that gets our season back on track.

Newly appointed Brain Laws will be looking to continue the good work of the departed Owen Coyle, he is of course the best pound for point manager from the Championship during the period 2006-2009. Yes folks! That’s the reason he was appointed as Burnley manager,

“The results of a Deloitte and Touche study, delivered at the club’s request, confirm that he was top of the list of Championship managers over the period 2006-2009, in terms of delivering the best results relative to financial budgets,” according to Burnley chairman, Barry Kilby.

United go into the match with the news that Edwin van der Sar is back fit and with the squad, Sir Alex Ferguson is going to make sure van der Sar feels right before making the decision on whether to start him or not. Due to the confidence he brings at the back it looks likely he will replace Tomasz Kuszczak in goal.

Ferguson has stated he wants a consistent side, especially in defence. Jonny Evans and Wes Brown should continue in the heart of the defence, Patrice Evra will of course be at left-back and Rafael should start on the right side. Rio Ferdinand has made progress while training in Qatar, but the Burnley game comes a bit too early for him. Nemanja Vidic may make the bench as he is close to a full recovery.

Darren Fletcher is suspended after his red card last weekend, so Anderson may be drafted in as a replacement. Michael Carrick will be his midfield partner. Antonio Valencia will take up his usual right midfield role, with Ryan Giggs brought back into the side at the expense of Ji-Sung Park.

As usual Wayne Rooney will lead the United front line, but who will be his able assistant? DImitar Berbatov is carrying an injury that will have to be operated on, so Ferguson may decide not to risk him. Michael Owen will be itching for a start, though Mame Biram Diouf might get his first start since joining the club earlier in the month.

Burnley are also in a bit of a slump, they haven’t won in 10 games. Defender and captain Steven Caldwell looks likely to miss out with a groin strain while midfielder Jay Rodriguez should also be absent with an ankle injury. Andre Bikey has now joined up with the Cameroon side at the African Cup of Nations in Angola so is unavailable.

Defenders Stephen Jordan and Tyrone Mears should both return to the side after the pair missed the FA Cup trip to MK Dons due to suspension.

The Clarets have picked up just one point from a possible 30 away from home in the Premier League, the worst record of any team. Their last away win at Old Trafford was a 5-2 victory in September 1962. They have also conceded at least two goals in all of their Premier League away matches this season and failed to score in the last three as well. So statistics are at least on our side.

We need to win; it’s as simple as that.

Prediction: 3-1 United

Probable Line Up: van der Sar, Evra, Evans, Brown, Rafael, Giggs, Anderson, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Owen.

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Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at Red Rants have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register.

Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted).

So, give this a run if you’re up for it.



  1. @Grognard: You say Real Masrid and Barcelona ‘succeed’ with their method. Madrid are in £580mil of debt and Barcelona nearly £400mil of debt……

    Yes they aren’t at the behest of mad Americans, but they have run themselves into the ground. Imagine if we could negotiate our own TV deals like they do, and they are still almost in as much debt as we are. And we were debt free before the Glazers!

    Imagine how much better off we’d be if we A) didn’t have the Glazers piling debt on us and B) we could arrange a £132mil a YEAR deal on our TV rights (currently what Madrid get). I think we would generate much more than that, seeing as we are much bigger in the far east.

    Hell, if we could organise our own TV deals we could probably pay off this massive as Glazer debt. Within the next decade, after which we’d be able to dominate, if we manage to exist as a Champions League contenders by that time.

  2. @Grognard: I bet that fergi’s tight Scottish ass knows exactly whats going on at the very least has someone he trusts reading him the clifnotes. Scotsmen are notoriously guarded around money, and SAF is no different… “no value” 😆

  3. @Traverse: A TV deal would be absolutely a wonderful tonic to all of this debt. I thought United should have sought that out even before the shithead Glazers took over. However, is there not a rule in place from the FA that we can not do such a thing? I am a bit glib on the subject. I would have thought that United would have already sought such a deal if it was allowed. Are they under some sort of contract with the FA that keeps them from that? enlighten me Obi Wan. 😀 Or anyone for that matter.

  4. I’m an accountant,but I don’t really like to talk about debt and financial crises. It’s so depressing. I know that probably within the next 24 months we could be history after filing for bankruptcy,but I don’t wanna hear it. Too bad the only distraction that could make us forget all the doom and gloom is even more depressing. There are some obviously unfounded reports that Pep Guardiola is on a one man shortlist for possible replacements for Ferguson. For me that would be a dream come true. At least the final months of the club’s existence will be marked by some great football. That’s all I’m asking for. Is it really too much to ask for? Personally I’d prefer having Solsjkaer take over after 12 months of managerial mentorship by the great SAF.That’s even more unlikely and it’s highly unfair to ask him to captain a sinkingship but it’s all I have:my imagination. Here I go again rambling off like some disoriented person.

  5. @Jay wire: wooooooooo hold up who said the B word? no one ive heard. 😆

    there are waaaaayy too many other options to be explored before the B word should even be brought up.

    The re branding of Old Trafford(hello Nike$$$), selling a minority stake in the company, and the bond issue, from reports ive read looks set to go over better than expected.

  6. @Grognard: @gator:
    Discussions were in place back in 2004/05 between the club and the supporters organisaton (can’t remember if it was IMUSA, Must or a forerunner of either/or organisation).
    At the time small time shareholders owned 13% of shares. The proposal was to allow/encourage initialy 21% of shares to be purchased through a Supporters trust. I do not know what significance these figures meant ie whether they could have prevented a hostile takeover or protected the club in some other way. The figure proposed was approx. £150m.
    Whether this sort of amount was feasible to raise via ordinary supporters, who knows? If successful it could have created a platform for fans to have eventually taken a majority stake in the club. The proposal had to be mothballed because it became apparent that the Shysters were in the process of making a hostile bid for the club.

  7. @RichmondRed: I think the current Premiership deal runs until 2013… I’d be amazed if we didn’t agree with Chelsea, Spurs, Villa, Arsenal, Citeh and the Dippers that it is in the teams best interest to procure their own deals. Obviously it’s a lot better for us than it is for them, but still…. they’d all probably be better off than they are. It is holding us back.

    Sucks to be Bolton!

  8. @gator: Not really mate. The principal purpose of the Bond issue is for the Glazers to take money out to pay off their high interest loans, management fees (huh!) and such.
    If it was to fail, United would no longer be a cash cow to them, and they would have to reassess their position. Selling would be much more attractive to them and the sooner the better!!
    What it means to us? Well it depends on who would buy us. But if there are any jillionaires out there looking, they would wait for a vunerable time in the Glazers tenure – and this outcome might be it.

  9. Don’t know if anyone came across this, but could be the gag order has been put in to effect!

    Maybe there’s a little discontent amongst the worker bees. 🙂 🙂

  10. @RichmondRed: In England the Premier League negotiates the TV deal. This was sort of put in place when the Premier League was launched in 1992. The idea was to distrubute TV deals equitably among Premier League clubs and then distribute the rest based on the league position.

    The idea behind this was to ensure a trickle down effect of the money down to the lower divisions so that football in England can be enriched even at the grass root level. In theory it sounds a good idea, but in practice it is a bunch of bollocks because the vast disparity between the top tier and lower divisions are ever-widening.

    The agreement between clubs regarding the TV deal is still a gentleman’s agreement I think, because there was lingering fear amongst other clubs and the Premier League back in 2005 that when the Glazers took over, they might do their own TV deals. Glazers went on to quell their fears by going on record. (Presumably to help in their aggressive takeover, but that’s only speculation.)

  11. @Grognard: Thing is though, Nani had a good game on Saturday, and suprisingly even the usual anti Nani euphoria from ROM fans, all said he played well. Believe me that is very unusual for so many of them on ROM to say that Nani did good. It was his first game back after about 16 games out, and as somebody else on this blog said, he had watched the game thru again, and IF our strikers had been more on song, Nani could have had a few assists. Nani was double marked too most of the time, while Valencia was always free, and yet still didn’t make his crosses into the box meaningful. That is not just bias Grog, that is fact. Watch the game thru again if you want to see what I mean mate 😀 .

  12. @colver: We won’t get half of 10 million for Welbeck, Foster or Gibson mate. We certainly have no chance of getting 40 million for Vidic – and will be lucky to get 20 million for him!

  13. @Traverse: The difference mate is they are always able to pay their debts off. They have borrowed before and always balanced their books. That is why they got so much money this time from the Spanish banks.

  14. Some news I received from MUST. #2 especially caught my attention.





    Somebody* came up with this fantastic idea of wearing the old Newton Heath
    colours of Green & Gold as a Glazers Out symbol.

    This idea has been spreading like wildfire. If you’d like to get yourself a
    scarf or flag (and MUST gets 10% commission) use the link below:

    Click on Scarves and scroll down.

    I’d imagine this shop is likely to sell out of stock fairly quickly so we
    need some alternatives – ideally with affiliate links too

    Yellow & Green Bar Scarf Price: £ 6.99
    Yellow & Green Flag Price: £ 6.99

    * The creator of the idea is said to be Chatmaster on RedIssue? Credit to
    him even if he isn’t exactly MUST’s greatest fan.

    Hidden in the small print – great work by David Conn & Andersred


    [Thanks to all those who’ve already contributed – fantastic response.] With
    the launch of a new campaign to accelerate the departure of the Glazers the
    trust is in need of your help. We will require funds for a wide variety of
    activities not least redeveloping our website and social media strategy.
    Any donations are therefore hugely appreciated via your account:

  15. @gator: They are tight with their money. Besides mate, that is nothing more than a stereotype. Fergie bets his wod on the horses all the time. Certainly not the habit of tight fisted Scotsman.

  16. @RichmondRed: That’s the American in you talking mate. In the US it’s common for teams like the Yankees to make their own pay tv deals but I am not sure that is the case in England. Everything has to go through the FA and the league. I’m not sure though. 😕

  17. @CraigMc: I did mate. I wouldn’t say he played poorly but a lot of the things he was trying to pull off just didn’t pan out. If you recall, I still praised his effort and his willingness to take chances and run at defenders, whereas ValenciaDire played like a scared billy goat. Nani was rusty and for me was not up to what I expect of him. To be honest, having watched the 07/08 dvd just a few days before hand never helped as I still think he was wonderful to watch back then. Lets hope Fergie gives him a fair run and Nani not only emerges as a game breaker but also saves his Man Utd career in the process because nothing would make me happier than to see him on the left side and Milos Krasic on the right. Salt n Peppa baby! 😀 😀

  18. @Redrich: There is also the new facebook page of Mame Diouf… perhaps something was said on FB? I doubt there are team troubles besides Nani being disgruntled and Vidic dreaming of Spain/

  19. @ROOOOONEY: Oh like that’s going to happen. Just who the Hell do these Jewish nut bags think they are? Someone should take them out back of the woodshed and use the wood chipper on them like in “Fargo”. 🙄

  20. @Grognard: First of all Groggy this story is from the Sun, secondly, if there is any truth to this it is that the players might have been asked if they want to invest in the club. I see nothing wrong with that. Nevertheless, my arse gets a nervous twitch when we start talking talking about the Glazers. For me, I never really had the impetus to hate our owners. Like very few supporters, I was willing to give them a chance from the off and see what they made of it. I thought of things with selfish eyes often reflecting on the prospects of rich business men owning the club and splashing out the cash to help us compete with Chelsea in the transfer market. And honestly, to a large degree I do not feel the Glazers, or Fergie for that matter, let me down. We won the Champions League and three League titles on the bounce for crying out loud 😯 .

    Then this summer came in and we let two prized assests (and I mean two) go in Tevez and Ronaldo and got average players in return. Now I am not talking down about Mickey and Tony, but let’s face it, not what I expected to get in return for losing the best player in the world.

    Point is, this summer things starting out promising. We all thought that by Ronaldo leaving we were going to get a couple of world class players to replace him. Most everyone was excited with the prospects of some new world class players coming to Old Trafford, me included. The lists were long and admirable. But then the realization of nothing happing started to sink in and I was left hurting inside because of it.

    Now I know in my heart that it is not that there is “no value” in the market, but that SAF has his hands tied. It is the financial crisis and our owners that are causing this desperate situation and SAF, for a variety of reasons, is playing the head diplomat. However, dispite all of this, I am not sure if this MUST campaign will help or hurt the club more. I know I will not boycott purchasing things from United or stop watching them on the tele becuase of it, I love the club too much and quite frankly, they are really my only true source of entertainment.

    Bottom line is, for me, I too no longer want the Glazers as our owners and their honeymoon is offically over for me. Once those financial results came out and I recognized that we HAD to sell Ronaldo in order to stay in the black, the fairytale of having deep pocket owners who would help this club to greater heights ended abruptly and I am saddened by the state I find my club in. 🙁

  21. @RichmondRed: I was one of those who felt like you about the owners until about a year and a half ago. My worries really started by our inactivity in the transfer market the summer we got Berbatov. All the talk about getting somebody up front and even some other players was making me sick in anticipation and then the season started and nothing had happened.

    The clue for me that Fergie was for the first time working with a very strict budget was the day he got Berbatov. He was desperate to get him but he also knew he could not afford him if Man City entered the negotiations and managed to meet him and possibly seduce him. So he jumped in his Vauxhall and sped for the airport to basically beat City to the punch. As we know now, Berba always preferred us but Fergie was worried that the scum might be able to persuade him with some really big offer. For me that looked like a lot of desperation and something I would never have expected Fergie to do in the past. In the past he would get his checkbook out and negotiate and he would never go to such extreme measures to sign a player. Well as we know for good or for bad, he got his man but the way he and to scramble on deadline day to do it spoke to me of how limited he was in his financial capabilities to do anything in the transfer market. And I knew as this loan debt grew, that it would only get worse but even I did not think that it would get this bad.

    Actually, yes I did know it would get this bad but the truth is I did not want to believe it and I just brushed aside because like you said, under the Glazer ‘s ownership, the club has won a lot of silverware and that alone helped us cope with the inevitability of things as well, it helped the Glazer’s do what they are doing by putting a veil over everything that is hurting this club. The Ronaldo sale finally exposed them for who they are and for what the situation is and my biggest fears have come true. Now it’s anybody’s guess as to what happens from here on. As Fergie would often say about big games, “It’s squaeky bum time”. 😀

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