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They just have to finish the season now. The non leagues are done and some European leagues are following. The PL will have to pay back 750 million on TV rights if not, so thats the incentive to finish the season in some format. 

Give the mickey mousers the title and it will forever have an asterix next to it.. Then we will sing  "You never won the league.. You never wont the League. Etc etc

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I was bored...

Staying with City till the end of the season is not surprising (frankly, you have to be pretty naive or in deep denial not to see that he wanted to from the start). What is surprising, is that he neve

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6 hours ago, Fulham Broadway said:

They just have to finish the season now. The non leagues are done and some European leagues are following. The PL will have to pay back 750 million on TV rights if not, so thats the incentive to finish the season in some format. 

Give the mickey mousers the title and it will forever have an asterix next to it.. Then we will sing  "You never won the league.. You never wont the League. Etc etc

I don't think there's any chance we will void the season, far too many compliications. Forget Liverpool for a minute, out of everyone who will suffer they will the least, there's clubs who's long term future rely on this seasons finish, imagine if this was 2003? A void would have destroyed us financially.

Sheffield United is another example, they're on course for CL football, with it they have a money to truly establish themselves as a top PL side, with a voided season they're technically back to being a newly promoted team and will probably disappear into irrelevance again  (not a chance their current squad with a few journeyman signings minus Henderson keep up this years pace). It would be the biggest footballing injustice if Spurs and Arsenal get default entry into the CL at the expense of Leicester and Sheffield. Not to mention the free money Norwich and the likes will get.

I don't know when or how, but this season has to be finished somehow.

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15 minutes ago, Tomo said:

I don't think there's any chance we will void the season, far too many compliications. Forget Liverpool for a minute, out of everyone who will suffer they will the least, there's clubs who's long term future rely on this seasons finish, imagine if this was 2003? A void would have destroyed us financially.

Sheffield United is another example, they're on course for CL football, with it they have a money to truly establish themselves as a top PL side, with a voided season they're technically back to being a newly promoted team and will probably disappear into irrelevance again  (not a chance their current squad with a few journeyman signings minus Henderson keep up this years pace). It would be the biggest footballing injustice if Spurs and Arsenal get default entry into the CL at the expense of Leicester and Sheffield. Not to mention the free money Norwich and the likes will get.

I don't know when or how, but this season has to be finished somehow.

Agree Tomo - it has to be done and dusted - that TV revenue and players 30% wage pool needs to filter down, and quickly  -otherwise a conservative estimate suggests 40-50 clubs going bankrupt in the lower divisions.

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9 minutes ago, Fulham Broadway said:

Agree Tomo - it has to be done and dusted - that TV revenue and players 30% wage pool needs to filter down, and quickly  -otherwise a conservative estimate suggests 40-50 clubs going bankrupt in the lower divisions.

My bad i misread your initial post.

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2 minutes ago, Tomo said:

My bad i misread your initial post.

haha sorry  just read my initial post and agree it is hard to gather what I am on about. Still a bit hung over. I think the PL will see sense, (and because of the TV revenue which pays their executives exorbitant dividends) and they will finish it behind closed doors.

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I dont see how they cant. Liverpool deserve their title and teams deserve the chance to get into the Champions League. If voided might not happen for them next year. It just needs to be done in the right way and safety. Some of the proposed plans are daft and probably from no one official...youd hope not anyway!

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2 hours ago, Fulham Broadway said:

haha sorry  just read my initial post and agree it is hard to gather what I am on about. Still a bit hung over. I think the PL will see sense, (and because of the TV revenue which pays their executives exorbitant dividends) and they will finish it behind closed doors.

They should do what AVB suggested and change the seasons to a calendar year to tie in with the 2022 World Cup and then go back to August-May after that. 

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48 minutes ago, Jason said:

They should do what AVB suggested and change the seasons to a calendar year to tie in with the 2022 World Cup and then go back to August-May after that. 

Sounds like a plan - its probably difficult to get all the TV  companies contracts rewritten, lawyers, other sporting events clashing with TV schedules on side etc but it could be done. 

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33 minutes ago, Fulham Broadway said:

Sounds like a plan - its probably difficult to get all the TV  companies contracts rewritten, lawyers, other sporting events clashing with TV schedules on side etc but it could be done. 

Yeah but it's arguably better than declaring the season null and void (even if that might benefit us in terms of Champions League qualification), with clubs set to lose tens/hundreds of millions if we go down that route. 

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1 minute ago, Jason said:

Yeah but it's arguably better than declaring the season null and void (even if that might benefit us in terms of Champions League qualification), with clubs set to lose tens/hundreds of millions if we go down that route. 

Worse than that, like I said so many clubs will go to the wall. Don't think anyone wants that scenario

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Just now, Fulham Broadway said:

Worse than that, like I said so many clubs will go to the wall. Don't think anyone wants that scenario

Yup, it is an option that will satisfy none of the important parties involved. 

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11 minutes ago, Fulham Broadway said:

Clubs have been told to prepare for a mid-June comeback, which will see players increase their training load from May.

(Reuters)

I cannot see this happening, not with the way the pandemic is rolling

only 2 things will stop it

1 Herd Immunity (and by going into lockdown that is now vastly delayed or will not happen at all, and in fact, the lockdowns guarantee a SECOND wave, what should have happened is the high risk 20% should have instantly locked down completely, and just let it run its course, (with a COMPLETE buildout of all medical healthcare infrastructure from the first week, I mean the ENTIRE resources of the nations turning to that) especially all the schoolchildren and under 30 years olds, as in EVERY epidemic, those are the cohorts who cause herd immunity. Locking down the schools, as I have come to mostly (not quite 100% there yet but close) believe given 2 months of research was quite possibly disastrous. China did not go to lockdown until it was already raging, so quite possibly has achieved or is close to achieving herd immunity. Testing is useless, so is contact tracing as this is airborne, BUT it is so so so so important to do universal ANTIBODY testing, as then we can see how close we are to hern immunity.

2 Vaccine (very late 2020, early 2021 if we are lucky)

 

side note on my last point in point 1

Britain has millions of coronavirus antibody tests, but they don’t work

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/britain-has-millions-of-coronavirus-antibody-tests-but-they-don-t-work-j7kb55g89

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United are backing youth again – after years of complacency and underfunding

https://theathletic.com/1724448/2020/04/06/manchester-united-youth-team/

HANNIBAL-MEJBRI-scaled-e1586095518692-1024x683.jpg

It’s not just Manchester United’s first team who were stopped in the middle of a promising run when football was suspended. The youth team were days away from playing Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. 

This year’s side includes Hannibal Mejbri, signed for £9.3 million at age 16 from Monaco last July. Such is his distinctive mop of hair, the substantial Leeds United following in the fifth round tie at Old Trafford dismissed him as “a shit Sideshow Bob”.

Alongside team-mates Aliou Traore and Noam Emeran, Mejbri is one of three Parisian youngsters scouted by the same man in Goussainville on the outskirts of Paris, close to Charles de Gaulle Airport. United’s Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial — as well as Thierry Henry, Patrice Evra and dozens of other world-class footballers — hail from the same Parisian banlieues.

United are recruiting well. They want the best English players for their first team. Failing that, they want the best players who have played English football all their lives, foreign talents who join at 16 or 17. They have a history of bringing through youngsters and hold the record of 10 FA Youth Cup wins, the first five by the Busby Babes in the 1950s. Ten years after Munich, eight home-grown players helped United become the first English club to win the European Cup.

However, the youth team haven’t won the competition since 2011, when a side starring Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Ravel Morrison defeated a Sheffield United one including Harry Maguire. So this season’s cup run is long overdue.

Liverpool are the holders but Chelsea have been the dominant force, winning the cup seven times in the last decade. Their first team is now benefiting from several players who have come through, from Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fikayo Tomori. 

Tomori, Abraham and Mason Mount starred in a 5-1 victory over United’s youth team in 2016, something that would have been unimaginable 20 years previously. Two years later, however, things improved: United, captained by Brandon Williams and led from the front by hat-trick hero Mason Greenwood, inflicted a rare defeat on Chelsea, winning 4-3.

Manchester City have reached the final four times in the last five years and are in the semis again this time. The dominance of City and Chelsea should be unsurprising: the clubs have spent the most on youth football in the last decade. The policy of both is to buy the best players from around the world. United do that too, bringing in 16- and 17-year-olds like Mejbri, but also want to build on a core of local players. 

After decades of success, United became complacent. Their youth system was underfunded, and the focus shifted to the first team. Louis van Gaal needed instant results and knew he wouldn’t be around for longer than three years. Youth development was not the priority to him as it is for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now. 

Talented coaches were expected to work miracles despite losing out — usually to City — on players. City paid more. They put the siblings of young players into a private school and guaranteed their education until they were 18. United lost good players at 11, 12 and 13 because the club weren’t willing to bend over backwards to meet demands. They thought their reputation was enough. It wasn’t.

United were not happy about City’s conduct. They considered it underhand. In one home match, City separated the opposition’s young players from their coaches and slowly walked them to the dressing room, deliberately letting players see plush play areas. It was almost as if they were saying, “This is what you could have won.” 

“City seemed to forget that we won the treble with the Cliff, which was tiny, as our training ground,” remarked one coach, but City had made progress.

United had their reputation and the well-known fact that young players were given a chance in the first team, but City boasted superior players, more money and a better training ground, which included a 6,000-capacity stadium.

United’s AON Training Complex at Carrington is a great training ground, but it’s not the best and some of United’s youth coaches changed in Portakabins until last year. Not for nothing did Phil Neville, Darren Fletcher and Robin van Persie put their children into City’s system. But Harvey Neville is now at United, having also benefited from three years at Valencia. United’s youth system is looking far better than it did five years ago. 

Manchester United youth

Though they don’t reveal the figures, United’s investment in youth has increased four-fold since 2015 — when you’re paying almost £10 million for 16-year-olds, it’s easy to see how. Barcelona, for one, baulk at paying such figures to take youngster to La Masia. As a partial consequence, the Barcelona academy is not churning out players for the first team as it did in the previous decade.

United’s youngsters are playing more games than before, and in as many different types of football as possible: the EFL Trophy, extra under-18 tournaments… they’ve even started flying in top-level opponents to play the under-19s, including Hertha Berlin. They plan many more when the impasse is over. 

This isn’t the Busby Babes or the Class of ’92. United’s youth system isn’t complete. There are no full teams yet. All but two of the under-16s were let go before this season: not just because they weren’t considered to be United level, but to be fair to them and give them a better chance of making it elsewhere. But there are youth players who the coaches believe can become first-team regulars for a successful United first team. And in Solskjaer, you have a manager who clearly wants to keep alive United’s long run of games with a homegrown player in the first-team match-day squad.

Solskjaer has a tough job, but he has changed the mood at United. He regularly watches the young teams, as do Michael Carrick and fellow first-team coach Kieran McKenna. Throwing youngsters into a first team low on morale is never ideal, but Solskjaer, who coached the club’s reserves from 2008 to 2011, has helped provoke an upturn in morale. 

When I asked Ed Woodward what United’s vision was this season, the executive chairman said: “Winning, playing attacking football with X-factor players and giving youth a chance. Added to that, we want players to come in who respect their team-mates, the club, the history. They must understand that they are creating a legacy by coming to Manchester United. Nobody is bigger than the club.

“There should be a mixture of humbleness and arrogance. Humble when you are on the team coach and you wear the club suit; you do up your top button and wear your tie; then you sign autographs for 10 minutes for the people who pay your wages. Then, when you go into the dressing room, you put the red shirt on and you feel arrogant, self-assured. As Carrick said in his book, you want to take the ball, you want the ball in tight spaces, you want a never-say-die spirit. 

“Ole has brought a lot of the discipline back. Whatever manager we have has to buy into that philosophy and Ole is a walking, talking version of that. Let’s let this play out with Ole.”

Let’s look first at the under-23s, managed by Stretford lad Neil Wood and assisted by former United midfielder Quinton Fortune. Both have played professionally.

They’re second in the second tier of the reserve league (Premier League 2), three points behind West Ham, but with a game in hand. That they were even relegated shows how bad things became, with United’s reserves often asked to play without a recognised striker. Despite still only being 17, Mejbri, who plays best as a No 10, has played for the under-23s.

“This is what United should be doing, bringing in the best young players not just in England but in the world,” says one coach. “Hannibal has the wow factor, the flair, the X factor, which United players should have.” There are others, too.

Czech goalkeeper Matej Kovar is 19 and rated so highly that one coach thinks he’s ready now for first-team football at the top level. With Dean Henderson and Kieran O’Hara impressing on loan at Sheffield United and Burton Albion respectively, United appear to have a surfeit of goalkeeping talent.

Loan moves are wiser, though with mixed results. Axel Tuanzebe, who has captained United at every age group including the first team, benefited from his 18 months at Aston Villa. The central defender, 22, is still coming out top of the endurance tests in training, but has been unfortunate with injuries this season. Scott McTominay is in the first team, Marcus Rashford, too. Fans are less convinced by Lingard and Andreas Pereira but they are also examples of homegrown talents who made the step up.  

Tahith Chong, 20, has signed a new contract to 2022 and needs to shine when he gets his next first-team chance. Angel Gomes, 19, who captained the under-23s in their last game at Stoke City — where he was marked by Ryan Shawcross, who came through the ranks at Old Trafford — has yet to sign the contract on offer to him.

Midfielder James Garner would benefit from a loan move to help bridge the significant gap from under-23s football to the first team. Garner played in Astana in November with fellow 19-year-old Dylan Levitt, who has a superb passing range. Ethan Laird, 18, has been injured but is a fast, strong right-back. Di’Shon Bernard, 19, is a decent central defender who also played for the first team that night in Kazakhstan.

Dillon Hoogewerf, a 17-year-old who plays as a No 10, scored the goal that knocked Leeds out of the Youth Cup. He signed from Ajax, who were unhappy that the Holland youth international left last year. Better for United to get him at 16 than at 23, when his price would have rocketed. “I want to debut as quickly as possible — Manchester United came up with a good plan and the intention to make my debut at an early age,” the 5ft 4in forward said on his arrival last summer.

Teden Mengi is a 17-year-old Mancunian centre-half. He’s fast, tall and quick, with the right character and calmness to be a top-level pro. He’s captain of the youth team, went to Nicky Butt’s old school Wright Robinson College and grew up playing football on the streets of east Manchester. Butt is now head of first team development, having turned over the academy leadership to Nick Cox. 

There are people in the background at the academy such as Tony Whelan and Dave Bushell who have been there for decades. They know the environment required to create decent young men as well as footballers. 

Charlie Wellens, 17 years old and son of Swindon Town manager and United academy graduate Richie, is a midfielder who has trained with the first team and is promising. Anthony Elanga, a 17-year-old Swedish winger, is fast and very strong. Noam Emeran is another 17-year-old winger — this time from France. He’s confident in beating opponents and has that “wow” factor that United look for. Zidane Iqbal, 16, is a Mancunian attacking midfielder with British and Pakistani citizenship.

Central defender Will Fish, 17, excelled on his debut with the under-23s and the club also expect fans to hear more about Mark Helm, an 18-year-old midfielder from Warrington.

United Under-18s are coached by Neil Ryan, a former non-League player and son of former United player and Sir Alex Ferguson assistant Jim. He’s assisted by legendary non-League goalscorer Colin Little, who is from Wythenshawe and was a hero at Altrincham. These are streetwise Mancunians who have played football all their lives. 

And there are those players who have made the first team while still teenagers: Greenwood and Williams. Those coaches who worked with Williams think there is more to come from him, with his boundless energy and never-say-die attitude. He was never the best player technically, but he would run through brick walls for the youth team, where he played as a central midfielder. He was moved back to defence, but only shifted to left-back because Laird was at right-back.

“He’s done very well, all things considering,” states one coach. “It’s a big jump to go from the under-23s as a 17-year-old to marking Raheem Sterling.” 

Below the 16-year-old youth-team players, Danny Kavanagh is the best of those aged 15. A Mancunian forward who can play across the front line, he has been picked by England in his age group. 

There is much uncertainty in football and the world, but the club’s youth system is in a far better place than it was five years ago.

But will they ever get to play Chelsea in that Youth Cup semi-final? 

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25 minutes ago, Vesper said:

I cannot see this happening, not with the way the pandemic is rolling

Think they plan to isolate players from the public, then play behind closed doors. Seems the biggest logistical headache they face is stopping fans travelling to those cities where they are playing.

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