Man United FC

Man Utd owners must now deliver Sir Alex Ferguson’s demand after Erik Ten Hag’s humiliation

In a year marked by the potential change in ownership, Manchester United finds itself at a new low, finishing at the bottom of their Champions League group for the first time since 2005—the same year the Glazers took control, coinciding with Sir Alex Ferguson’s call for a rebuild.

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As the club navigates through the prospect of Sir Jim Ratcliffe becoming the majority shareholder, initially aiming for a 25% stake, and assuming control of sporting matters, United faced a disheartening setback on Tuesday, ending their Champions League campaign at the group’s rock bottom.

In December 2005, six months into the Glazers’ controversial leveraged buyout, United, under Ferguson, stumbled to a fourth-place finish in a group featuring Villarreal, Lille, and Benfica.

The fatal blow came from Benfica, defeating a lackluster United 2-1, despite an early goal from Scholes in Lisbon.

Ferguson, then facing calls for dismissal after 19 years at the helm, emphasized the need for change.

Despite the disappointment of early elimination, Ferguson remained resolute, expressing confidence in the players and signaling a commitment to rebuilding.

The Glazers, heeding Ferguson’s call, allowed for changes. A month later, during the January transfer window, United marked a turning point in their rebuild.

Vidic, a little-known Serbian center-back, and Evra, a 2004 Champions League finalist, were signed.

While their impact wasn’t immediate, they later became pivotal to Ferguson’s subsequent era of success.

United, even after their Champions League exit, went on a formidable run in the 2005-06 season, with key acquisitions during the January transfer window.

The club, trophy-less in the previous season, secured the League Cup and laid the foundation for a summer overhaul.

While Erik ten Hag faces challenges amid Ratcliffe’s potential takeover, history offers hope for rapid improvement. The lessons from 2006 highlight the transformative impact of strategic signings and a commitment to rebuilding.

With Ratcliffe’s INEOS set to overhaul United’s football department, Ten Hag has an opportunity to follow in Ferguson’s footsteps, provided he receives the necessary support from the Glazers, echoing the demands made by Ferguson nearly two decades ago.

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