Ralf Rangnick hits back at Louis van Gaal over Manchester United ‘commercial club’ jibe

Louis van Gaal should have been prepared for the business duties he faced as Manchester United manager, according to Ralf Rangnick.

On Monday, Van Gaal recommended Ajax coach Erik ten Hag to join a football club rather than United, who interviewed him last week as a “commercial club.” United’s favorite candidate to take over as permanent manager this summer is Ten Hag.

Van Gaal criticized the business component of the club at his first press conference as United manager in July 2014, blaming ‘commercial activities’ for a grueling pre-season tour schedule in the United States.

Prior to his scathing assessment of the club this week, the Netherlands coach claimed that ‘the balance between the football department and the commercial department is not right and even slopes over to the commercial’ at United, and that ‘it cannot be a good thing when a club is run solely from a commercially-driven perspective.’

Rangnick, the interim manager, worked with Van Gaal at Hoffenheim and Schalke in the Bundesliga and defended United’s business side.

“I think football is a commercialized business, especially in the English Premier League, where any rich person or organization can acquire a team as long as they pass the fit and suitable person test,” Rangnick stated. “Regardless of which club is in which city.

“What I can tell you from the last four months is that this is a club with a long history and a strong bond with its fans as well as the entire city, region, and area. I don’t see anything wrong with that, and if it was directed at something else inside the club, I can’t comment.

“Louis, as an experienced coach, signed a contract here seven or eight years ago, and if he had that opinion, he could have known it in advance.

“It’s a fantastic club in my opinion, and if the club draws the correct lessons from the events of the last few years, it will be even better. Yes, the last couple of years have not gone as planned, but I still believe this club has a bright future provided the correct decisions are made.”

Rangnick responded when it was stated that the commercial arm allowed United to compete for players in the transfer market: “It’s great to have money to recruit players, but the key is if you sign the correct players.

“It’s not just a matter of money; it’s also a matter of what kind of thought you have behind it. What kind of philosophy are you talking about? And what kind of game do you want to play? It’s not just about the money.”

Clement Bright Ansah


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