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Manchester United's football dream team in tatters

The football world has changed dramatically since Manchester United won their first Premier League title in 1992/3 and then dominated the top division for 20 years with 12 championships.

As they say money talks and Roman Abramovich's purchase of Chelsea in June 2003 marked a change in the game as media deals and success both domestically and in Europe became the holy grail.

Abramovich  lead to other foreign backers and the purchase of Manchester City by the Sheikh Mansour in September 2008 is history, the short head that won the Premier League title showed the underlying problem that Manchester United's conveyor belt of "Ferguson Babes" need the financial clout to buy the best if they are to pull away again. The Glazer family are not even in the same division as their rivals.

Sheikh Mansour is reported to have set £500m aside to invest in transfers in search of the grail.

Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill are class acts but without the financial muscle they have to hope that the "babes" grow quickly.

This week United tabled a bid approaching £20m for Robin van Persie and while his 30 goals for Arsenal last season in the Premier League kept them in Champions League contention at 28 years of age with his injury record is he a good buy?

Gill has successfully continued the legacy of the "World's richest club (Deloitte) after taking over from Peter Kenyon who joined the Chelsea evolution, but this season will be key to long term sponsorship and media deals as the "big" commercial players will be looking closely at United's success on the football field and worldwide appeal to justify marketing spend.

Sir Alex is an astute football genius as his record proves and even the fans at rivals Manchester City and Liverpool would have little to say if they had the trophies at their clubs, but without financial muscle the dream team could be in tatters this season?


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