Mediawatch: Why Manchester City already have the title nailed

Date published: Thursday 27th July 2017 7:04

A fond farewell
Writes The Sun’s Sunni Upal:

‘If that was Neymar’s last game for Barcelona, it was probably the best way to go out – scoring against Manchester United.’

Absolutely. Forget Champions League finals, league title victories or goals in front of your home fans in one of the most famous sporting stadia in the world. The best way to say goodbye is with a goal in a meaningless friendly at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

One to tell the grandkids…


Steady on
‘If Pep Guardiola’s vision for Manchester City takes shape over the course of the next 10 months, he may look back on the night his team dismantled back-to-back European champions Real Madrid at the Los Angeles Coliseum as the moment it all started to fall into place’ – Chris Wheeler, Daily Mail.

I mean he may. He may consider a meaningless preseason win over a Real Madrid team missing Cristiano Ronaldo and who made ten changes in one second-half minute as the start of City’s 2017/18 title victory. But he also may not. And we know which side we’re on.

You may be interested to learn that 12 months ago, the Daily Mail were saying that Chelsea ‘saw their limitations brutally exposed’ by Real Madrid in preseason. ‘The lack of creativity’ was a concern, they were ‘over-run in midfield’ and ‘at the back they were fragile’. Seemed to work out alright for them?

Mediawatch understands the need to drive traffic during the summer and thus wilfully over-estimate the importance of preseason, but have we all lost our minds?


Pay it back
‘Wayne Rooney could earn Everton enough money to cover his wages thanks to shirt sales and sponsorship,’ begins Ken Lawrence’s piece on Rooney in The Sun.

Now then. You can’t very well make a claim like that without backing it up, but that’s exactly what Lawrence has done. Mediawatch is calling bullsh*t.

Firstly, Rooney is being paid £160,000 a week, or £16.6m over the course of his two-year contract. So that is the figure that Everton need to recoup in shirt sales and sponsorship directly as a result of Rooney’s arrival to ‘cover his wages’.

Shirt manufacturers take between 85% and 90% of all money from shirt sales, but let’s be generous and say Everton get 15%. They would need to sell 2,200,000 Wayne Rooney shirts at £50 a pop in order to make £16.6m. By recent figures, Manchester United sell the most shirts of all clubs at 1.75 million per year, across all their players. It seems unlikely that Rooney would beat that by himself at Everton.

But what of the sponsors, we hear you ask? Well, a club’s biggest sponsorship deal is their shirt sponsor, and Everton’s is worth £9.6m over the next five years after signing with SportPesa.

The problem is that that deal was signed well before Everton signed Rooney, and will continue beyond the duration of his contract. So it’s hardly his impact that has brought in such revenue. Everton’s general commercial prospects may well improve with Rooney on board, but it is the player himself who is more likely to benefit from individual marketing rights.

By the eleventh paragraph, we’re not even sure Lawrence believes it, writing ‘Rooney has already started repaying some of that cash with two goals in three friendlies’.

Forget shirt sales and sponsorship, it’s the goals in meaningless games against Gor Mahia and Genk that will really generate the cash.


First thing that the Daily Mirror’s Steve Bates learned from Manchester United vs Barcelona: ‘Nearly the perfect pre-season for Mourinho’

First line from that first thing Bates learned: ‘After last summer’s woes with humidity, pitches and facilities in China this tour has been the perfect pre-season for Mourinho.’

It’s like he hasn’t learned at all.


Always learning
Mediawatch does see the benefit in the ‘things learned’ style of match reaction. They get the attention of readers with short attention spans, and can be good to pass on several useful pieces of tactical insight or opinion rather than using a feature piece to share one. They’re quicker to write, too. But when they are used for a meaningless friendlies and don’t even pretend to offer insight, it’s a little dreary.

In the Mirror’s five things from Manchester United vs Barcelona, we’re told that David de Gea is an important player for Manchester United and that United performed better in this silver kit than they did at Southampton in their grey kit 21 years ago.

Thanks for that.


Stanz by your man
‘Rashford provided United’s best moment of the stanza. From a position on the left he raced toward goal, beat Suárez and Samuel Umtiti, and at close range smacked the ball at Cillessen, who repelled it’ – Jamie Jackson, Guardian, May 27.

The obsession continues.


Only a game
‘A spending war has broken out, with clubs across Europe unloading their financial ammunition in a blatant display of shock and awe. While Manchester City have gone over the top with a series of stunning raids, most of their European rivals have blasted away rather than hiding in the trenches’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun.

It’s just a transfer window, Martin.


Spot the missing word
‘Wagner: Huddersfield are one of the biggest teams in Germany’ – Daily Mirror back page headline.

What Wagner actually said is that, after the top six, Huddersfield are one of the biggest ‘English’ clubs in Germany.

Maybe less sexy than the headline version, but definitely more accurate.


It’s a sign
Some bad news for Barcelona. Looks like the deal is off…


Oxymoronic headline of the day
‘Jose: Pogba unique like Messi’ – Sky Sports.

Lovely stuff.


Recommended reading of the day
Adam Bate on Tottenham.

Dominic King on Wayne Rooney.

Amy Lawrence on Patrick Vieira.

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