90-minutes to define a whole season – the Europa League Final
The Europa League final may just be another day for sports ‘non-thusiasts’, but it is a date that could define Mourinho’s and United’s season
While most English football fans will be celebrating or commiserating their final weekend successes and losses, for three English clubs, the end is not yet here. While Chelsea and Arsenal face off on the upcoming weekend in the FA Cup Final, which will be a last-ditch attempt for Wenger to grab some silverware and one for Conte to land a big fat extension to his contract; it is Wednesday nights’ game in Stockholm between Ajax and Manchester United that will be grabbing the headlines. And if anyone hasn’t worked out why – we would seriously have to question their faith as a football fan.
While Wednesday may just be another day in the calendar for sports ‘non-thusiasts’, it is a date that could not only define Mourinho’s and United’s otherwise lacklustre season; but secure them a place in next-years UEFA Champions League, protect them from losing over £20m of conditional sponsorship pay-outs and keep them in the running for elite players like Griezmann. The 90-minutes (plus extra-time if required) that it will take to play the game between these two, could end up costing Manchester United over £100m in lost revenue, player media rights and sponsorships and may be arguably the costliest loss in their history should lady luck not be on their side.
The truth of the matter is that a club that spent over £100m in last years’ transfer window, in which they broke the record for the most amount of money spent on a single player (Paul Pogba), should not have found themselves so heavily reliant on this match. A few weeks ago, a top-four finish in the English Premier League was not only possible but likely, but on-the-trot defeats to Arsenal and Tottenham, coupled with a few fortunate draws in the midst of the games, left them tumbling into 6th place and without the hope of a Champions League place.
This position that Manchester United find themselves would have been near impossible to predict; indeed, there is no doubt that online sports betting operators like SPORTINGBET enjoyed United’s long run of draws and indifferent performances.
So all eyes are on Wednesday for players and fans alike; to justify whether the resting of key players, the ‘boring’ football matches and the sheer under-performance of the team this season can be salvaged, like the £100m or so that hangs in the balance. What will happen – nobody knows, but one thing is for certain … this may be the longest and most expensive 90 minutes that an English football club has ever played and anything other than victory could have lasting repercussions that the club will struggle to shake for a while.
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