ManU Rules Out Playing Friendlies During First Four Weeks Of Champions League
ManU will "not attempt to cash in on any of their first four blank Champions League weeks" following discussions between Manager Louis van Gaal and Exec Vice-Chair Ed Woodward, according to Joe Bernstein of the London DAILY MAIL. Van Gaal has "asked for and received a 10-week amnesty in which he can train with his players without the distractions of money-spinning friendlies to make up the financial shortfall" caused by the team's failure to qualify for Europe. After that Van Gaal has agreed to "sit down with Woodward again to assess the situation." The compromise with Woodward "has been reached after Van Gaal complained" that ManU's current 13,500-mile preseason tour of America had "hampered his plans." Van Gaal said, "Manchester United shall do everything to adapt to my rules for good preparation." He has "won a guarantee from Woodward that the club will not seek friendly games, in which they could earn several million pounds per game, when other clubs are playing Champions League fixtures in September, October and early-November." However, it does "raise the prospect of United jetting abroad in December when the final group games are played in the Champions League or when the competition returns at the knockout stage in the spring, possibly against other leading clubs who are out of Europe" (DAILY MAIL, 8/2).