Last week in China, Ferguson made a terse statement, obviously aimed at those fans critical of the lack of transfer action, that they were not "sitting on their bums, doing nothing". Yet after the announcements of the last few days. once again, actions speak louder than rhetoric. They may not be sitting on their bums, but they seem to be sitting on their hands.
Having just announced the signing of a new mega shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet that will net them almost £28m a year in revenue, they have now followed that up by announcing finally that they are listing up to 8.3 million Ordinary Shares at up to $20 a share. They will eventually list up to 20 million shares, thereby netting around $400m. At the same time, they are listing 2.5 million of their own family shares. It is anticipated that the Glazer family will make around $215 from the sale, further infuriating hard core Manchester United fans.
The sale values the club at an amazing $3bn, and with a fan base of around 650 million around the world, it is suggested that these latest deals are merely a sort of financial housekeeping. However, this will not really affect or appease those fans who have seen around £500m in debt repayments made from Uniteds coffers since the Glazers took over.
What is more significant is the lack of any real transfer activity. Manchester United have been linked very strongly with two major transfer targets this summer. Robin Van Persie and Lucas Moura. It is frustrating for fans to see Chelsea apparently buying players without any kind of problems, whilst United seem to be forever embroiled in a sort of snake dance with their targets. So why cant Ferguson and United clinch the major deals anymore?
It has been suggested that the lure of Manchester United no longer has the sole appeal it once had, with the likes of Chelsea and manchester City hot on their heels. There have also been suggestions that United do not actually have the cash for such deals and are merely making cursory offers that they know will not be accepted.
The truth is probably a combination of both. However, we all acknowledge that as we enter our twilight years, our ability to act decisively recedes. It is a biological fact we cannot escape. Neither can Ferguson. He is now 70 years of age and like any pensioner at his age, he bristles at the suggestion he cannot act like he did when he was 40. Yet it is there for all to see. How did Nasri finish up at Manchester City last season when it was known in media circles that he would have walked on his tongue through broken glass to Old Trafford. But still Ferguson could not close the deal.
Of course, it doesnt help when you have a slippery, non-commital snake like David Gill in the frame. It is easier to get blood from a stone that any cogent information from Gill. The problem is how it appears in the football world. It adds credence to the claims from bitter rivals, that United simply do not have the cash to compete.
Latest news is that having seen that Manchester City have virtually withdrawn from the Van Persie deal, Juventus are considering re-opening their attempts to close the deal. What is Ferguson doing about this matter? Anything? Van Persie has made it clear that he wants to move to United as preference. He has even leaked into the media domain his terms. Yet still Ferguson cannot close the deal!
The only hope for United fans is that the unthinkable happens. Ferguson retires and they bring in a new manager. Hopefully Guardiola. Then they will have to back him in the transfer market and we can again see the sorts of marquee signings a club the size of Manchester United deserve.