Jose Mourinho Says Man United Can Afford to Miss Champions League the Next Four Years

jose mourinho

Manchester United Manager met the media yesterday, ahead of his side’s Europa League quarter-final road leg at Anderlecht.

You can watch the entire video of the session over at this link, but these quotes stood out from the rest. It may anger many United supporters and it’s paradigmatic of why United is a such a polarizing brand world wide.

“We need and we don’t need,” Mourinho told his news conference in reference to Champions League qualification.

jose mourinho

“We don’t need because Manchester United’s history is so big and Manchester United is so much bigger than many other clubs that are playing Champions League that if Manchester United do not play Champions League for four years that doesn’t affect the prestige, the dimension and history of the club.”

“So Manchester United doesn’t need to play Champions League. But Manchester United wants to play, Manchester United feels that it’s the competition adapted to the history and ambitions of everyone at the club, so we want to play.”

mourinho

“We have to fight with everything we have to play Champions League next season. How can we do that? Win the Europa League or finish top four. So we have to fight to open doors. If one day a door closes then we have another door open. My feeling is that we will fight with everything we have in both competitions.”

From a financial stand point, Mourinho is totally right. On a marketing level, yes, Old Trafford definitely could miss the next four seasons of Europe’s big tournament, but try telling that to the base.

Also, while the ledger sheets would be okay, the brand would not. Mourinho is completely spot on too about the tradition and history. However, missing UCL for that long would inflict some damage on the brand. The MUFC brand is excellence, and missing out on Europe for four years would redefine it as mediocrity.

jose-mourinho

A top four finish right now seems little more realistic route back to the UEFA Champions League than it has for most of the season, but winning the Europa League tournament is still probably the more likely way, at least on paper.

Mourinho himself said that his side would prioritize Europa League should they advance to the round of eight, and now they have.

Mourinho said a few weeks ago that he prefers winning the UEL, over finishing in the top four, as a the path back to Champions League.

europa-league

[It’s a] big win because it keeps us alive in the fourth position race. It was very important to keep us alive,” Mourinho said after United’s win today.

“Do I prefer [to] finish fourth or win the Europa League? I prefer to win the Europa League because the Europa League gives us the same, gives us Champions League football, but gives us a trophy, gives us prestige, gives us a European Super Cup.

“So I would prefer [that], but maybe we don’t win the Europa League, so we have to fight until we can to try to finish fourth and it’s what we did today without many players, but with a great answer in terms of attitude and desire from all the boys. It is a massive victory for us.”

“We don’t have plan B, C, D, E, F and G — but we have M, N, O, P and S. It is fantastic because we manage, in the same week, to go to the quarterfinals of the Europa League which is an important target for us.”

“At the same time, we got these three points that keep us in the race for the fourth position so we still have two doors for Champions League football next season.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.comBoldWGN CLTV and KOZN

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube

Powered by

Speak Your Mind