United Reportedly Reconsidering Preseason Plans Amid Coronavirus Fears


The increasing crisis that is the coronavirus outbreak is probably the top story in the world right now. It’s a pandemic that is now officially deadlier than the SARS outbreak of 2003. There are now 40,640 cases of infection worldwide, with 910 reported deaths.

It’s a situation affecting all walks of life, including world football, as Manchester United are now reportedly reconsidering their 2020 preseason plans due to coronavirus precautions.

According to ESPN FC, “United have discussed the possibility of returning to Asia this summer, but talks have stalled while the club seek advice about the virus, which has infected more than 40,000 people globally, mostly in China.”

While there have been a few cases reported in multiple other countries, the virus is mostly concentrated in China for the time being, with ground zero being the Wuhan Province. The outbreak has led to precautionary actions involving those who have traveled to mainland China in the past two weeks.

That includes United’s third and final January transfer window signing, Odion Ighalo, who made a deadline day move from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

Due to the potential for increasing restrictions on those who have been in China the past fortnight, the Nigerian striker did not join up with his new team on their warm weather training trip to Malaga, Spain. The 30-year-old has instead remained back in Manchester, training with Olympians.

Since the inception of the International Champions Cup earlier this decade, United have been regulars in the competition. The ICC spans numerous countries across several continents, with United playing in China last summer, and in 2016.

For giant football clubs, summer preseason tours are complete cash cows in which the primary objective is #ForTheBrand.

That’s certainly the case with United this upcoming summer, and the ESPN report indicates that MUFC are hoping to promote “club-themed entertainment centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang, which are due to open before the end of 2020.”


If the coronavirus crisis does not improve, and United are forced to scrap their China plans, then another return to the United States could be in the cards this summer. United have frequented America in recent summer preseason tours, often making Southern California/the Los Angeles metro area their headquarters.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

Powered by

Speak Your Mind