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27th Oct 2018

Manchester United players facing fines after missing sponsor event “in protest”

Wayne Farry

If there’s one thing about being a professional football that isn’t very much fun at all, it is almost certainly sponsorship obligations

Sure, footballers make humongous amounts of money and are adored by millions of people for playing a wonderful sport, but few things in life are as tedious and boring as being obligated to go to an event. And footballers are obligated to go to lots of them.

Whether it’s an event to publicise your club’s new petrol, noodle or credit card partner, if you’re a footballer – particularly for a big club – you are made to stand there, smile and occasionally say something to suggest that you actual care about petrol, noodles or credit cards.

For the most part footballers begrudgingly go through with this because, well, their contracts depend on it.

Ashley Young, Lee Grant, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba at a sponsor that players did attend on Thursday.

Sometimes they don’t go, and that’s exactly what happened with a number of Manchester United players this week.

According to a report by Sportsmail, a selection of United players missed a sponsorship event on Friday, before informing the club that their absence was a protest for a number of errors which have seen preparation for the club’s two home Champions League games this season cast into disarray.

The club’s home game against Valencia at the beginning of October was delayed due to traffic congestion in the city, which saw the team arrive late, while Jose Mourinho was forced to walk part of the distance to Old Trafford on Tuesday for the same reason.

While Manchester United have not commented on the situation, it is believed to have angered the hierarchy at Old Trafford, who are surprised to have found themselves blamed for congestion which blighted the city in recent months.

The players are expected to be fined for the protest, which has added rather appropriately to what has been – to phrase it nicely – an utter, unadulterated mess of a season so far for the club.