April 22 - The sacking of manager David Moyes has capped a miserable season for Manchester United, with last season's English champions now guaranteed their lowest-ever Premier League finish. But as Ivor Bennett reports, the crisis may have a silver lining.
He was called the chosen one, but in the end lasted just 10 months. David Moyes leaving Manchester United for the last time via the training ground's back door. As Alex Ferguson's personal choice, he was given more time than most. But with the club now guaranteed its worst season in Premier League history, the whistle has finally been blown. The squad still arrived for training as usual, but all they're playing for now is pride. Knocked out of all three cup competitions - Champions League qualification also impossible. The end for Moyes, but what about the all-important brand? BGC's Mike Ingram. SOUNDBITE (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "Well, I think the brand is very very durable but ultimately that is a brand that has been built on success on the field. So Manchester United can't afford to have two or three years back to back of poor numbers, otherwise that brand will wither away." Despite the poor form on the pitch, business has never looked stronger. United's share price increasing with the club in line for record revenues of 420 million pounds this season. Most of it's driven by lucrative long term tie-ups. Although the lack of Champions league football will lose them around 50 million pounds. Olaf Storbeck from Reuters Breakingviews thinks the club could still benefit. SOUNDBITE (English) OLAF STORBECK, COLUMNIST, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "Football needs drama. and the football league that has been dominated by one team over a long time tends to become boring. And spectators and supporters might lose interest and this kind of drama is precisely what is needed to keep the League and football exciting." Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs will be in charge for the rest of the season. With Holland manager Louis van Gaal the favourite for the permanent position. As for Moyes, the lack of silverware doesn't mean he'll leave empty handed. Reportedly in line for a payout worth 5 million pounds.