Multiple reports have claimed that a group of Manchester United players refused to attend a sponsorship event in protest to the team arriving late for their last two home matches in the UEFA Champions League.
And it appears they may now be punished.
United’s players arrived just 52 minutes before kick off against Juventus last Tuesday, even though the team meeting was moved to a hotel less than half a mile from the stadium due to issues with traffic. United’s team bus turned up late for their previous UCL home clash with Valencia, with the game delayed and the club fined by UEFA.
A report from the Daily Mail states that the decision from several players to not attend the event at the academy section of United’s training ground on Thursday “is understood to have cost a number of sponsors thousands of pounds. United have a wide range of commercial partners across the globe and it is understood some had flown in for the event.”
The report goes on to say that the club will fine the players who didn’t attend the event and senior figures are not happy at all.
As for the situation regarding traffic in Manchester on game days, it is a city wide issue and an urgent investigation has been launched by local police. Therefore the United hierarchy do not feel it is something they should take the blame for.
That said, United’s team bus has been stuck in traffic in London before, most notably when playing West Ham United at Upton Park as they were attacked by fans outside the stadium. It appears United’s players (Jose Mourinho isn’t getting involved) want better organization on match days, with the preparations ahead of two key UCL home games hardly ideal.
Mourinho walked with a few bodyguards among the fans to Old Trafford before the clash against Juventus, and it is believed he wanted his players to join him but due to safety concerns it wasn’t possible.