Man Utd staff ‘questioned’ Erik ten Hag decision with FFP rules wreaking havoc

Erik ten Hag reviews Man Utd's win against Burnley

Manchester United staff were reportedly unsure about Erik ten Hag’s decision to take four goalkeepers to Munich earlier this month, given the club’s financial situation. Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions have prompted subtle changes behind the scenes as the Red Devils look to cut costs where possible.

United’s squad has been ravaged by injury over the first few weeks of the season. Ten Hag therefore named a selection of youngsters among the substitutes for his side’s Champions League opener against Bayern Munich last week.

There was space for Dan Gore and Omari Forson, while the manager also raised eyebrows by naming three goalkeepers on the bench, in addition to Andre Onana lining up between the sticks.

According to The Daily Mail, some staff members questioned whether bringing four stoppers to Germany was a sensible use of club funds, given the strain being imposed by FFP rules.

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The report adds that changes behind the scenes at Old Trafford now prevent some members of non-football staff from signing off on expenses not previously agreed within budgets. FFP regulations have forced United to pay close attention to their finances after a string of expensive transfer deals.

Among the substitutes at the Allianz Arena was back-up goalkeeper Altay Bayindir, third-choice Tom Heaton and even fourth-choice Radek Vitek.

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Regarding the latter, Ten Hag reportedly included him in the matchday squad because it would ‘stand him in good stead’, although there was never a realistic possibility of 19-year-old Vitek seeing the pitch in Munich.

Those who featured in the Champions League clash, which United lost 4-3, had a recovery session the next day, while those who didn’t were put through their paces in a normal training session. Neither Vitek nor Heaton made it to the bench for the Red Devils’ trip to Burnley on Saturday.

Instead, only Bayindir backed up Onana, who kept a much-needed clean sheet after making a calamitous start to life in red. His £47million summer arrival from Inter Milan is one of the reasons United need to keep an eye on the purse strings in order to stay within FFP limits.

But he is yet to justify the transfer fee, with errors against Bayern and Nottingham Forest forcing him to admit that things were not going to plan. “I have a lot to prove because my start in Manchester was not so good,” said Onana after the Bayern defeat.

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