Poor pitches, poor sleep and endless photo operations

Manchester United vs Liverpool in Bangkok is the promoter’s dream: a game between two of the biggest clubs in the world’s largest league and a game played in front of supporters that can only get a chance once in a lifetime. Watch your heroes play at some distance from their place. But Tuesday’s pre-season in Thailand is a nightmare for players and other players like him.

The Precision Tour scares footballers. High-profile friendships and double training sessions in heat and humidity, jet lag body and mind hurting, are bad enough, but events outside the pitch make top players in the sports field welcome their summer globe with fear rather than enthusiasm. Huh. ,

“Tours are tireless,” the former United executive told ESPN. “Players hate him because there is no escape from his workings. They train, play and try to rest, but if the schedule is an hour late, they will meet sponsors, sign a shirt for VIP fans, or ask them to wear one. Professional lead for one of the club’s partners. “

Former United manager Louis van Gaal has called on the team’s new boss Eric Ten Hague to be wary of taking a job described as a “professional club” earlier this year.

After experiencing life on a tour with United for the next two and a half weeks, Ten Hague will soon know what Van Gaal is alluding to: Hundreds of fans flocked to Ten Hague and his 31 at Don Muang International in Bangkok. Congratulations to the member team at the airport before attending the official welcome ceremony at the terminal building on Saturday morning.

A United player asked the club to “urinate” on one of their recent summer tours, with the team “cut and cut” to meet sponsorship requirements before and after training. But it’s not just United. All major clubs embark on lucrative trips to Asia or the United States, with the goal of reaching out to their long-distance supporters, but spending millions to sponsor those who want to grow their brand and, most importantly, add their company logo. Glamorous, world famous football team. A Liverpool source told ESPN that his trip to Thailand and Singapore, where he will play Crystal Palace on Friday, is a “business trip” before returning to the actual work of manager Jनrgen Klopp Precision with a training camp in Austria.

But why don’t players and managers have a choice but to assimilate it when their club sends them around the world to play friendly, when they can prepare for the new season without being distracted.

In 2012, United played a game against Shanghai Shenhua, flying an 8,000-mile, 16-hour flight from Cape Town to Shanghai to help launch a new partnership with General Motors (GM). The club must use Chevrolet as the official car partner. GM wanted to expand its brand in China and was willing to pay United to help. In terms of football preparation, traveling so far for a game was a brutal test of a player’s physical and mental strength.

The flight time, humidity and seven hours difference in time made the journey pointless. But by flying to China, United honored Chevrolet’s commitment and hit the jackpot.

Sources told ESPN that United’s popularity in the city of 28 million people so impressed the company’s senior executives that they tore up partnership documents and instead paid the club वर्षा 63 million a year to keep their name on the team. Shirt And Be the main sponsor of United. It was a world-record deal – at the time United’s sponsor, Aon, was paying just £ 20m a year – who paid for a difficult trip to South Africa in spectacular fashion. On the pitch, United beat Shanghai 1-0, but the game was probably obscured by the professional team drinking celebrity champagne.

Every club now wants its own “Chevrolet Moment”, which is why football takes second place every summer in July. Players pay the price, but when Liverpool offer Mohamed Salah a new £ 350,000-a-week deal this summer, the forward will know for sure that the big sponsors can pay him so much for the club and they want him in return. Some back.

“Everyone was tired by the time we got back.”

Sometimes, players actually enjoy more imaginative PR stunts. When Chevrolet’s deal with United began in 2014, Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher were given the keys to a convertible Chevrolet Camaro and their new strip has the sponsor’s logo on it. To see later that day, the pair were sent to sign a football at the Los Angeles Fire Station – less glamorous, perhaps – and one senior player remembered how useless the five-match tour was.

“The training was at 8.30am, sent to rooms for a two-hour break, training after lunch, back for a video meeting and a discussion on strategy,” he told ESPN. “Then we went back to the room, took the toast and then went to bed at half past ten. Also daily and business stuff for 14 days. When we got home we were tired and lost the first game of the season. ,

On that tour, Van Gaal was so outraged by the schedule and plan that he ordered the club to lock rooms in a motel near the training ground in the LA suburb so that players could sleep in the session instead of traveling back. Its grand base at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Rodeo Drive.

Liverpool also faced difficulties during the tour. In 2015, Brendan Rodgers’ career as manager was marred by morbid flames and tours to Thailand, Malaysia and Australia were interrupted by rain that forced him to stop playing in Bangkok. There was also a moment of pure comedy when Rogers, after a thorny news conference, was taken from the media center to a golf cart, which then crashed into the back of a car parked in front of the cameras.

The two-week visit took place at “Melwood Time” – a time zone named after the club’s then-training ground in Liverpool – which the club completed four hours before the UK in an effort to reduce the effects of jet lag. Spent a fortnight. Time regardless of their location. “It doesn’t work,” a source told ESPN. “No one slept well, half the team had colds and bugs and everyone was tired by the time we got back to Liverpool.”

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Twelve months later, United and Manchester City spent a week in China preparing for the first-ever Manchester derby outside the country, which will be played at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium. But torrential rains flooded the pitch, destroyed the grass, and literally shattered the turf. The game was canceled and both clubs returned to Manchester; A group of United players spent hours stranded in Tianjin after bad weather forced them to cancel a flight, prompting Memphis Dep to post a video from a darkened terminal building.

“We lost somewhere … we had to land somewhere early,” Depe said. “We tried to go to Beijing, but the weather was a little bad so we had to land somewhere else. I hope we get out soon so that we can prepare ourselves for the match against Manchester City. “

To play


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Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required.

Perhaps it’s an insight into the world of top footballers that anything other than proper preparation for them in the Premier League leads to discomfort and frustration on the tour. A source told ESPN that players generally prefer the heat in the US because everyone, except for a few famous stars, can “run Fifth Avenue completely anonymously.” This is a different story from Asia, where during their visits to United in 2007 and 2009, a large number of fans slept outside the Rocky Hotel in Seoul just to take a photo of their favorite player or to sign a shirt. Meanwhile, United’s professional team sealed a four-year partnership with the South Korean tire company during their 2007 visit.

In Australia in 2013, United’s security team had to allow players to hide in the owners of nightclubs when then-manager David Moyes took the team for a walk on the beach without seeing a crowd of fans. A joint source said: “David did this on a previous trip with Everton.” But in the case of United, it will be different, “he said.

Ten Hague will be warned to avoid similar attempts to break the unity for his players in Thailand and Australia as he understands the unique pressure of the first preseason tour, one of the biggest clubs in the game, but he will be in demand. Off the pitch. His priority is to prepare the team for the season.

United chartered a Boeing 747 jumbo jet to take the team to Bangkok, which had business class seats, but less than half of its players were attached to the playing staff. The rest? Club officials and members of the professional team who, two years after losing the opportunity to make money on the United brand due to the Covid-19 epidemic, will be charged for using every additional minute to drive revenue flow, and in particular, to make sure. United’s official financial services affinity partner in Thailand (yes, they have one) gets a lot of attention. The partnership with the Thai coconut water brand Chaokoh gives Liverpool a regular income from Thailand.

For every player in the top club, the exact tours are the same: hours of training, walking in the form of football, jet lag and billboards. But they will have to pay big contracts and transfer fees and the club will have to find a way out of it. Players don’t like it, but they have to pay the price.

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