Erik ten Hag says Chelsea’s struggles are a stark warning of how difficult life can be after a change of ownership as Manchester United’s takeover process drags on.
As the Glazers continue to consider a full or partial sale of United, Chelsea will visit Old Trafford on Thursday limping to the end of a hugely disappointing first campaign under their new regime.
The London club have spent about £600 million ($740 million) since a group headed by Todd Boehly bought the club last year but are languishing in 12th place in the Premier League under interim boss Frank Lampard, their third manager of the season.
Chelsea have been criticised for a scattergun approach in the transfer market and United boss Ten Hag said their experience showed money is not the answer if spent unwisely.
“You have to do the right things, you can have money but you have to do it and spend it in a smart way and you need to have a strategy behind it, otherwise the money doesn’t work,” the Dutchman said on the eve of the clash against Chelsea.
United have been big spenders themselves in recent years but have failed to win the Premier League since 2013.
Despite a positive season, in which United have won the League Cup and will meet Manchester City in the FA Cup final, there is uncertainty over the club’s future.
The US-based Glazer family, who bought United in 2005, announced in November they were considering selling the club as they “explore strategic alternatives”.
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe are the main contenders to buy the Premier League giants.
But despite the situation, Ten Hag believes United, for whom a point against Chelsea would secure a top-four finish, are moving in the right direction.
“We have to evaluate that after the season, make the right conclusions for the future and that is what we will definitely do after the season,” he said.