Opinion: Why terminating Cristiano's Ronaldo contract could propel Manchester United into a new future under Erik ten Hag

Opinion: Why terminating Cristiano's Ronaldo contract could propel Manchester United into a new future under Erik ten Hag

WHERE WOULD FOOTBALL BE WITHOUT THE CONSTANT DRAMA and evolving sporting soap operas, including itself in the backdrop of the beautiful game?

From cheating scandals with teammates' wives to corruption at the highest offices of football's most powerful governing bodies, football is a game that rarely has a dull moment.

This week Manchester United's most marketable asset created his slice of footballing drama for all the wrong reasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo, best known for his five Balon D'ors, goal records, star power, and everything we love about the game, decided to drop a bombshell on his employer Manchester United.

The 37-year-old sat down with well-known journalist Piers Morgan in an unauthorised interview, where he went after Manchester's manager Erik ten Hag, Wayne Rooney, the club's chefs, and the Glazer family, the American owners of the club.

"I don't have respect for him because he doesn't show respect for me. If you don't have respect for me, I'm never going to have respect for you," Ronaldo said about United's manager. The forward also noted in the interview that he felt betrayed by the club.

The full interview with Morgan is a 90-minute sit-down and will be broadcast this week.

According to reports, Manchester United will seek legal advice before going forward with any punishment regarding Ronaldo.

Speculation has emerged that United could terminate Ronaldo's contract after the explosive interview.

FIFA's Article 14 states: 'The principle that contracts may be terminated by either party without consequences where there is just cause.

United would be very wise to end their relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo after the release of the full interview this week.

When Ronaldo signed for the club, it was evident that Ronaldo would not play second fiddle to anyone and would play on his terms.

His ego and determination to stay on or near the top has become his biggest weakness.

He refused to come on as a sub against Rayo Vallecano in the summer, left the ground early when United beat Tottenham Hotspur and has now done this bombshell interview with Morgan are all indications of this.

It's time for the club and Erik ten Hag to act and stamp their own statement of intent by taking the cult of Ronaldo out of the equation for good.

United, when they signed Ronaldo, didn't sign Ronaldo for the reason of winning future league titles. It is evident by the way Manchester United operates that his ability to sell shirts and merchandise was the determining factor in the club's higher-up's sanctioning move for the player.

Another player who attracted unwanted attention for different reasons was Paul Pogba. Every aspect of his life was an unwanted distraction for the club, manager, and fans The club no longer have to deal with stories around Pogba now that he has left for Italy. The exact same thing needs to be done by ending the Ronaldo ego-media-circus

If Manchester United ended Ronaldo's contract, it would propel the team in a new direction.

Erik ten Hag is trying to implement a new winning culture at United, and Ronaldo's departure could accelerate that process much quicker than anticipated.

Ronaldo's position at the club is as good as untenable now. United will become a far better team under a manager who can make them competitive again without the Ronaldo show.

For a club that prided itself on being the biggest brand in football, it's about time the club started acting like a football club and not a bank.

A massive step towards that would be axing one of world football's lucrative assets this week. It would be one of a football club's most significant power-play moves ever seen.

For Manchester United's sake, it could be the start of a new era and the end of the brand of United.

Ronaldo has burnt his bridges at the club and can't stay at the club now. The sooner the club gets rid, the quicker it can get back to where they want to go, which is the summit of world football.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)