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A Case Study for the Prosperity and Decline of Manchester United: from a Perspective of Organizational Strategic Analysis

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DOI: 10.25236/icssae.2019.077


Chen Gaowei and Ruiying Shen

Corresponding Author

Chen Gaowei


This article takes Manchester United as a case and uses the perspective of strategic analysis to try to analyze the reasons for the huge gap in the performance of this football team before and after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson who is the greatest coach of this club. The article divides players, the coach and CEO into three types of actors. On the basis of knowing the "free space" of the three and the phenomenon of the “relayer” of the organization, Ferguson’s action strategy is examined from the perspective of the coach. Establishing a good personal relationship with each actor, effectively suppressing the player's free space and trying to control "uncertainty" for his own use are the three main strategies. In contrast, the successors for this club have a lot of deficiencies in both the thinking and the decision-making in specific situations. Based on this comparison ,the gap in the athletic performance of professional football clubs such as Manchester United will be explained.


Strategic Analysis; Free Space; Relayer; Action Strategy