Man United forgo Hearts & Bolton loan fees. Also, United sue Football Manager amid Konami ‘war’ conspiracy theories

Ed Woodward

Man United forgo Hearts, Bolton & Burton loan fees

The Daily Mail have revealed a feel-good story for Manchester United fans on Monday.

In a gesture of financial goodwill, Man United have decided to forgo loan fees which are owing from Hearts, Bolton and Burton Albion.

The Mail believe the total bill stands at £130,000.

Joel Pereira has been at Hearts, Ethan Hamilton at Bolton, while Kieran O’Hara has spent time with Burton.

On why Man United have taken this action, the Mail reported:

United insiders said they felt it unfair to increase the financial pressure on smaller clubs already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.


Also, Man United are suing Football Manager

While the Mail have covered how Man United can be giving, the Red Devils are also in the business of taking too.

Last week, it was confirmed that Man United have begun legal proceedings against the hit computer game, Football Manager.

Football Manager’s Miles Jacobson has reacted to the Man United lawsuit on social media.


Why have Man United taken Football Manager to court?

To be clear, Man United are going after the people behind Football Manager: Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive.

Man United are claiming that Football Manager breach their intellectual property (IP) by using their name, ‘Manchester United’, in their video game.

Also, Man United are arguing that Football Manager have breached their IP by replacing the club’s logo with a red and white crest.

How Manchester United appear on Football Manager

How Manchester United appear on Football Manager


How Man United’s lawyers made their case

The Guardian have detailed how Man United’s lawyers argued these two claims in court.

Beginning with the club’s name, the argument went like this:

The name ‘Manchester United’ is one of the world’s most valuable and recognised brands.

On the crest, the lawyers said:

Consumers expect to see the club crest next to the name Manchester United … and this failure to do so amounts to wrongful use.


How Football Manager hit back

Of course, Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive hit back at those allegations.

Firstly, they argued that their game has been in operation since 1992 without any complaint from Man United. That time period is significant, claimed the lawyers:

The claimant has acquiesced in the use by the defendants of the name of the Manchester United football team in the Football Manager game and cannot now complain of such use.

On the complaint against Man United’s name in their game, the Sega and SI lawyers said:

(Any restriction) would amount to an unreasonable restraint on the right to freedom of expression.

While, on the topic of the crest, the lawyers argued:

This clearly indicates that the use of the (logo of) Manchester United is not licensed by the claimant.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loves Football Manager

The Sega and SI lawyers also flagged up another attention-grabbing point in their defence: they’ve sent copies of their game to Man United for many years. The lawyers said:

There have been a number of positive press comments and tweets about the game by them.

Further, the claimant’s staff working in the data analytics and scouting teams have contacted SI on various occasions asking for access to the Football Manager database for scouting and research purposes.

We also know that Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a huge fan of the game.

Back in 2016, Solskjaer, then in charge of Molde, spoke openly about how he’s used Football Manager in his career:

It’s a fantastic game, I have learned a lot about football. I have learned a lot about players, especially young talent.

It resembles real life, when it comes to who will be good players. They have done incredible research.

I remember thinking the same then, that I do as a manager, you want to give young guns the chance, see them develop.

You could push a few buttons and get extra millions to buy a player. I never enjoyed that. I would rather win in spite of, than because of.

Many of my players play FIFA and Football Manager. I think it helps them to understand football better.

So why are Man United launching their lawsuit now? Cue Konami ‘war’ conspiracy theories

Many are focusing on the timing of Man United’s lawsuit, including the Price of Football’s Kieran Maguire.

In his latest podcast (listen below) , the Senior Teacher in Accounting and Finance at the University of Liverpool Management School dug into what could be behind the timing of the Man United vs Football Manager case:

I think this is a bit of a sideshow between a war which is taking place between Electronic Arts – who have the rights to the FIFA game, and all the clubs there – and a company called Konami – who paid a fortune to Juventus to have the sole rights to the Juventus name.

Back in 2019, Man United ended a partnership with EA Sports, which began in 2016, to begin a new multi-year deal with Konami.

Prior to their partnership with Man United, Konami had previously used fake names for the club in their Pro Evolution Soccer game such as Aragon, Trad Bricks, and Man Red.


Social media on the ‘war’ between Konami vs Sega

Also see: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich live streaming: Watch Bundesliga online.

FA Cup may exclude most non-league clubs next year, 2019-20 timetable & Chelsea, Man City & Man United’s fixture problems.

This article was edited by Ben Green.

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