It’s raining metaphors at Manchester United amid soggy aftermath of underinvestment

Planet Business: Burberry’s China blues, Anglo American’s diamond plan and Jimmy Kimmel’s Disney roasting

Image of the week: Chasing waterfalls

The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. The second best time is after it has leaked as a result of heavy rainfall, prompting a cascade of water to pour into your stadium at the end of a high-profile fixture while the TV cameras are still there to capture this metaphor for the state of your club.

Yes, it’s the final week of the Premier League season, but it’s also abseiling time at Old Trafford, where Manchester United has been busy sending men in hi-vis jackets scaling the stadium to take a gander at the issues that led to an overflow at from its southwest corner not long after the side’s defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

The sight triggered a waterfall of far-too-easy jokes about leaky defences – in fact, images of the downpour were so on the nose that former United player turned pundit Rio Ferdinand thought they were “AI doing it’s magic”.

The watery event completed an unflattering hat-trick for the club: in 2019, fans were treated to an unexpected shower before a loss to Manchester City, while the same thing happened at a home defeat to Crystal Palace last September.


But cheap fixes may be even harder to come by than victories on the pitch. A costly plan to repair the roof and replace part of it has now reportedly become tied up with a longer-term ambition to either fully redevelop the ageing, neglected stadium or – as is said to be the preference of United’s new shareholder, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe – build a brand new one. Maybe shell out for a few buckets in the meantime?

In numbers: Burberry in the trenches


Like-for-like sales decline at fashion group Burberry in the three months to the end of March compared with the same period the year before. The British luxury fashion house has warned of “challenging” conditions amid slowing demand.


Sales dropped by this much in China in the January-March quarter, the last of Burberry’s financial year, with chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd saying this pointed to “very quiet” traffic in malls in China.


Decline in Burberry’s share price in London over the past 12 months, with sales of its outerwear and check-patterned accessories hit by cutbacks in spending among aspirational customers. A “refocus” of its brand image is under way.

Getting to know: Duncan Wanblad

Duncan Wanblad, chief executive of mining company Anglo American, enjoys fly-fishing, scuba-diving and both building and flying model helicopters, according to his website profile. The London-based South African, who began his career as a mining engineer, is also a long-distance cyclist, a classic car enthusiast and a supporter of Watford football club.

He might be too busy for much of this at the moment, however, as Anglo American is in the midst of fending off an improved bid for the company from rival BHP, which has been circling it for some time.

This week, Wanblad went on the attack, launching a “clear, compelling and decisive plan” that involves a proposal to spin-out or sell its diamond business, De Beers, and refocus its efforts on copper and iron ore. This prompted City AM to splash on the headline “diamonds aren’t forever”. But will it be enough to stop BHP sniffing?

The list: Jimmy Kimmel Plus

They do things differently in America, part 687. At Disney’s “upfronts” event for advertisers, Jimmy Kimmel, the late night talk show host on Disney-owned US network ABC, was invited to take to the stage and pretty much roast the entire television industry. Few prisoners were taken, as this snapshot of his one-liners suggests.

1. Family affairs: “This new season shows you the Kardashians like you’ve never seen them before – assuming you’ve never seen them before. Otherwise, it’s exactly the same s*** as the last 17 years.”

2. Show-off competitors: “You ever have a friend who buys a boat, and he paid a lot of money for the boat and he’s always posting pictures of the boat and in every conversation you have with him, he somehow finds a way to make it about the boat? That’s NBC with the Olympics.”

3. Being nice to advertisers: “Remember when Elon Musk was being interviewed and he told advertisers to go f*** themselves? We would never do that. But we do want to remind you that he did.”

4. Industry brainstorming: “Things are changing at CBS and not for the better. Young Sheldon is coming to an end after seven seasons. I know, I haven’t seen it either. But what I do know is that there’s a 100 per cent chance that somewhere at CBS headquarters right now there is a whiteboard with the words Old Sheldon? written on it.”

5. Streaming bundle alliance: “We’re joining forces with Warner Bros Discovery. I have to say, I haven’t seen this much corporate camaraderie in this business since last summer, when they all worked together to starve the writers.”