Hopes that Manchester United were beginning to turn a corner were dashed by the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.
A top-four finish is already looking more and more unlikely as the Red Devils sit 10th.
Since 2013, when Sir Alex...actually, you can scratch that. This is a decline that began in May 2005.
Ferguson was extraordinary. The greatest ever. The legendary Scotsman rebuilt and rebuilt, time and again, and managed to defy the inevitable impact of having £540million worth of debts reversed into the club.
Without him, and under the stewardship of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, United have been in a state of decline.
- Ben Foster has more shots on target than Lingard
- Lukaku equals Cristiano Ronaldo's Serie A record
- Solskjaer's PL record compared to Jurgen Klopp
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho all paid the price with their jobs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might too, if results don't improve.
Yet increasing numbers of United fans believe that whatever the Norwegian's limitations, he is not culpable for the club's slide towards mediocrity.
On Twitter, fans have been sharing a video detailing the financial burden the Glazer family have placed on United since spearhead Malcolm became the majority shareholder 14 years ago.
'You can change your job, you can change your house, you can even change your partner. What you can't do is change your football club. They're a social and cultural institution, not a way of making money.'
It's immensely powerful to watch. The clip is taken from the short film 'The FallOut' by Twitter user @Aditya_reds - you can see it in full here.
Barely a week goes by without some sort of discussion about United's lack of silverware since Ferguson's departure.
All they have to show for the last six years is one FA Cup, a League Cup, and a Europa League title.
However, even more alarming - as the video explains so well - is what's been going on off the pitch for over a decade.
Despite United's poor displays, £78m dividends have been paid to shareholders since 2013. There have been £452m worth of share sales, none of which has been reinvested back into the team.
And then there's the overall debt. The Glazers acquired United for £790m, and £540m of that was using loans. As of 2019, the debt has been reduced by just £44m. No capital has been taken off the debt since 2011.
Take an envious look across Manchester.
In the same period that Sheikh Mansour has put £1 billion into making Manchester City one of the greatest sides English football has ever seen, the Glazers have taken the same sum out of United.
It's easy to see why fans were getting so excited by unsubstantiated rumours of a takeover at the weekend. So far, they are just that: rumours.News Now - Sport News