Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has outlined the fines system that is in place for the players at Old Trafford, ensuring that strong discipline is adhered to within the squad as the club attempts to re-take its place at the pinnacle of English football.
Maguire and other senior members of the squad are the ones who administer the fines that keep all players in check, a refreshing look for a team that has previously been accused of lacking leaders.
“We have lates for training, meetings and travel. They are the three big ones. We mainly have one set fine but double on match day. I just like to keep it simple. If you have too many fines it ends up too messy,” Maguire told the club’s official podcast.
But even though the 27-year-old skipper is among those who dish out the fines, he is not above the rules himself and has also been forced to pay up for breaking them.
Nemanja Matic is another member of the fines committee and slapped Maguire with one when the centre-back had his phone with him somewhere he shouldn’t during training.
With phones a distraction for players, United’s stars aren’t allowed to have theirs with them during warm-up sessions in the gym before training, or when they collect their boots from the dressing room to go and do the main outdoor session.
But Maguire tells a story that he did have his during the latter, picking up his phone when he grabbed his boots and taking it out with him. It was, he explains, not so that he could go on it then, but as a time-saver because he wanted to take his phone with him to a massage straight after training without first having to go back to the changing room to get it.
Yet Matic pulled his captain up all the same and demanded a fine be paid.
"It's crazy but I let Nemanja do it. I took the hit and put the money in the pot,” Maguire said.
“When you meet in the gym before training for pre-activation you are not allowed your phone. We did pre-activation, I didn't have my phone. But then you go outside to put your boots on and you aren't allowed to go on your phone in that period. I had my phone and carried it out with me.
“I wasn't on my phone because straight after training I was going to put my trainers back on and go up for a massage instead of coming all the way back. I could have gone straight to a massage and Nemanja fined me for that. He's strict with everyone so I'm happy. I can set the standard.”