Nemanja Matic has admitted that both he and Harry Maguire were fined in recent weeks after the pair sat down to agree on acceptable and unacceptable behaviour among Manchester United players.
Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic established a set of rules that must be followed by their United teammates but only a few days passed when the latter felt it necessary to issue a fine to Maguire.
Matic maintains that Maguire, United’s club captain, brought his phone to the gym and had to pay up.
“He was fined, yeah,” Matic confirmed to United’s website. “He brought his phone to the gym. The problem was [that] me and him, we decide what are the fines! A few days later, he brought the phone to the gym, so I said, ‘Harry, I’m sorry…’
“It’s very important, discipline, in our team, so that’s why we made some basic rules. Not to be late for training, not to be late for meetings, no phones in the gym. The guys struggled to adapt for a few months, so we had a lot of money in our account, but it’s going to be better!”
Maguire, however, believes that his fine was up for debate as the centre-half insists he was not actually on his phone but was simply carrying it when he went to put his boots on for the training session.
Keen to set an example, Maguire still accepted the fine in order to make others aware that there’d be no leniency when it comes to the newly-set rules.
“I’ve been fined once which is still debatable,” Maguire said. “It’s crazy, but I let Nemanja do it. I took the hit and put the money in the pot. 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.
“[But] I wasn’t on my phone. 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 [to the changing room]. I could have gone straight to a massage, and Nemanja fined me for that. But he’s strict with everyone so I’m happy. I can set the standard.”
Matic also revealed that he fined himself last week after being held up for a team meeting by Paul Pogba.
Because he was late, Matic agreed to pay up but the Serbian midfielder joked that he’d be asking Pogba to fork over half of the fine.
“I have to say, just before the Newcastle game, I fined myself,” Matic said. “I was late for a meeting by two seconds, and the rules are the same for everyone. I had to fine myself, because they catch me!
“I was late to the meeting. In front of the room [where the meeting was taking place] I was talking to Paul [Pogba], so I will ask him to pay 50 per cent of my fine. I don’t know if he will accept!”