Posts Tagged → Debt
I started this in another blog and quickly realised the importance of what I had written and after some reading, what I had missed. At first many including myself made the mistake of thinking the Government had paved over the subject of leveraged buy outs and they had bottled it. This is not the case. To get the full story you have to link to the Culture, Media and Sport Committees report on football governance with what the government said in the final report. The government has infact used the recommendations from that. It asks any reader to look at the Committees evidence and it’s recommendations. This is the paragraph from governments final report….
30. The Government notes the evidence before the Committee on the use of leveraged buyouts to purchase football clubs and the strong view of the Committee on the appropriateness of this vehicle. The Government expects that the issue of financial sustainability should be addressed as part of the recommendations on the new licensing model.
…. and this is the Committees recommendation.
176. In all the evidence we have received, a whole-hearted defence of the use of leveraged buyouts to buy football clubs is entirely absent. Within a football context, the leveraged buyout appears to be a particularly risky vehicle with little obvious benefit, and certainly not to supporters and local communities.
When the two are together it’s is very clear that the government is calling for Leveraged Buy Outs to be blocked or banned using the new Licensing Model. This is for me one of the greatest successes we’ve had in a long time.
Over the last few weeks there have been a number of meetings between the select committee and those invited to give their evidence. Our Supporters Trust has put much faith into this but the question is what happens once its all over? What happens if nothing happens or something happens but it not what any of us wanted? Lets say the rules change but this makes no difference to ourselves? The Red Knights totally failed, followed by a failure by the government to take action. At that point its pretty clear we can’t rely on anyone but ourselves. The inaction by ourselves to do something on our own accord over god knows how many years will hit hard. The Redknights was luck of the draw, caused by Glazers actions. It wasn’t MUST who decided we’re going to raise money, it was someone else. Now again they are relying on an outside party such as Qatar to make a chance. It should have never happened like that. There are 1,000s of us last year thinking ‘phoenix fund’. They had a fantastic chance to start raising big money. If the fans want to buy into the club, they have to raise money, that’s a stone wall fact. What have we raised? 100,000 email addresses and the on rest I’ve not got a clue. They won’t tell anyone or talk about. As an example theres a club called FC United. They have around 2,000 members and they’ve managed to raise between £1.3m in community shares alone. That doesn’t include any donations towards the ground or money used to keep the club going. How many paid members? They won’t say. How much in the phoenix fund? They won’t say. The site says 167,000 members but that means nothing if action doesn’t follow it. It should read the figure in the Phoenix Fund. Money talks more than words. Ask Malcolm Glazer. The trust and the people who run it will see this as criticism but a lot of us will say, this is the truth. Inaction and lack of information. They have Obamas advertising company promoting them, use it correctly, raise some bloody money and cause some damage.
I’ll bring up another issue. The blog run on their site has gone from the story of the Red Knights to quickly advertising BetFred deals. To be honest, this is the type of thing that made many people give up back when the club house was the biggest thing on the MUST agenda. The idea did exist back in 2007, lets not say it didn’t. The idea to offer reds deals to put in the phoenix fund wasn’t a bad idea but it was poorly thought out. The biggest issue MUST are involved with currently is the football governance committee. That is the Be and End All. Not Bedfred, if they wanted a tiny amount of credibility they’d blog every tuesday and provide links to the live feed. Have they done any of this? No. If they want to use Betfred, it should be to promote the trust, not using the blog once every three weeks to advising a company. If Fred doesn’t want to promote MUST on his site or in his shops, tell him to do one. It no loss to me or anyone else. I don’t really understand what the people at the top of MUST are thinking but I think, its time for a big change.
We’ve all seen David Gills comments during the Football Governance Inquiry and for me they are a disgrace. According to him if you are one of the 167,000 members of MUST your view does not matter or if you are part of IMUSA you view does not matter. Anyone according to him calling for the owners to leave is someone who they will not talk with and to be honest I believe everyone wants them to go, no matter how extreme the view is. Some might want Qatar or they might want the fans to take over but everyone on the planet knows, United would be better without the Glazer. I believe that is a view shared by all, by those who protest or not. Its likely a view even shared by David Gill but due to his massive pay cheque, he refuses to believe it. To me that means its only his and a few Americans view that matters. David Gill thinks YOUR VIEW DOES NOT MATTER. The rest of the information he put out was also mostly lies and bullshit. Andersred has looked at some of the figures he gave out and those were wrong. Gill basically lied to Parliament and told a group of people voted for in a democratic system, their constitutes views don’t matter and they weren’t going to be listened too. That could back fire big time. Gill also said the International support didn’t really care about the issues or didn’t know about them. I don’t agree with that view as some of the followers on twitter hate the glazers more than many of the domestic fans.
MUST today called for International growth in their membership and many people may think, why would you want to do that? The Trust and the movement needs as much support as possible. In its current state everyone needs to step it up a gear and the Trust need to plan to promote its self on a massive scale. I can only do so much so if you haven’t joined The Manchester United Supporters trust do it now. It doesn’t matter if you from Salford or Mexico.
I’d also call not just for people to join for free but to put into the Withdrawal Share Capital fund. This is the Phoenix fund which would part fund the fans taking a stake in the club if it ever got to that stage. This goes for existing free members or existing paid members.
They’ll also be calling on fans to contact their local MP in the coming weeks and push the Football Governance Inquiry to make the change. MUST might not be calling for a boycott or a protest but they’ve got the Government questioning David Gill, who then made abit of fool of himself and the rest of football. This could by May force through the bigger changes, we’ve all been waiting for. Who caused this debate? Our Supporters Trust highlighting the problems.
#LUHG you can follow and question me @wewantglazerout
I’d like to reward at least one person from my followers on twitter for their support towards the cause. The cause is the promotion of what’s wrong in football, not just removing Glazer. I’ve done this in the past but I believe this is a mile stone to do it. People say its dead but when someone sees just one Green and Gold scarf, they start thinking about the issue. That for me, means a psychological solution to the problem. Am going to send out one free Green and Gold scarf to the 2,000th follower of the @wewantglazerout twitter account. Worth £5 and it will be from The Manchester United Supporters Trust. I’d love to send everyone something but I don’t have a money tree. I’ve done these in the past and I’ll consider doing another one in the future for the next big mile stone.
The Rules -
These are my rules, I’ll tell you if your the 2,000th by twitter. Don’t tweet at me moaning you were it, I’ll ignore you. I decide.
No fake accounts. No repeat accounts. Example, unfollowing, then following back.
Must hate Glazer and I will post anywhere in the world depending on location, access(Libya might be hard to post to but I’d try) and postage price. The person notified should contact me within 24 hours otherwise it moves to the next person. If you contact me saying you already have one, I can pick someone else, instead.
The Aim Is To Promote The Cause Against Glazer and The Issues Within Football Ownership and Governance. Spread it and don’t forget it.
We’ve known for a long time there have been problems in football. To do with debt, ownership and on the first day of the inquest from a man who was the boss of The FA, we now know why. The Premier League works for the interests of its chairmen. It aims to keep them all happy so if David Gill says ‘the glazers own this club you keep it that way’ they’ll do there best to see The FA or anyone else can’t do anything. The FA tried once before and they got scared. Now they do as the EPL tell them. The only action they’ll take is against the odd player, to make it look like they are in charge. In reality if The FA says we want to remove all debt. The EPL will say no you won’t. The FA then goes off and crys in the corner. The FA run English Football, they are the governing body. If they put rules in place for the good of the game, all leagues should accept them. The FA is only worried about England getting banned why because that’s how its board make their cash. Shirts sales, ticket sales. Lets get one thing very very clear. The England Football Team is the last place on Earth that should be treated like Tescos. Its the national team and if takes England getting banned for the board to work this out, that will be good for football. You cannot have a governing body, which works more like a business, than a governing body. The same can be said for Fifa in areas. The FA is their to govern football. It has in the past found out many of the issues the government is discussing but has not been allowed to carry them out. UFEA and Fifa have power, The FA has none. Its why on many an issue the FA doesn’t do anything, that’s also true for matters on the pitch. They should find issues, find the solutions and put in new rules. That is The FA’s job, if it cannot do that, huge changes need to happen. Forced Changes.
Tomorrow night they’ll likely be stories floating about what Lord Triesman said to the Select Committee but I am very interesting in hearing what everyone has to say. Currently I’d say its a two sided affair but the interesting thing is none of the six to be currently to be interviewed have a strong link to football. That means its not someone from within the EPL, FA or say Manchester United. First at 10:45 am we’ll be hearing from Stefan Szymanski, Sean Hamil and Patrick Collins. At 11:45am we’ll hear from Lord Triesman, Graham Kelly and Lord Burns. The first three should be the most interesting as they are likely to give straight answers or explain in simple terms what is going on. Patrick Collins from the Daily Mail wrote this about the FA and EPL when Liverpool were in court trying to get rid of their owners.
“Now, who could argue with a word of that? And who can remember the Premier League making a remotely useful contribution to the entire debate? Who can recall them offering a frank and articulate condemnation of the appalling way in which Liverpool Football Club has been run for these past three years?
Not their style, I’m afraid. In their view, owners may do pretty much as they choose; be they Tom or George, the dearly departed Shinawatra or the geekish Glazers, who have saddled Manchester United with the kind of debt which is beyond shame or comprehension. Fill your boots, chaps, but please try not to harm the ‘brand’. As for the FA, the people who used to accept responsibility for the way in which English football conducts itself: nothing.”
So we know Patricks view already. He knows like do Liverpool and United could be took over by Kim Jong Ill and the FA would let them take them over. If more people like Patrick are interviewed, the FA could get destroyed. Not stepping in when Portsmouth were in trouble, not stepping during the Glazer takeover and not stepping in when Liverpool had issues. To be honest the only thing the FA would have do is likely fine all the clubs and dock them points for asking for help. The ‘its not our problem’ needs to end and with people like Patrick being interviewed we have a good chance. Its likely 3 more of the people being interviewed could say similar things. Triesman we’ll likely be one of these people. He told the EPL there was too much debt and now hes gone, the new guy says its not that much of a problem. Quiet worrying that the former head of The FA said there was too much debt in football and now The FA says there isn’t. So I am betting on atleast 2 people on the side of the fans, with no one yet insight from the Glazer, Hicks or the EPLs camp. Day One Could Be 1:0 To The People. For more updates follow me on twitter @wewantglazerout , I’ll be trying to pick out the key parts tomorrow after everything has been said.
Your now thinking this is going to be about how Manchester United should have spent big money to compete with other clubs and next your going to think I am going to ramble on about how we should have. Infact this is the true story not only of past transfer windows but future ones to come. It all starts back in the Summer of 2009, when a certain club called Real Madrid decided to to splash the cash. At the very time I was on the other side of the world in San Francisco, so if anyone was unconnected and shocked by that weeks events it was myself. I went off one morning and found a Starbucks with wireless internet, put the BBC news page up and there it was Kaka had just moved to Madrid. Afew days later I woke up with a text message saying ‘Ronaldos been sold to Madrid’. I never get messages about football news stories, so for this to be sent means its big news. At that time I am thinking. ‘We’ve just built a great squad, we’ve been in two champions league finals, so why the hell are we cutting it up’ I was also thinking something else and this has always stuck in my mind. They’ve told all the season ticket holders as a ploy, just days before the renewal deadline ‘Ronaldo would not be sold’, all just to sell season tickets, then just after it our best player & the best player in the World is sold off. So I get back to Manchester afew days later and the world to me has gone totally nuts.
This is where the business side of the story comes in. All the figures given are true straight from United’s official accounts. In June 2009 United sold Ronaldo in a £80m deal. In January 2010 it was also reported United had already been paid £35.9m from AON from the new £80m sponsorship deal. This shows up on past accounts. So those two big payments of money are around £116m. In May United was to have reported £95m in cash in the bank, later on it was £162m, and the latest now is £151m in cash in the bank. At this point everything sounds brilliant £150m in the bank, happy days. The problem is of the £80m in the sponsorship deal United have already received £47m. When you add the Ronaldo money to this that’s £127m of £151m cash in the bank. If you are reading that like I am, without the two AON payments and without Ronaldo money since June 2009 the club has only been able to create extra £24m or £35.8m in cash if you take out 2010s payment. To me that’s pretty worrying. With all the prize money, TV money, extra sponsorship deals and increased ticket prices, it shows there is a very good reason why the club hasn’t seen alot of movement in the transfer market. This is not to say the market isn’t over valued, in areas it is. Some of the figures that have been paid out for certain players by City, Chelsea, Villa and Liverpool have been very silly. The reason Manchester United haven’t been out and got a £20-30m player isn’t because they can’t, its because if they do that money is then gone and to recoup that money could in theory take 12-18 months or longer just to get back £30m. One other area shows that at one stage cash reserves reached £162m but then dropped by £12m, so this shows any budget changes or increased costs within the club could have a big effect. The biggest problem I see is if United went out and spent £115m tomorrow on either the stadium or the team, there is only a £35m gap for the budget to be increased, once over that you need an overdraft or you need to find another source of income quick. Remember this is football and alot can happen in a short space of time. This to me is alot more shocking and alot more worrying than any debt and the problem in part is the debt. If United removed the interest payments that gap goes from £35m to £80m. Now I am pretty sure if that was the case, the club would have more access to the transfer market and there would be more value. The fact is until that £45m interest payment is removed and the Government recommends we get a share in our clubs, we are unlikely to see any increase in transfer spending outside of the Ronaldo money at Manchester United in years to come. When the Ronaldo Money is spent, that’s it, that’s the reason it’s not been touched and it won’t be touched.
Love United Hate Glazer
Just before Ronaldo was sold, the only stories about signings from David Gill was ‘we won’t sell Ronaldo’. What did they do, they sold him. Now I’d say at least once a month, maybe more we have the Manchester United Chief Executive commenting on how we can still afford big names but there IS ALWAYS A TWIST. This time the excuse is ‘we are hoping the youth team produces the next big thing’. No one is saying the youth squad can’t produce great players but why is he saying we can compete but then start to make an excuse why we haven’t or won’t spend?
Manchester United have always invested in top young players who have made their mark at other clubs. Am sorry but Darren Gibson is no Roy Keane. Obertan is no Ryan Giggs. Roy Keane was destroying teams as soon as he walked into the side at the age of 21. Gibson is 23, doesn’t seem to be moving forward and still watches the game. Obertan still has a chance but he needs to take it. He’s in his second full season now and needs to impress sooner rather than later. Giggs at his age had played around 100 games and scored 28 goals in the league alone. In the past 10-15 years when a top player has been coming to the end we have always gone out and found gems. Some have been record breakers and expensive but others haven’t. Its not a pop of Gibson or Obertan its a pop at David Gill because we have two other players in the 1st team who remind me of a younger Keane and Giggs. Rafael and Hernandez. Both have been given a chance and now I’d rate them against any other players in the same positions in the league. To me Rafael while young and sometimes seen as reckless, has that never say die attitude. The same is true with Hernandez. The energy, skill, pace and attitude of both show these players are out there, David Gill just needs to pull his figure out of Glazers arse. If there is a young 19-21 year old somewhere in England or Europe who matches their attitude, go and sign him up. Am talking about a quality midfielder. He doesn’t even have to be young. He could be 24 or 25 but a player who can come in and perform. If he costs £3m or £20m, doesn’t matter. Using excuses like their is no value or we’ll use the youth team, while telling me and you, ‘we can sign megastars’ does not quiet wash with me and I don’t buy it. Don’t talk to me about paying £45m a year to insurance companies over some bonds, with £150m sat in the bank and then talk about ‘we can buy £40m players but instead we’ll use the youth team’. Making out as if your going to spend big but never do, is a horrible trick to spilt the support. Its awful tactics. If your not going to sign anyone as you’ve clearly made out, why bother telling the fans there is £100-£150m sat in the bank? If the stadium won’t be expanded and they won’t invest in the team, the only business plan on offer is to try and pay the debt off. They clearly aren’t going to drop Old Trafford ticket prices, so what he’s getting at about signing big names etc makes no sense. He doesn’t say anything important for many years, now he can’t keep it shut.
One thing every Manchester United fan will know is the Glazers don’t do publicity. That is until now. The problems this time aren’t coming from Manchester, this time its from on the other side of the pond in Tampa Bay. In the States they are more public than here but when I say more public, this is the first time this season (its ended already) the Glazers have spoken to the press and the fans publicly. There is the odd comment from behind closed doors or at private NFL events but hardly any direct speeches or interviews to the press or the fans. Bryan Glazer said… Many teams ”are happy we’re not in the playoffs because we could have done some damage,” but Bryan your not in the playoffs, you didn’t get any games on tv and you didn’t sell out once. On top of that your fans think your running the team and many of them are worried about it being sold to Eddie Debartalo. Many other NFL fans want the Glazers to sell up.
Bryan Glazer is treating the Bucs much like Chelsea or Manchester City. Over hyping what is slowly becoming below average. The Glazers have big enough problems, that they have to hype up the team publicly and for them to go that far it must be bad. With Manchester United they know this is off limits because they’ll get buried into the ground. David Gill is no longer seen by many people as more than a puppet, its hard to take him seriously unless you have the brain of a City fan. Only a fool says ‘wait and see’. This can apply to the Bucs plan of spending fuck all or Uniteds plan of we have £100m in the bank for players, but we’re not touching it via the managers ‘theres no value’ comments. Bryan would be seen like that before he opened his mouth. In America from the comments I’ve seen, Bryan Glazer could very well be their David Gill. A pointless PR spin machine, picked up by most who read the headline before they read the quotes.
In this blog am going to cover a Qatar takeover and United in general. First up is the team and squad its self. I commented before Villa how United might be running into abit of form. Now against Villa it was lacking but since then apart from that battering against West Ham United, we have been unbeatable. There are kinks in the armour, so we shouldn’t forget that. Talksport were having a Thursday night discussion about Fergies comments on the future of our best goal keeper for along time. Edwin Van Der Sar. We’d all love for a young keeper from within the club to come in and take the number one shirt. That sadly isn’t going to happen. In such an important position we need to pick a keeper who has been solid for another side for a good number of seasons. He needs to be 6 foot plus, calm and have experience. Ferguson has to go shopping and hopefully he will do.
In the League United have done very well 20 games played 44 points. It was only the weather holding us back, or Chelsea’s lack of form. The Chelsea game was something that annoyed many fans as other games went ahead. Despite all the snow/ice we had in Manchester, City of all teams had no problems getting their games on. I’d call it a conspiracy, playing bad, lots of games one after the other, lets use the weather. You could say the same about one or two other games that weekend. With two games in hand on City and a game on Arsenal we could have been on 50 points and 8 points clear of City and 15 clear of Chelsea only at the midseason point. Theres no reason to say we wouldn’t have beaten both Blackpool and Chelsea to achieve that.
With a win over Liverpool in the cup, United are in a prime position. Arsenal and City both have midweek games in the FA Cup 3rd round which means when we come to play Spurs on Sunday, in-terms of that weekend it could be an advantage. We only play Southampton in the cup, so I won’t mind see those two games go against them. An Everton win and we could see a clean sweep of early PL exits before the end of the 4th round.
Manchester City are again splashing out and this leads to the Qatar. I come up with a quiet simple way that for starters I’d be happy for them or anyone else to take over. The Club has a problem of the Glazers. They put, take, lie and generally act like retards. If they cared about the club, they’d talk to the fans instead of treating us like idiots. We pay for tickets and are therefore as they say ‘we are the customers.’ First rule of customer service. The customer is always right no matter how daft it sounds. They don’t treat it like that. Even after protests and even the government telling them theres a problem. Still nothing. So what’s this I’d be happy for someone else to take over? Firstly its not just letting someone take over the club. For me to be happy a number of things have to happen. I don’t want the new ‘owners’ to carry everything out. They should leave the footballing side to the footballing people as they have done with Fergie. I’d accept new owners and a takeover, if it was done in conjunction with the fans. The biggest problem we have is lack of communication between us and the owners. The only thing the pointless ‘fans forum’ created was a note from Fergie asking not to call Wenger names. We have bigger problems than that. A deal done in conjunction with the fans would look like this. It doesn’t matter if its the red knights or Qatar. The new owners take over the club, get rid of the debt, allow certain fan groups back into the club. This can straight away allow IMUSA’s work and past deals on tickets to be put back in place. Possibly put in a process to insert not just one but a number of fans forward as directors on the board. One thing which could be very important is a deal for the fans to buy part of the club from the new owners. One it fully seals the fans into the club and two if Qatar ever want to pull out, we as fans have a say who comes in. We could even buy the club if after 20-30 years it came to selling. All of these are important issues to me and all can be put in place during a takeover. It benefits the fans and the new owners. MUST have said a similar sort of thing. Any new owner would be daft not to listen.
You can follow me on twitter @wewantglazerout