Posts Tagged → glazer
After Stan Kroenke comments on American owners and the Glazers which can be seen here…
…. it’s time we looked at a number of the American owners who have been and are involved in English football clubs. I’m looking at just how trust worthy each owner is and how that relates to me and you the fans.
First off the Glazers. The list of issues and problems could go on for pages but Kroenke as ever, misses the major problems. If United make £50 or £300m, do or should I really care? No. What I do care about is where that money goes. He makes the mistake of mixing what happens on the pitch and off the pitch together. It either goes on the pitch or into investment in the stands, anywhere else and its a complete waste. Its pretty clear that the Glazers costing the club £535m has had no benefit for the club or the fans. My last blogs shows how even the British Government has now accepted this view.
Next is Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool. These are two Americans who tricked the fans and everyone else into thinking they could solve all Liverpool problems. They said no debt would go on the club, that was a lie and at the end they even tried to block the new takeover with more debt by taking out a massive payment-in-kind loans like the Glazers used. This would have basically crippled the club. A big issue has been the new stadium, the new owners promised to build it but it never happened. They were welcomed with open arms at first and left the club in a right state.
Following on from those two con men is another con man called John W Henry but he’s just the face of NESV. If I was a Liverpool fan I would seriously start to question the motives this group have because there are a lot of similarities to the Glazers and to the past Liverpool American owners. There is a lot of information that is hidden and that has not been made public. Just like Uniteds ultimate ownership, NESV ownership and ultimate Liverpools ownership is in Delaware. In 2010 Uniteds ultimate ownership was moved there and just at the same time the PIK debt was ‘gone’. We say gone but as Andersred put it on one of his past blogs “It is virtually impossible to get information on Delaware companies” We don’t even know who the Directors are, let alone what the accounts look like. The most likely position thats accepted is the Glazers PIK debt was refinanced behind closed doors. I can’t see any other way the Glazers could find £250m over night.
This leads on to Liverpools real position. Most Liverpool fans believe they are One. Debt Free and Two. Now Loaded. Henry and the like have refused to say what NESV debt consists of or how the takeover was really funded. They have also refused to say they won’t put debt on Liverpool. They sound to me just like Hicks and Gillett but just without the promises.
Heres a some quote from John W Henry on the matter..
“LFC discloses its financials annually, so monies going in and going out are disclosed. But I’m not going to disclose NESV financials or financing information.”
“But NESV has always had debt, from the first day we purchased the Red Sox.”
“£218m was partly raised from the NESV partners personally and partly from borrowing.”
So just like the Glazers and just like Hicks/Gillett, NESV has debt and they’ve admitted they’ve taken on debt to fund the takeover. Hidden in Delaware, has taken on debt, won’t be open nor truthful to provide the real figures. Where have we seen that before? It’s clear why no commitment has been over a stadium. They just like the past Liverpool owners are going to struggle to raise the £400m needed for the new stadium and there is always a possibly debt could be moved onto the club. I don’t see how the club has really moved on.
Next is Stan Kroenke. If you’re an Arsenal fan and you believe his comments about the Glazers, you are a very naive person. If he has no problems with what the Glazers have done at United I’d be very worried. It sends out all the wrong messages. I’d be very worried about debt and I’d be very worried about him increasing his shareholding over the next few months. I’d hope the new licensing rules are already in place before he could mount a leveraged takeover and if he’s going to mount one I’d expect it to be sooner rather than later. At one end of the scale we have Chelsea and City but at the other end these American owners who believe putting debt on clubs, increasing ticket prices and increasing turnover is the way to go. My view is neither are good for the game, the fans or the clubs.
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.
I do as many blogs on Tampa Bay as I do Manchester United these days because they are also in a pickle. The poor performances of the team during 2009 and 2010 saw attendances at their publicly owned stadium drop. From selling out every home game since 1996 when the American council house was built, they failed to sell out a single home NFL game. Not only that but all their home games were blacked out from tv as stated in the NFL rules. So far they’ve had poor performances, failed to get on TV and seen attendances drop by significant numbers. Now if United started coming 10-15th in the league for two seasons on the run after poor performances, saw attendances drop by 20,000-30,000 over night and then didn’t see a single home game on TV, it would be big world wide news. People would want answers and heads would roll. In the NFL they seem to take a lighter view as its only 4 teams in each league and its a different sport. After all that I’d say this is a victory for all those wanting the debt ridden owners to give some back. They have reduced ticket prices and not just by a couple of % some have dropped by 30%. 10,000s have mostly dropped by 20%. A 31% drop is a ticket in the East Upper In Old Trafford Dropping from £36 to just £24. That’s the sort of price drop in some areas of the stadium. Heres a list of the price drops.
- Adult Tickets
Lower row West sideline:
Last season – $85
Next season – $79
Upper West corner
Last season – $65
Next season – $52
East side upper level sideline
Last season – $85
Next season – $72
East upper level
Last season – $75
Next season – $52
East corner end zone
Last season – $99
Next season – $89
- Youth Tickets now cost $17.50 instead of $35
- Stadium Parking Is 40% Cheaper.
- Season Ticket Holders now receive 10% off all food, drinks and merchandise purchases.
- They have introduced a 10-month payment plan for season tickets.
The Glazers have also had the cheek to say ‘we’ve listened to our fans and made changes’ well they should listen up in England because we’ve been telling them from day one. You made a big mistake.
Alot of people say the Green & Gold is dead and nothing is happening. For me, that’s very far from the real story. This is a waiting game but there are a number of things going on in the back ground. This ranges from now until summer and we should hear news on them. First there is the case of where the missing £249m came from, to pay Glazers debt off. Andersred as ever always has he eye cast out and there is always the likely hood that could pop up again. There are also rumours of a takeover by Qatar but that’s nothing more than rumours. Until it happens we won’t know a thing. If nothing more comes by the summer months there is still hope.
This next piece is in black and white. This will happen. As I type the Government are reviewing football. Its not rumoured or made up. It is happening. They don’t like Manchester United’s debt or the culture of the Premier League. They want to sort it out. By May this year the Government will have completed its review of how to deal with football ownership and football governance. The proposals will be published during May on Football Governance and hopefully through the FA, they will start putting through the changes needed so we and many others can take a stake in their club. They know the problems and hopefully they’ll be robust.
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
Now the press have finally dropped the World Cup issue for now, I look at it in a very different way. Some may say the Russia and Qatar bids were all about money and you might be right or wrong. I go for right. What ever the question is that doesn’t really matter and England has its own problems to sort out. First off public transport if Cameron is going to promote that as one of Englands big benefit above other countries. The Germans for example have a vastly better organised transport system than we will ever have. The 2022 World Cup bid by Qatar was as serious as any other bid, unbelievable to win or not. With big more already spent one or two stadiums and with the British construction company Arup having already developed the brand new air conditioning technology for the stadiums what is very clear is it was a credible bid. Am sure many of the construction projects will involve British firms and we developed the technology for their bid to be serious. The Qatar winning 2022 bid could be blamed our British know how and knowledge. A number of us Brits will end up over there working building the stadia or other projects which go with it so its not all bad.
If you think the 2022 bid was bad, you should have seen hosts for the 2011 Asia cup bids. It included Iran, India and Qatar. No South Korean or Japanese bids as many people might expect. Also alot of the teams consist of teams like North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Jordan and Syria. States considered by the Americans as Terror states who are their with football teams. You don’t hear Asia screaming out over countries in their bid so many the press have over reacted. Qatar also won the Asia Cup bid by some way and although on a smaller scale, it should how what we can expect. Maybe we English shouldn’t have written Qatar off as a mad choice. A country saying it will be build all new stadiums, spending big money before its won any bid and they easily won the Asia Cup bid. I’d say on the face of it that’s more effort than England would have put in. I know we already have the stadiums but was the Government going to fund expansions of many other grounds or was it down to the clubs themselves to fund this. Clearly in Qatar this won’t be a problem, over here will the UK Government fund a new stadium in Liverpool or Birmingham? No, they won’t. We’d end up what we have now plus one or two improvements if the clubs choose to fund the development with possible part funding by the government. This can no way be compared to what the Russians and Qatar can put forward. So on the subject of Qatar, they are unknown but they are going to host two major footballing tournaments over the next 12 years.
Tournaments aren’t the only areas they have aimed at. Last year Manchester United played and trained there, for which Qatar paid United for. They have in the last week paid Barcelona for their first proper shirt sponsorship deal ever and as ever with Middle Eastern countries next they must have buying a European club on their agenda. Its unlikely they could ever buy a German or Spanish club. That leaves Italian football and English football as two main areas where Qatar may choose to invest in European football, such as Abu Dhabi did with Manchester City. With big money spent on two football bids, a huge sponsorship deal with Barcelona what is next?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out Qatar buying Manchester United is a possible option. With them reportedly ready to spend £41 Billion on the World Cup which lasts one summer, the country paying £1 Billion or £2 Billion or even £3 Billion for Manchester United which is a very valuable asset, must look like an easy choice for them. A cash cow machine in top European football and with this PIK debt being paid off either via a 3rd party member such as Qatar or replaced with new debt. Both for the Glazers are win win options. They can say to Qatar ‘you can buy United for £1.5 Billion’ and that shouldn’t bother them one bit. Of course they will wait until the correct moment but when the club is sold it will happen fast and take everyone by surprise.
You can follow me on twitter.com and my twitter name is @wewantglazerout
In 2010 The Manchester United Supporters Trust released the One Love football shirt, they sold 5,000 and raised £25,000 pounds for the British Heart Foundation. My Shirt Number is 849. You’ll have heard of this and maybe seen the New Green And Gold Shirt but this time £5 goes to Prostate Cancer Charity. Its sponsored by Sharp and looks the part. In my view, 10 times better than the One Love Shirt. I’ve ordered mine today £19.99 + 3.99 postage. If you have an AON shirt, it was £40 with nothing going to charity, this is a shirt fighting against Glazer and Cancer. Killing two birds with one stone. This is a warning, last time within afew weeks most sizes were totally sold out and I don’t know how many they are making this time. As fans we should aim to raise another £25,000 and make it £50,000 Total to Charity by the end of 2010. A link to the shirt is below along with a facebook link to the shirt. If you’ve already ordered it or plan to, leave please a comment or twitter me. @wewantglazerout
I’ve been watching this space very closely with great interest for the last year or so. In January The Bond was straight forward, Bank Debt Converted in Bonds. Everything went public. Since then apart from the Red Knights, nothing much has happened. Until around the mid October 2010 when rumours started flying around about Rooney wanting leave, this was later confirmed, it all went very strange. Alex Sir had a press conference, Rooney released a statement blaming the owners, Rooney talked to the owners then he signed just like that. No reasons why given. This week a story surrounding £220m debt being paid off by the Glazers on Monday has made big news. Again no reason to say how or why. Today there was very strange little story in an unknown Austrian Paper, I’ll say now this was NOT true but its a warning. There are rumours from the people in the City of London who say you try to move debts, when your ready to sell. When the club is sold, one source will get sniff and it will be on every back page by the morning. It will hit without warning and it could happen at anytime.
A leading news paper called The Telegraph which has sources inside of Manchester United has acquired some information which points to an American company called ‘springfield financial’ http://www.springfieldfinancialco.com/ Apparently they have taken on the Glazers personal debt for a tad lower rate of interest than was on the PIKs. Its not 100% true but its the most likely situation. It would make sense, along with why its been kept so quiet. Good News? err noooo. There is likely still a PIK loan at £240m just at a lower rate of Interest. Love United Hate Glazer.