Posts Tagged → Malcolm 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.
This week I’ve seen three things which have caught my eye, all have seen my eyebrows raised in a different manner. This blog is only about one! Now its great to see United have 9 Million fans on facebook but as fans we have bigger and more important fish to fry. The Manchesters United Supporters Trust “and now your thinking oh here we go” are as I type this working behind the scenes meeting with MPs and other big fish within football. Some of the Premier League big wigs for example. Most pricks to you and I. The reason is they have been working since the mid 1990s in some form or another, campaigning in government and one time they did win. They helped and stopped Sky taking control. They made it clear after that win we need to band to together and buy a stake in the club. Shareholders United is a famous old name. As ever, nothing goes to plan and Glazer took over. While the football governance inquiry is on and the Trust have said this themselfs in the past a realistic figure is one million members. There are currently 166,805 members signed up, so if that facebook group as 9 million likes, we as fans have issues. Every email address related to a United fan signed up to MUST is far more important than 1 million of those likes on myface. This football governance inquiry could and I am not saying it will (there is the smallest possibility, its tiny currently) allow us as fans to buy into the club. I’ve seen many fans say ’lets get one million fans and all put £10 in a pot’. We are already 10 steps ahead of you. Its called ‘withdrawnable share capital’ and in 2006 it had over £2m in it and MUST has increased its membership by over 100,000 in well under one year. I’ve got a sizeable amount of cash in the fund, alot more than just £10. Sign Up To MUST, stick £10 in and get every United fan you know to do the same or just sign up free and wait for that email to do so. If it doesn’t come, it doesn’t come but atleast you knew you weren’t one of the 8.9 Million who wasn’t ready.
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.
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.
Today the Glazers will report they’ve paid off the £220m PIK personal debt, people will say ‘good news’ on twitter, facebook and the press will report the same thing but they should be asking something very different. Where has that money come from?
Yesterday A Very Important Article Was Posted On The Guardian Website. You can Read it here.
This isn’t saying this is the answer to all our problems but what it does say is the Government wants the Premier League to change its ways. Even though the government have said they ‘won’t introduce laws’ yet to combat such problems, they do and are pressuring the people who matter in football to create a change. I’ve been repeating to many a fan, the way for real change in football is too pressure your MPs, The Government and the football authorities. The thing is I’ve also spoken to a number of fans who agree this is the only realistic way to go.
Protests at Old Trafford are always going to be popular and maybe they’ve been achieving more in private than we all really planned. Those protests at Old Trafford should be a meeting ground for us to spread the word. Pressure The Government. Pressure Your Local MP. Pressure The Sports Minister and Culture Minister. I don’t mean protests I mean asking them to push this to the people that be. Phone them, email them, send them letters. Nothing aggressive, just plain and simple. We want change and tell them what we want. If Your From The Manchester United Supporters Trust. Sean Bones, Duncan Drasdo, etc. I Hope Your Reading My Blog. You Need To Step This Campaign Up Ten Fold On Match Day.
You Can Follow Me On Twitter Here. @wewantglazerout
Heres a question I’ve been asking myself over the last few days. What would happen if FC United ever played Manchester United? Am not an FC United fan, I’ve never been to a game and I don’t plan too but I respect where they are going. I see FC United as the best fan run club in the country and they are best example in this country of where all clubs should go. When FC were set up, the United vs United was one of the things people talked about but I don’t think anyone ever gave it that much thought. Most people talked about the fans etc. Who would who support and so on. For me this isn’t about starting an argument because plenty of people have been there and done that. I’ve been thinking about what would happen between the two clubs. FC United vs Manchester United or in my mind FC United as ‘the fans’ vs Manchester United ‘ Malcom Glazer and his goons.’ This battle isn’t on the pitch, its off the field of play. This battle takes place in the stands, in the offices, on the phones, in the media, in the directors meetings and directors boxes. Even if the game hasn’t taken place yet, this is has already started.
I only ask these questions now because on Friday there is a very big game. FC United have sold all their 3,2000 away tickets and face a League One Rochdale Side who are in 13th place. I know its asking for alot and most FC United fans will say it won’t happen for many years, if ever but at this moment in time there is that tiny chance. Maths says a 1st round win, then a 2nd round win into a draw with Premier League sides. We’ve all seen those games which have been set up during the FA Cup and Carling Cup draws over the last few years. If FC United ever get to that point, if it be this year or in 20 years time, I guarantee now that draw will throw up United vs United.
The battle of United vs United for me if it does ever happen. Throws up some very interesting questions. First is ‘What happens if its at Old Trafford?’ and ‘What happen if its at Gigg Lane or The New Stadium?’ How are the fans and the club of FC United going to react to CES? FC United as a club hate Glazer as Standard. How will they react before, during and after the game? The same can be said for Manchester United. Its clear discussions would have to take place but would there be any middle ground? I doubt it. Manchester United won’t want the flags up and FC United will. That game could be the biggest protest against Manchester United and it won’t be just the fans. It will be the other football club on their side.
This piece gets very interesting. Lets consider the draw isn’t at Old Trafford but a draw at Gigg Lane/Ten Acres Lane. A stadium where FC United say what goes. Lets think about this. Manchester United playing in a stadium where they have no protection from the protests they’ve been trying to keep quiet for so long. It won’t just be a small section of the away crowd, it would likely be the whole stadium. Anything you can think of could be possible on that day as a fan of FC or United but would FC United as a club want to make a point or just get on with the game. I’d like to think they’d push it not only in the media but to Manchester United direct. You could do a limitless amount of things to get at the Glazers regime of ‘you do I as we say’ and make a huge point of it.
What I’d like to think what would happen in the board room is FC United as a club would invite The FA, The Sports Minister Down and all the different Leagues. Football League, Premier League etc. They put them around a table, tell them how it is, then get them to watch the game later on. We might finally get though to the footballing authorities who can make a change in football. Anyone who didn’t turn up could be a made a point of within the media. Avoiding the situation might make the government think twice about leaving it down to a corrupt group of people to deal with. The banks have their own regulators, why doesn’t football?
There was a media report the other day about FC United not wanting to give the Glazers money on match day. Too right. So questions for that are, if FC United were drawn at Old Trafford would it be a case off they totally boycott away tickets? and not move it for all the TV money in the world? They are interesting points which could make a huge statement. All these questions lead down to one thing, one man called Malcolm Glazer, 82.