Glazer SEC filing exposes cloak and dagger strategy

One thing can be said for the Glazer family: they’re happy to go a long way to keep a secret. More than four and a half thousand miles from Manchester United’s base at Old Trafford, to the corporate tax haven on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean Sea, to be precise. But while the Americans seek to minimise future tax burdens and public scrutiny, in a corporate reorganisation prompted by a US-based stock market float this summer, the Glazers have also revealed more of their dubious business model, including, for the first time an admission that the club’s “indebtedness” is a burden.

United’s official announcement, Tuesday, that the club is seeking to float on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) came as the company filed statutory Initial Public Offering (IPO) papers in the US. These papers, which form a legally binding contact with potential investors, offer some insight both into the club’s financial model, and the extent to which United’s £443 million debt has finally triggered the Glazer family into action after six years in which the club has haemorrhaged more than £500 million on interest, debt repayments and other costs.

While the number of shares to be offered and the “price range for the proposed offering” have not yet been determined, the family is potentially seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for a minority stake in the club. Indeed, while the club had been seeking up to $1 billion in the now abandoned Singapore float, a $100 million figure widely quoted in the media is little more than a placeholder for a much larger NYSE offering that must take place within the next 90 days.

Bookrunners for the proposed IPO include medium-sized investment bank Jefferies, who will lead an offering far larger than any it has previously underwritten. Credit Suisse Securities, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank Securities are also in on the float. And it is these banks that will lead marketing for the float over the next three months, drumming up support for an IPO that will reorganise the Glazers’ myriad of holding companies, and split United’s ownership structure for the first time since 2005.

The family will move United’s ultimate base to the super-secretive tax haven Cayman Islands, while as has been previously mooted, the Glazers intend to offer only class A shares to the market, with Malcolm Glazer and “his six lineal descendants” retaining a majority stake of class B shares that hold 10 times the voting power.

The filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) makes clear that investors in United’s IPO with neither get significant voting rights nor any future dividends from the offering. Investors can hope only to gain through future capital gains if United’s operating profit grows in the coming years.

Underpinning the listing is the family’s belief that United’s global appeal will reap financial rewards. The IPO prospectus makes much of the recent ‘study’ that United is “followed” by 659 million people globally, with, says the filing, a popular Facebook page that boasts more than 26 million connections.

Future growth is likely to be based on a triumvirate of financial streams: broadcasting revenues, commercial income and matchday sales.

United’s revenues have grown under the Glazer family’s ownership, with the club listing sponsorship income as rising from £37.2 million in 2009 to almost £55 million in the year ending 30 June 2011. Meanwhile, the club’s very long-term deal with Nike, which is set to be renegotiated by 2015, has grown incrementally from £23.3 million in 2009 to more than £31 million last year.

Similarly new media and mobile revenue has increased, while commercial revenue from sponsors such as Nike, Aon, DHL, Epson, Turkish Airlines and Singha has increased from £66 million three years ago to more than £100 million in 2011.

Together with increasing revenues from domestic and overseas broadcast rights, which the family has little direct control over, United intends to expand its “global retail footprint”, says the club’s SEC document, investing in a “portfolio of product licenses” that will bring United’s brand to an ever great audience.

Whatever the grand plans for financial growth the club also faces challenges in the coming years, underlined in more than 20 pages of sobering – and legally required – risk assessment. Not least the club’s debt, which the Glazer family, chief executive David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson have routinely claimed has no effect on the business.

No longer, with the SEC document concluding that debt could “adversely affect” the company’s “financial health and competitive position.”

“As of March 31, 2012, we had total indebtedness of £423.3 million,” continues the SEC filing. “Our indebtedness increases the risk that we may be unable to generate cash sufficient to pay amounts due in respect of our indebtedness. It could also have effects on our business.”

These effects, concludes the document, may include an impact on the playing team’s competitiveness, especially with some clubs – particularly Chelsea and Manchester City – spending “substantial sums” on transfer fees and salaries. This increased competition, says United, could result in team finishing lower in Premier League than in the past, jeopardising qualification for the Champions League, which would “result in a material reduction in revenue.”

Indeed, United admits that the “ability to attract and retain talented players and coaching staff,” could negatively affect brand and reputation and that “our business is dependent upon our ability to attract and retain key personnel, including players.”

This may go some way to explain United’s acquisition of Japanese international Shinji Kagawa for £17 million this summer, with Ferguson’s side desperately requiring creativity from midfield after a season in which the club finished trophyless, and the Glazers’ business model hinged on global reach. Indeed, United’s “popularity in certain countries or regions may depend, at least in part, on fielding certain players from those countries/regions,” admits the SEC document.

But while many of the risk factors drawn up by the IPO prospectus are unlikely – terrorism, natural disaster, or a downturn in football’s popularity, for example – it is the financials that will concern United fans most. Indeed, the IPO filing demonstrates, not for the first time, just how frequently the club leaks cash due to the Glazer family’s business model, including “£4.8 million in professional advisor fees in connection with the proposed public offering of shares.”

Moreover, the filing also gives some insight into the mysterious repayment of the family’s Payment-in-Kind hedge fund loans, concluding that “£111.1 million of interest payments were made in 2011 in connection with the repayment of our payment in kind loan.”

By contrast the £7.2 million United paid in ‘consultancy fees’, in the fiscal year to 30 June 2011, to Red Football LLC – the Glazers’ holding company – is a drop in the debt ocean. The Glazers also took consultancy fees of £2.9 million in 2009, and £3.1 million in 2010.

The Glazers also drew loans from the club of £10 million between December 2008 and November 2010 at a nominal 5.5 per cent interest, although that is somewhat moot given that the club also paid the family a £10 million dividend in 2012.

Despite the relative transparency of United’s IPO filing, these small morsels of financial information may remain rare, although the club will be required to make quarterly filings with the SEC post-offering. After all “following the offering, we will be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange rules,” states the filing, “and we intend to take advantage of exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements.”

But many eyes will remain on United in the coming weeks as the family gears up for a listing in a tetchy post-Facebook IPO market. And it is the market that will eventually determine whether the Glazer family has struck the right chord with an IPO that offers investors a very limited, and admittedly risky deal.

Should the market buy into the pitch, then United should enter a new far less indebted world in the coming months. After all, the Glazers filing promises to “use all of our net proceeds from this offering to reduce our indebtedness” by exercising options to redeem in aggregate principal senior secured bond notes that are due to mature in 2017.

Whether that leaves United better able to compete remains an open question. After all, while the club may become – if the IPO is successful – far less indebted, it will still be owned and completely controlled by the Glazer family. A family that has taken seven years to conclude that its debt-fuelled takeover was damaging to the club.

Key Takeaways

  • United will offer an as yet undetermined number of shares at an unspecified price on the New York Stock Exchange within the next 90 days
  • The total value is likely to far exceed the $100 million ‘placeholder’ noted in the club’s SEC filing
  • The club “intends” to use all proceeds to pay down debt, which currently stands at £423 million
  • The club will offer only Class A shares that have much reduced voting rights; no dividend will be offered to investors
  • United’s ultimate holding company will be based in the tax haven of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • United, through a myriad of holding companies, paid more than £111 million in payment-in-kind loan interest in recent years
  • It is estimated by various analysts that the club has spent more than £500 million on debt, interests and other costs associated with the Glazer family’s business model over the past seven years
  • United has finally admitted that “indebtedness” is a risk to the club’s business model and competitiveness, on and off the pitch
  • Despite this, Glazer family took a £10 million loan from the club in 2008-2010, and paid itself a £10 million dividend in 2012.
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Comments

  1. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Dannii’s at home wanking like a maniac… this is how proper business is done… innit?

  2. Sidsidney says

    Someone on the Caf said don’t worry, debt and credit are the way of the world, it’ll be fine

    He obviously hasn’t seen any news since 2008

  3. Jonathan says

    Credit is the way of the world correct and there is room to suggest that some leverage is healthy for a corporation however-
    1- Said credit is only beneficial if used for growth of the corporation- unlike credit which is used to fund regular operations or, in united’s case, the takeover of the corporation.
    2- There is little to do between profitability of a football club and it winning trophies or competing. This is especially correct when the owners take out whatever cash and profits they can from the club, as is the case with the glazers.

  4. Jonathan says

    We, or to be more precise unuted supporters who dont feel the glazers are bad for the club, should take a close look at arsenal, whose average profits have risen 408% since 2007 in comparison to the years of the emirates planning and construction (2002-2006) but their net spend on transfers reduced by 253% during the same period, and their success on the football pitch decreased materially.
    Even without the debt, glazers probably will not invest any more than required in order to qualify to the CL every season.

  5. Denton Davey says

    I don’t think that Jonathan’s comparison of UTD with TheArse is especially apposite because in “our case” the most astonishing thing about the last six years has been the combination of multiple trophies AND skyrocketing commercial revenue. These things are not unconnected. TheArse, meanwhile, are happy to keep their boat afloat – call that WengerNomics, if you want.

    Is the Glazers’ ownership good or bad ? Leaving aside the issue of debt -which is a big ask ! – their period of ownership has been one of multiple trophies and skyrocketing commercial revenues. That’s incontrovertible. The issue of “debt” is misunderstood – it’s hardly hamstrung the on-field performance or its income streams. Sure, if the Qataris (or the ManShitty Sheikh) had bought a majority interest in the club from the horse owners, there would be no “debt” and the UTD team would be filled with characters like Carlitos rather than, say, AV7. Or more “contributors” like Dimmy – or Dzeko !

    Of course, SAF has been instrumental in presiding over the last six/seven years of glory but he has been able to do so without having his hands tied. The only financial constraint on his actions (that I can see evidence of) is that the Glazernomic business-model keeps wages at roughly 46% of income; but that seems to have been a carry-over from the business-plan of the preceding regime.

    OVerall, my view is that the Glazers made an astute business decision to undertake a leveraged buyout of a “business” with as much “growth potential” as MUFC, whose value has risen from about 800,000,000 to 2,000,000,000 in six/seven years. It’s called “growing the business” and it’s never done without undertaking substantial risk – or getting substantial rewards when it’s done right.

    I’m no fan of this economic system but it’s the one we live in nowadays – the alternative is nostalgia or futile MUST-like posturing. So, my view is to ignore the owners – and their manipulations – and enjoy the product on the field.

    Does anyone realistically think that another ownership structure could have delivered better entertainment than we’ve been privileged to witness over the past six/seven years ?

    • Jonathan says

      Arsenal’s boat is much more than “afloat”; in the six months ending 30.11.2011 they recorded profits of just under £40m. If Arsenal had wanted, they could have more than competed with United. However their (AMERICAN) owner is quite happy with them reaching the CL every year and him reaping the profits. This system culminated in Wenger’s “CL qualification is like winning a trophy” statement from last season.
      Who’s to say the Glazers aren’t leading us in the same direction? They inherited a wonderful playing squad to which, admittedly, they contributed very little. I don’t think you’d find anyone who knows anything about football who wouldn’t say that the only reason United still succeed with the current squad is the presence of Sir Alex.
      So the question must be asked – what happens when he retires? Who’s to say the Glazers won’t adopt Mr. Kroenke’s business model and be happy with simply reaching the CL every year, which would require significantly less investment in the playing squad whilst retaining commercial and media revenue levels?

    • says

      Denton – you confuse cause and effect. United’s trophies are despite not because of the Glazers. Commercial revenues may have increased but the old adage that revenue is vanity and profit is sanity applies. United has made little (or in some cases negative) profit on each of the last seven years. Debt and the consequences have been highly damaging to the club’s bottom line.

    • Damian Garside says

      Forgive me for sounding stupid in response to this enlightening piece of football economics coming from a man of erudition (or paid Glazer apologist-lackey)BUT

      (a) comparisons to City and the City players we might have had to suffer in our team in Mansour had taken over United do tend to fall a bit flat in the light of their having won the title, and in their possessing a player of the calibre of Aguero

      and

      (b) the suggestions that we have been entertained (Gladiator Maximus: `are you not entertained?’) do seem to be without substance given the number of United fans devrying negative tactics, lack of flair and of attacking foortball at OT

      please enlighten me some more

  6. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Fuck off… the success is in spite of the Glazers, not because of them.

    The “skyrocketing commercial revenue”, you talk about, is secondary to the “skyrocketing revenue”, generated by squeezing the matchday fan to point of nosebleeds.

    And if you call some of the turgid shite we’ve been force fed since the Glazer take over “entertainment”, then I can definitely see why you’d make such a stupid argument.

  7. Bill says

    Anyone who thinks the Glazers owning the united has been beneficial to the club needs their head checking.

  8. Denton Davey says

    I don’t give a flying-fuck about the issue of “ownership” – I watch UTD (and have since 1958) because it’s my team and, generally, they’ve been “entertaining”.

    Was last year’s model so much worse than anything we’ve had for the previous six/seven years – yeah, injury-blighted and crappy in cup competitions BUT joint-top with 89 points (supposedly denied five points from bad refereeing) and scoring more goals than the champions of the previous season.

    Comparing the present team with the one from 2008 is, of course, an interesting exercise. That group was at their peak (although Alfonso Bedoya seems to think that it was “turgid shite” when TheLads won the CL in 2008), this one isn’t – yet. Will they improve ? Will they reach a CL-championship level ? Did the Glazers tell SAF to buy Dimmy for 30,000,000 or Ashley Young for 18,000,000 ? How many of the kids in the reserves have been good enough to make the jump to the first team since the mid-90s ?

    It seems to me that most (if not all) of the Glazer-bashing comes from a deluded sense of entitlement. And that delusion has been force-fed by jealousy that CSKALondon and ManShitty spend, spend, spend without any restrictions.

    UTD have always been the richest club in England – even now the wage bill (which is unusual in being kept under control – a kind of self-administered FFP) is third highest and the business model generates huge income while the owner’s debts have been paid down. MUFC is a cash cow – it was for the Edwards family, it was for the two Irish-guys-with-horses (who pissed them off ?), and it is now for the Glazers. MUFC used to pay out millions in dividends to these “investors”; now MUFC pays out millions in interest to cover the owners’ leveraged buy-out. What’s the difference ? I don’t see much of a difference in that the team has been – and still is – a capitalist enterprise.

    BUT what I do see is that since 2006 MUFC has won four EPL championships and been denied two others by the smallest of margins- TheMartinAtkinsonMoment that decided that Didier Drogba was “onside” when he was actually two yards behind the last defender and last year when it was determined that UTD were denied five points because of poor refereeing. In the CL, UTD were in three finals, one semi-final and one-quarter-final while missing out the knock-out stage once. Do you want to blame the Glazers for DarrenFletcherinho’s ongoing ailment ? how about TheWayneBoy’s injury in 2010 against Bayern ? what about Rafael’s red card against Bayern ? what about Antonio Valencia’s miss against Blackburn in 2010 ? Shit happens – live in the real world; it’s sport, if it was predictable then it wouldn’t be interesting or “entertaining”.

    Those of you who want to blame Glazernomics for the bad stuff and ignore the good things that have happened need to give your heads a shake and quit asking like Chicken Little, crying out that the sky is falling down.

    Could it be better ? sure; but, equally, it could be worse – when was the last time TheArse used its revenues to keep its best players or win a championship ? is Old Trafford now call Qatari Airways Field ? It’s OK to dislike the Glazers’ leveraged-ownership but don’t let the reality that our team has been performing at an extraordinary level since 2006 get in the way of coming to an even-handed judgement of Glazernomics.

    • Snoopcousins says

      As Alfonso mentioned the last few years successes have been I’m spite of the Glazers..not because of them!!!
      What investment have they made in the team? MINUS investment by selling Romaldo and not spending on a replacement etc

  9. Jonathan says

    Right then Denton
    Ask Liverpool supporters if debt and ownership should concern supporters.
    And while you’re at it, ask yourself if the fact that the only interest that the glazers have in the club is the amount of cash they can take out of it should concern you.
    Maybe it will once fergie’s gone and then we’ll really have to envy chelski and citeh

  10. Denton Davey says

    Comparing UTD and LiverPoo is like the proverbial apples-and-oranges. Gillette and Hicks were not only under-financed but the clubs’ revenue streams were dry, the stadium is a wreck with limited capacity, and – most of all – the players didn’t prove to be much good at football.

    Sure, in a complete and utter disaster-scenario – a global economic meltdown – UTD will be exposed by the Glazers’ debt. But in any realistic scenario of business-as-usual, the revenue streams are healthy and growing, the stadium is bought and paid for -75,000 sell-out for every EPL match, and – to mirror the last point – over the past six years the players have proven to be quite good at playing footie. Not a bad manager, either.

    So, if the GlazersUTD go belly-up and have to sell their second-best asset – they actually make a lot more money from owning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers whose television revenues dwarf those of MUFC – then there will be a line-up to purchase the club and its assets UNLESS there’s a global economic meltdown in which case no footie club would be “safe”.

    “the only interest that the glazers have in the club is the amount of cash they can take out of it should concern you” I don’t’ see why that should concern me ? During their period of ownership, the on-field product hasn’t been doing badly and that’s my main concern.

    About SAF’s successor – who knows ? He doesn’t seem keen on leaving soon and I’d be happy to see Ole-Gunnar get a few years’ more experience before taking over.

    About transfers – I’d actually prefer to see a team composed of eleven guys from the Manchester area but, hey, SIr Bobby is a Geordie, Duncan Edwards was from Dudley, Denis Law is Scottish, Georgie Best was from Belfast, Keane-o is Irish, TheWayneBoy is a scourer, and CR7 was from Madeira.

    The days of Jock Stein’s eleven GlasgowLads are well and truly over so most players are “mercenaries” but not all are money-grubbers like Tevez, Nasri, Van Persie, and Hazard. To me, it’s kind of warm-and-fuzzy to hear men like Dimmy, NinjaEvra, and KagawaBunga talking about actually WANTING to play in the red shirt at the Theatre of Dreams. These guys happily accept a weekly cheque paid for by the Glazers. And, if they’re happy then so am I.

  11. marlon says

    What is the point of registering in grand cayman if we’re paying US tax? Where do we save money? As far as I know the tax would be higher for us in the US than the UK.

  12. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    “It seems to me that most (if not all) of the Glazer-bashing comes from a deluded sense of entitlement.”
    Are you for real???
    Why is it deluded to think that any money I spend on my football club… should go to the football club… and not into the pockets of some greedy, parasites… soul sucking swine, who never gave a shit about football, but saw a gap in the fence from 5,000 miles away… and swooped down like a plague of locusts… shit out a great turd of debt all over the club, and told the fans, “you’re cleaning that up”.
    I resent that immensely Mate… and you blame my hatred of the Glazers… on “a deluded sense of entitlement.”
    You’re are one very arrogant twat!

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  13. Bill says

    500 mill on debt repayments straight out of the door. Unreal. All that money generated just to go out to give us what exactly? I’m sure considering the state of many places worldwide that money could be used better. Absolute parasites, the lowest of the low.

  14. Greenhoff the Great says

    Bill, Well said. (Excuse the newbie here…) For all of the criticism of Abramovich and Mansour , at least they want their teams to succeed on the pitch – win trophies. Now , the Glazers idea of success is very different which is to merely reach positions in the different competitions e.g.top four in premier league ,QF in the CL etc, so as to reach financial targets . A trophy is a bonus but not a necessity…The Glazers could hardly care about winning trophies,or about United . Look at the clubs treatment of some the 1968 team before the 2011 CL Final.And look at their ownership of the Bucs ..promising youth players,freebies ,older players bought on the cheap, a rookie coach who was recently fired .Some of the Bucs policies are starting to be used at United. And how the Glazers wont spend any of their own cash (alleged billions)on United (unlike Abramovich and Mansour with their clubs)but will buy luxury apartments for themselves , pledge with another family to build a new sports stadium at Tulane University in Louisiana etc. Assuming they dont use any of the money they have taken from United in the form of fees etc, the Glazers certainly have money elsewhere which they will spend on what suits them. I wouldnt be surprised if their real reason to rush towards an IPO in the current unfavourable conditions after 7 years something had to do with their pledge to Tulane university, or the Bucs needing a cash injection in the future or even related to the disappearence of the PIK debt earlier.Our misfortune is to have leeches claiming to be biilionaire ownners…

    • Damian Garside says

      Just for the record, I pointed out during the previous NFL season that my beloved 49ers thumped the Bucs something like 48-6. The Glazers were in charge when the Buccaneers won the Superbowl for the first time– but it appears to have been downhill all the way since then, and who is to say that they would not let the same decline occur at OT provided a certain profit margin remained intact?

  15. Denton Davey says

    “You’re are one very arrogant twat!”

    Like it or not, it’s a business and has been for a very long time.

    Like it or not, Louis Edwards and his family turned MUFC into a PLC.

    Like it or not, the shareholders of MUFC PLC were bought out by some “investors” in a leveraged-buyout.

    Like it or not, leveraged buy-outs are not illegal but part and parcel of contemporary capitalism.

    Like it or not, Glazernomics has brought with it BOTH huge debt-payments at the same time as MUFC has had six years of outstanding achievement.

    Like it or not, it’s simply not relevant to suggest that SAF was instrumental in achieving those trophies IN SPITE OF Glazernomics. The OldFootieKnight got into bed with these guys – no one forced him to do that just like no one forced him to spend 30 million on Dimmy or 18 million on Ashley Young.

    Like it or not, under Glazernomics has been accompanied by a massive rise in commercial revenues AND a near-tripling of MUFC’s value.

    Like it or not, under the conditions of modern capitalism – and leveraged buy-outs – the risk-taker has to spend money to make money. And if you don’t like paying for that then you can go off with the romantics in MUST or the absurd Red Knights and tilt at windmills.

    Like it or not, MUFC wages are the third highest in the EPL – yet still confined to 46% of turnover.

    what’s arrogant about pointing to these very basic facts ?

  16. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    What’s arrogant, is you presuming to tell anyone how they should feel about being fleeced out of their money… just to pay for someone elses investment schemes.
    Up your arse with your, “deluded sense of entitlement”.
    I’m entitled to expect more from my football club, than for it to become just another business model in the world of, “contemporary capitalism”… I bet you got a bit of a hard on when you wrote that, didn’t you?
    The world is going down the toilet thanks to, “contemporary capitalism” and the corrupt and greedy who thrive on it… and no matter how bad it gets, there will always be people like you who like to spout ten yards of shit, in all the latest FTSE jargon, about how that’s “the way of things”, and if you can’t keep up then get out of the way…
    The sad truth is… you’re right… that is the “way of things”… but not everyone is happy with this way of things… and some of us like to complain that, this way of things… is seriously flawed!
    And just as your “this is the way of things” argument might be right.
    So is our complaint that… “this way of things”… is shit, and ruining the world!
    And we have got every right to feel very pissed off!
    You dig?

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  17. Denton Davey says

    “You dig” Yeah, I get your drift and I don’t disagree BUT while I’m not “happy with this way of things” it seems to me to be incredibly short-sighted to look at the Glazers and see the devil. They’re a sign of the times – nothing more, nothing less. Getting all hot-and-bothered about them might be good to let off steam but, unfortunately, “it is what it is”.

    AND unless you want to walk away from MUFC to prove to yourself that you’re somehow holier-than-thou, then you’re just pissing-in-the-wind. AND if you insist on pissing in the wind then you’d better duck when it blows back your way.

  18. 19 and Counting says

    5m for Park is good business although I will miss him. He was a great servant and came up with some big performances for us esp. In the CL. Time to move on though…
    I’d assume SAF has plans to bring in another CM – Moutinho a good possibility – and wouldn’t leave himself short of options in MF. I just hope he doesn’t play guys OOP because we don’t have enough cover this season. I will scream if Jones is in central MF and Valencia is playing RB.

  19. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    “You dig” Yeah, I get your drift and I don’t disagree BUT while I’m not “happy with this way of things” it seems to me to be incredibly short-sighted to look at the Glazers and see the devil. They’re a sign of the times – nothing more, nothing less. Getting all hot-and-bothered about them might be good to let off steam but, unfortunately, “it is what it is”.
    AND unless you want to walk away from MUFC to prove to yourself that you’re somehow holier-than-thou, then you’re just pissing-in-the-wind. AND if you insist on pissing in the wind then you’d better duck when it blows back your way.

    No… that’s the point… I don’t have to just accept it… first of all… I will no longer financially support United under the Glazers… no game days, no merchandise, no Sky sports… none of it… and even though, I’m losing interest in the game entirely, largely because of parasites such as the Glazers, who are infesting the game from one end to the other, I will not go quietly… I will kick and scream the whole way… I will wag my bony finger at people like you, who make excuses for this “way of things”, and I will try and tell as many people as will listen, exactly how I feel and why… some, like Dannii-fuckin-tronix… will take the piss… good for him… he’s a twat anyway… but some people agree with me, to varying degrees…
    The problem is apathy… plenty of people pissed off… but not enough willing to do something about it.
    But even just complaining is better than nothing… it’s all part if the education process… informing those that are even too apathetic to pay attention to what these leeches are doing with their money, and their club.
    We have been successful… you are right… but the Glazers didn’t come to United, to a team in need of repair… it was already strong, healthy and successful… they rode that success further, without ever needing to spend, and when you consider the sale of
    Ronaldo, the increased revenue from commercial sources, and fan bleeding… as far as on field success, what can the Glazers actually take credit for?
    Nothing!
    But arseholes like Alan Sugar actually believe United fans owe the Glazers a bit more “gratitude”…
    Fuck him… fuck Dannii… and fuck anyone else who thinks the Glazers are anything but greedy, selfish, heartless, soulless, parasites… they are good for nothing.
    Nothing but a good target, for me to aim my bile bitter phlegm at.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  20. AnantaxAnantax says

    Commenter said:
    Does anyone realistically think that another ownership structure could have delivered better entertainment than we’ve been privileged to witness over the past six/seven years ?

    Errr. The answer is unequivocally YES!! There is no clear evidence that Glazers is tha CAUSE of our past six years of entertainment and success. I am no stranger to leveraged buyouts, and while I am emotionally neutral on the subject, I still cannot firmly say that success of past five years is cause BY glazers, or is it despite them? perhaps increase in commercial revenue can be attributed to them. But thats about it.

    Having said that I do support the IPO. Anything that reduces the debt burden and the resulting cash strain is a positive to United. And I for one am optimistic that Glazers are business savvy enough to leave more cash to attract and retain players once the debt and interest burdens are gone,

    I still maintain they wont get the valuation they want….but that maybe just the pessimist in me.,.

  21. Denton Davey says

    Anantax – no one thought that the Glazers would get such a huge response to the last bond sale but they raised U$ 500,000,000 in a few hours. I know that the IPO is a different kettle of fi$h but, as you acknowledge, they are “business savvy” and, undoubtedly, they have highly-knowledgeable advisors, too.

    What puzzles me is why anyone would plunk down hard ca$h for a “share” that has no guaranteed dividend or voting rights.

    BUT we live in strange times – the money-men are sloshing around with plenty of excess ca$h and nowhere to put it, and businesses have huge ca$h surpluses and don’t know what to do with that money. Why else is the U$ dollar so valuable – where else can you invest money ? Euro bonds ? Sterling ? Property in over-valued hot-spots ? Commodities in a world economy that is teetering ? which way will it tilt ?

    Maybe the Glazers’ IPO seems like a safe refuge in which to park money. The other thing about the “business” of UTD that puzzles me concerns MUFC’s potential for growth – for sure, if UTD could sell their TV rights (like RM or Barca) then that would be a huge bounty but that doesn’t seem likely under the present EPL regime. Is the mooted “super league” possible ? What about internet pay-per-view ? or advertising during televised games on the internet ?

    Again, we are living in strange new economic times – twenty years ago who would have imagined that Facebook would exist, let alone be worth billions and billions and billions of dollars ? Same goes for SmartPhones, Google, and so on. A recognized “brand” seems to be a licence to print money and since the early ’90s MUFC has been the leader in monetizing sport. The big unknown is if there is a new frontier for MUFC (and others) to exploit.

    And, yes, Alfonso Bedoya, it’s all about “exploiting” customers’ imagined “needs”. That’s how capitalism has saved itself since about 1900 – use advertising to create new wants and turn those new wants into “needs” so as to exploit the consumers and rake in their ca$h.

    • says

      Denton – IPO is a lot riskier investment than the bond. The bond guaranteed returns of 8.25-8.75% over seven years. The IPO does nothing of the sort. Of course the value of shares may go up. They may not. As the ads say: the value of your investment may go down as well as up!

  22. marlon says

    Just remembered our kit campaign – ‘Made of Manchester’ – and now registered in the Cayman Islands and paying tax to the U.S.

  23. Sidsidney says

    marlon said:
    Just remembered our kit campaign – ‘Made of Manchester’ – and now registered in the Cayman Islands and paying tax to the U.S.

    Tbf Nike pay their fare share of tax

    Oh, hang on

    • Stevie D says

      Correct. Kevin then bought $10m of secured notes. Basically, it’s like Kevin loaning $10m to the club. He charges the club an interest rate of 8.375% per annum…so the club pay him £837,500 per year for this loan. And the club will then have to repay this $10m to Kevin when the note expires.

      Also, Manchester United lent the Glazer Offspring £10m at very favourable interest rates (5.5%….as opposed to a market rate of 11%), for “personal usage”, in 2008.
      Then Manchester United issued a dividend of £10m to the family in 2011, which was used to pay back the £10m said loan to the club.
      So basically, the club paid the family a dividend of £10m….I’m guessing they went about it this convoluted way for tax purposes? But don’t quote me on that.

      Technically, what they’ve done is not illegal, it’s just disgusting to see the Glazers treat the club like a cash machine. And it’s certainly not in the best interest of the club.

      • says

        Stevie D – as one article put it this week:

        Now we don’t know what that looks like to you, but to us it appears to be borrowing money from your club to buy debt issued by your club and charging your club interest on it, paying the interest to yourself, of course, and in the end, your club paying you a dividend which you can use to clear the original borrowing from the club. Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to where the profit on the deal ended up?

  24. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Of course it’s in the best interest of the club.

    The Glazers are very business savvy, and they’re only looking out for their investment.

    This is just the way things are done in the business world.

    Grow up ffs…

  25. Sheffield red says

    I’m sorry but I blame Fergie for a lot of this. If he’d have spoken out there’s no way they would have got their grubby hands on united. Instead he looked after number one as usual and sold us down the river to a family of parasites who are prepared to whore this great club out to all and sundry. Calls himself a socialist? He’s about as left wing as Maggie Thatcher.

    His selfishness has helped land this club in so much debt that it has now resulted, as even the Glazers admit, to been unable to attract the top players. Contrast that to the PLC days when we didn’t owe a penny and routinely smashed the transfer fee record.

    However, the coup de grace has been the absolute shafting of the fans. From been one of the cheapest clubs to watch in the top flight we are now one of the dearest, leading to even greater sanitisation of Old Trafford and thousands of local fans no longer been able to afford to watch their team.

    Fergie has given me some great moments in my life and I find it sad that his record has been stained by his refusal to do nothing to prevent the raping of our club. I bet Sir Matt is turning in his grave.

  26. Sidsidney says

    Commenter said:
    Correct. Kevin then bought $10m of secured notes. Basically, it’s like Kevin loaning $10m to the club. He charges the club an interest rate of 8.375% per annum…so the club pay him £837,500 per year for this loan. And the club will then have to repay this $10m to Kevin when the note expires.

    Also, Manchester United lent the Glazer Offspring £10m at very favourable interest rates (5.5%….as opposed to a market rate of 11%), for “personal usage”, in 2008.
    Then Manchester United issued a dividend of £10m to the family in 2011, which was used to pay back the £10m said loan to the club.
    So basically, the club paid the family a dividend of £10m….I’m guessing they went about it this convoluted way for tax purposes? But don’t quote me on that.

    Technically, what they’ve done is not illegal, it’s just disgusting to see the Glazers treat the club like a cash machine. And it’s certainly not in the best interest of the club.

    So we’re indebted – AND paying interest – to the Glazers; the people who burdened us with so much debt in the first place

    And that’s legal

    And we should just accept it because it’s the way things are

  27. Greenhoff the Great says

    Ed ,Your opinion./thoughts .. Do you think this rush to get an IPO might be connected somehow to the “disappearence” of the PIK debt.? A) I have read elsewhere that the Glazers may have paid off the PIK debt ,using another loan which may have had some conditions relating to reduction of the Glazers total indebtness within a payment deadline., with the failure to do so maybe resulting in some sort of penalty e.g. higher rate of repayment. B)Another claim is that the Glazers are also trying to rush the IPO by September so that they could avoid waiting for the audited accounts for 2012 to be available to potential investors,which would show the big hit caused by the CL elimination last season..(trying to hoodwink potential investors…).Most of the info would be in Q4 of 2012 so the Glazers are trying to avoid publishing the figures…

    • says

      Greenhoff – I’d only have believed that if the F-1 filing to the SEC hadn’t specifically said the proceeds would be used to reduced indebtedness. Since the float also precludes paying dividends for “the Foreseeable future” it’s also hard to see the Glazers extracting dividends just yet.

      That said – the wording is ambiguous enough to allow dividends after a period of time, and it’s interesting to note that dividends would effectively be payable to Class A and B shares equally. I’d also say that in (the unlikely) event that the IPO is over subscribed the Glazers could issue more shares and take the rest for themselves to pay down the mysterious loan they took out in the US last year.

  28. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    This is an outrageous situation, no matter how you look at it… and typically, the Glazer defenders like Dannii, and that John twat are nowhere to be seen.
    I suppose when it’s impossible to defend the indefensible, you just keep your head down and say nothing at all… but when you’ve been such an arrogant, annoying asshole about it… the honourable thing to do would be to own up, and say you got it wrong…
    Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
    Anyway… I’m having my doubts, if everything they’re doing really is legal… I mean, the move to Delaware was shifty enough… you don’t want prying eyes looking at your business policies if they’re going to upset the paying customer… but the move to the Cayman Islands stinks of more serious tax issues to me.
    The Glazers aren’t stupid, I know… they may be unethical parasites, but not stupid… having said that… have they got themselves into a potentially catastrophic situation???
    When they started this piracy, they may have had a straightforward strategy, but surely the global financial troubles have skewed all their plans …
    Dammit, I wish they’d fuck off.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

    • ja says

      I think the glazer offspring are stupid. Malc was the greedy grasping greenmailing brain of that particular family. His spawn seem to be pillows whose opinion is the indent of the last banker/financial advisor to speak to them. The bond was more expensive than the bank loans the bond replaced, now the IPO makes the whole expense of the bond seem stupid with early redemption penalties.
      One of the Glazer lackey arguments in favour of the gimps was they could make decisions quicker when not having to report to the stock exchange material events first, but that will change once the company is listed again.
      As for the Denton type, Denton is an area of Manchester traditionally famous for hat makers. And we know all about Mad as a Hatter, which came about from them inhaling the mercury used in hat making.

  29. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    “One of the Glazer lackey arguments in favour of the gimps was they could make decisions quicker when not having to report to the stock exchange material events first, but that will change once the company is listed again.”

    Well not really… not if the stories are true, and share holders will have no real voting rights.

    • ja says

      It is nothing to do with the voting rights side of it, a listed company is obliged to report significant material events that can affect the business to the stock exchange and therefore the value of the shares.

      The argument by the pro-gimps was that not having to report to the stock exchange made life simpler for the club. That spurious argument now goes out of the window anyway.

  30. Dinkinflicker says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    This is an outrageous situation, no matter how you look at it… and typically, the Glazer defenders like Dannii, and that John twat are nowhere to be seen.
    I suppose when it’s impossible to defend the indefensible, you just keep your head down and say nothing at all… but when you’ve been such an arrogant, annoying asshole about it… the honourable thing to do would be to own up, and say you got it wrong…
    Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
    Anyway… I’m having my doubts, if everything they’re doing really is legal… I mean, the move to Delaware was shifty enough… you don’t want prying eyes looking at your business policies if they’re going to upset the paying customer… but the move to the Cayman Islands stinks of more serious tax issues to me.
    The Glazers aren’t stupid, I know… they may be unethical parasites, but not stupid… having said that… have they got themselves into a potentially catastrophic situation???
    When they started this piracy, they may have had a straightforward strategy, but surely the global financial troubles have skewed all their plans …
    Dammit, I wish they’d fuck off.

    Sums up my feelings perfectly. And the most perplexing thing for me, is the lack of outrage (in terms of actions) amongst the fans. Apart from the odd fleeting protest and the creation of FCUM by a hard core of a few thousand, wheres the public outcry? We should be tearing buildings down to get some sort of message across. We’ve had the green and gold campaign , which basically amounted to a bit of distraction for some fans at a time when we were particulalrly dire to watch. Where’s the carnage? Where’s the sort of activity that would send an undeniable message to the Glazers, Fergie, Gill and the world at large? It may be the repressed student in me, but where’s the fucking rebellion?
    Apathy can be a very dangerous thing.
    EDIT – and to me, Fergie is to blame. One word from him and there’d be uproar. To stay silent would at least be something, but he’s backed these cunts publicly!

  31. Sidsidney says

    Dinkinflicker said:
    Sums up my feelings perfectly. And the most perplexing thing for me, is the lack of outrage (in terms of actions) amongst the fans. Apart from the odd fleeting protest and the creation of FCUM by a hard core of a few thousand, wheres the public outcry? We should be tearing buildings down to get some sort of message across. We’ve had the green and gold campaign , which basically amounted to a bit of distraction for some fans at a time when we were particulalrly dire to watch. Where’s the carnage? Where’s the sort of activity that would send an undeniable message to the Glazers, Fergie, Gill and the world at large? It may be the repressed student in me, but where’s the fucking rebellion?
    Apathy can be a very dangerous thing.

    Where is the action, the rebellion and the carnage against things more important than a football club, like the banks? The dismantling of the NHS? The corrupt media?
    Since the 2008 recession the institutions that run our economic and democratic systems – the banks, the politicians, the media and the police – have been exposed as either useless, greedy, racist or corrupt (in some cases all of those things). So where are the barricades. There aren’t any. There’s just minor discontent on Question Time.

    • DamnedUnited says

      From the outside looking in, the British public has become very servile over a 1000 years (and more?) of repression by their ‘betters’, a.k.a the nobility.

      You’ve looked the other way and praised them and defended them regardless of their unbridled greed but you now balk when the bankers show some greed? The bankers are now the real ‘noble class’.

      It’s pretty much the same everywhere else though. This slave mentality makes people forgive greed and defend it by saying, “well you would try to earn money any which way you could, too”.

      When people try to make a difference, they are derided and publicly ridiculed. Public executions have only been replaced by public smear campaigns through the media. The effect is the same.

  32. Dinkinflicker says

    sidney said:
    Where is the action, the rebellion and the carnage against things more important than a football club, like the banks? The dismantling of the NHS? The corrupt media?

    Since the 2008 recession the institutions that run our economic and democratic systems – the banks, the politicians, the media and the police – have been exposed as either useless, greedy, racist or corrupt (in some cases all of those things). So where are the barricades. There aren’t any. There’s just minor discontent on Question Time.

    I take the point and don’t neccessarily disagree, but it doesn’t change my view.

    I think people have become apathetic and weary towards political scandals – they happen so often its become the norm. Politicians are seen as corrupt, incompetent, or both, regardless of which party rules the roost. I think people are also somewhat divided by political and social opinions, whilst many simply don’t understand the implications of political or corporate decisions on their daily lives.

    Football is slightly different, and amongst the masses is generally considered to incite greater (if illogical) passions, interest and sense of belonging. Regardless of backgrounds, football clubs unite communities within a common interest. And United’s ‘community’ is bigger than most, if not all. Where’s our unity?

    Can you imagine this Glazerbollocks happening at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan or Bayern? It just wouldn’t be allowed to happen. There’d be utter carnage.

    If this thing goes tits up, which with every passing press release looks more likely to me, will enough Reds be able to look themselves in the mirror and say they did enough?

  33. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    sidney said:
    Where is the action, the rebellion and the carnage against things more important than a football club, like the banks? The dismantling of the NHS? The corrupt media?

    Since the 2008 recession the institutions that run our economic and democratic systems – the banks, the politicians, the media and the police – have been exposed as either useless, greedy, racist or corrupt (in some cases all of those things). So where are the barricades. There aren’t any. There’s just minor discontent on Question Time.

    I think the problem is todays youth… change through by rebellion, has always been the sport of young people… older people lose their appetite for it, and get too caught up in just trying to make ends meet, and providing for their families.

    There are still plenty of kids out there with the will to fight… but it seems to me that most of todays kids have become too materially controlled… the MTV generation is well and truly heeled… more concerned with what Rihanna got up to with Chris Brown, than what Cameron got up to with Rebekah Brooks.

    The screws are winning, and I don’t think we’ll ever see the likes of the late 60s again.

    • DamnedUnited says

      Right, blame the youth. We wouldn’t be in this situation if the hippie generation had actually focussed on what they set out to do and not ended up being junkies on streets around the world.

  34. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    I think the problem is todays youth… change through by rebellion, has always been the sport of young people… older people lose their appetite for it, and get too caught up in just trying to make ends meet, and providing for their families.
    There are still plenty of kids out there with the will to fight… but it seems to me that most of todays kids have become too materially controlled… the MTV generation is well and truly heeled… more concerned with what Rihanna got up to with Chris Brown, than what Cameron got up to with Rebekah Brooks.
    The screws are winning, and I don’t think we’ll ever see the likes of the late 60s again.

    The youth aren’t to blame. Material items are of greater importance to them nowadays, aye, but who’s fault is that? Not theirs. It’s adults who work for adveritising companies that convince them they need to buy something. Young people are just another exploitable group, and it’s been that way since post-war times when advertising men branded this new identifiable group as teenagers. Now we have pre-teens and tweenagers. Kerching. Young people’s enthusiasm and enegry and passion are exploitable via trends, pseudo campaigns, lifestyle etc. that are created by adults. Buying bullshit that you don’t need is what keeps our economy going, because that’s the route the Thatcher generation chose to go down in the 80s. So when kids buy bullshit en masse like sheep, like a new Justin Bieber record, they’re just doing what they’re told to by every tv advert, billboard, soundbite etc. which are controlled by adults. Not doing that, and downloading the Bieber album instead of buying it, will land you in prison.
    The youth are the only ones who had a proper go when they got fucked over via education reforms. We had 4 massive protests, hundreds of occupations and an invasion of the Tory HQ. They are generally more up for it because they’re not weighed down by tons bullshit law and legislation that has succeeded in making protest all but illegal and impossible. Also, they aren’t infected by middle aged apathy and scepticism that is quick to condemn any kind of action were someone so much as farts. And they ignored what their union told them to do. And they fucked off the conventional forms of protest that are useless e.g. plodding from A to B with banners and a load of hippies banging drums.

  35. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    First of all… I didn’t mean to sound like I was blaming the kids, so don’t get so defensive… you’re absolutely right, about WHY the kids are the way they are… modern information media has come full circle… in the 50s and 60s, it brought enlightenment to the new generations, whose parents were raised to trust what ever their governments were telling them… now it’s the main tool to manipulate and ultimately control.
    But the truth is… rebellion has always been forced by youth… but todays youth are well and truly managed… which I think is what I said in the first place.
    But I take exception to you portraying the “hippies” as some sort of second rate movement Sid… I can’t speak for England… but the protests in the States and Canada, during the 60s often became very violent with a lot of dedicated “hippies” killed… and that was without this “new” breed of protester, whose main objective is to ride the legitimate protest right down the High street, where he can knick a new telly.
    I’ve never understood where this cynical attitude toward the 60s came from… they weren’t perfect, and their style and ideals might well have been out in the ether… but their intentions were genuine, and many of them paid a very high price to fight against a government structure that, up until that point was practically untouchable.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  36. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Right… expect a statement from Ferguson within the next week, or so… extolling the virtues of these most wonderful of owners, the Glazers.

    It’s become a regular occurrence… the Glazers cop some flak, and Fergie comes out defending them…

    Urrgghhh… the bile… the bile…

  37. Greenhoff the Great says

    Ed , Check the New York Times story ” In Manchester Uniteds I.P.O., A Preference For U.S. Rules” . Article says that United , if I.P.O. goes ahead ,as an emerging growth company with less than one billion in revenue incorporated in the Cayman Islands, “will not need to file quarterly reports,report material events,file proxy statements or disclose extensive compensation information, all of which American companies must do” because of the JOBS Act… On another note ,the I.P.O. idea has excited lots of Bucs fans.Some Bucs fans think that they are entitled to Manchester United money. Many have emailed the blog administrator at JoeBucsFan.com to ask if they would be getting cash for their team ( Article is “Team Glazer, Kickball and $100 Million:” July 7th) (Funny thing is I read elsewhere a claim that the Bucs this year received a cash injection of $140 million. I will try and find details but remember this was in the comments section in one article in Andersred Blog )

    • says

      Greenhoff – pretty sure cross subsidisation is not allowed under NFL rules. So throw that idea out.

      F-1 papers list United as an “emerging growth company” and therefore asks for special exemptions from filing full returns and disclosures as these are onerous etc. It’s pretty common for tech start-ups. But a 125-year-old football club? Do me a favour!

  38. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Anantax said:
    The aforementioned NY times article

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/in-manchester-uniteds-i-p-o-a-preference-for-u-s-rules/?nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkpm_20120710

    “Manchester United will not need to file quarterly reports, report material events, file proxy statements or disclose extensive compensation information, all of which American companies must do. Under a different S.E.C. rule adopted in 2008, Manchester United also does not need to report financials under the generally accepted accounting principles used in the United States, but can instead rely on international financial reporting standards.

    Because Manchester United will be a controlled company, it does not need to follow the New York Stock Exchange rules adopted in 2003 that require a public company to have a board composed mainly of independent directors. The board of Manchester United will have four directors, two of Malcolm Glazer’s sons and two executives of the company.”

    The Glazers are literally going out of their way to keep all their financial gymnastics a secret…

    How in the hell, can this be a good thing for United?

    If it was good for United, they’d be shouting it from the rooftops, in order to both sell the shares, and to appease United fans, who by and large loathe them with a passion.

  39. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    Right, blame the youth. We wouldn’t be in this situation if the hippie generation had actually focussed on what they set out to do and not ended up being junkies on streets around the world.

    That is simply a daft post.

  40. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    As daft as blaming all the youth for keeping up with the Kardashians.

    Guilty conscience?

    You can’t read can you… that explains a lot.

  41. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    First of all… I didn’t mean to sound like I was blaming the kids, so don’t get so defensive… you’re absolutely right, about WHY the kids are the way they are… modern information media has come full circle… in the 50s and 60s, it brought enlightenment to the new generations, whose parents were raised to trust what ever their governments were telling them… now it’s the main tool to manipulate and ultimately control.
    But the truth is… rebellion has always been forced by youth… but todays youth are well and truly managed… which I think is what I said in the first place.
    But I take exception to you portraying the “hippies” as some sort of second rate movement Sid… I can’t speak for England… but the protests in the States and Canada, during the 60s often became very violent with a lot of dedicated “hippies” killed… and that was without this “new” breed of protester, whose main objective is to ride the legitimate protest right down the High street, where he can knick a new telly.
    I’ve never understood where this cynical attitude toward the 60s came from… they weren’t perfect, and their style and ideals might well have been out in the ether… but their intentions were genuine, and many of them paid a very high price to fight against a government structure that, up until that point was practically untouchable.

    Kids are managed, aye. Good way of putting it. We all are in our various groups. It’s all about maintaining the status quo because the markets require stability. Dissent, protests, social changes etc. are problematic for production and industry. They always have been. Corporations kicked off when slavery ended and they had to start paying the black people for their labour – they said it would ruin the economy. They said the same thing when child labour was made illegal. And when women demanded equal pay in the 1960s. They want the status quo to continue,
    When Hitler first came into power the markets rallied and investment shot up. Big corporations liked him partly because they agreed with the Nazi ideology (e.g. IBM donated a lot of money to the Nazi party. They generously made the machines which signed people in to concentration camps (and not out again)), but also because they like brutal dictators because they bring stability. If there is dissent – say some Jewish workers in Berlin in the 1930s want better living conditions – they were/are brutally crushed by the police or the army. That’s great for production.
    This is why the West put people like Gadaffi in power and give them weapons and allow them to oppress their people for decades; because they keep the status quo ticking over in important regions; important for their natural resources and for their geography e.g. US control of Israel which is nextdoor to Israel.
    It’s different in the UK of course. Our oppression is more subtle. In recent years the dissent has never really materialised because of tons of rules and regulation e.g. needing permission from police to protest – and then chanes are you’ll be shunted out to a car park on the motorway were nobody can hear your message.
    It ties in with DamnedUnited’s post; that the Brtish have been repressed for over 1000 years… Repression, oppression and exploitation are the key features in British history post-Roman empire, when various forces both domestic and foreign fought for control of the throne and ultimately the country. You can’t support an empire, or a monarchy, without those three things.
    I also like his point about the hypocrisy of the British lauding and defending the royals in all their pomp and excess only to be bitterly condemn Bob Diamond for getting rich off our hard work – haha.

  42. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    See I don’t really agree with that…
    The Royals are a totally different issue to the banks… I’m not defending the Royals, but in a way, they’re an industry to be exploited… personally, I find them a bit embarrassing to explain to my Canadian friends and family… having said that, the Yanks make just as big a deal over their Hollywood celebs… and it’s just as ridiculous.
    The banks however, are a different animal altogether, and if we don’t get control of them soon,(which in my opinion, we won’t), then we should be very afraid… they are the new Hitler… and they will make or break governments and countries without ever firing a shot.
    Anyone who thinks the “New World Order” is just a conspiracy nuts nightmare, should watch more news… it’s happening right now… and the banks are in charge.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  43. Sidsidney says

    The banks and the monarchy aren’t that different. I’m speaking about the monarchy generally as of the last thousand years… It’s slightly different nowadays. But aye, they both require exploitation, oppression and repression in order to exist. In medieval times you would work for the monarchy and the idle rich who would exploit you and your labour… nowadays you’re working for Barclays and RBS who are exploiting your labour to pay off their debts.
    Btw I didn’t mean to sound so dismissive of hippies. I have a lot of time for 50s/60s activism that gave us good drugs, good music, anti-war campaigns, women’s rights etc. But I struggle with middle class tourists, lefty ones at that, and I struggle with pacifism and ‘peace’ as a route to change.
    Regarding the new breed of protester who rides on the back of ‘legitimate protest’ so he can nick a new telly from Comet… Those are the basic actions and instincts of a repressed person raised on consumerism who regularly sees acts of looting and theft on a much higher level.

  44. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    The thing about “pacifism and ‘peace’ as a route to change.” Sid, if you’ve got the numbers, and they’re dedicated… it’s nigh unbeatable.
    As soon as protest turns violent, the authorities get to claim their own violence as a means to an end… plus you lose a lot of public sympathy even from those that would support your cause.
    Ghandi showed what CAN be done without violence… problem is the west doesn’t have that level of dedication and self discipline.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  45. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    The thing about “pacifism and ‘peace’ as a route to change.” Sid, if you’ve got the numbers, and they’re dedicated… it’s nigh unbeatable.
    As soon as protest turns violent, the authorities get to claim their own violence as a means to an end… plus you lose a lot of public sympathy even from those that would support your cause.
    Ghandi showed what CAN be done without violence… problem is the west doesn’t have that level of dedication and self discipline.

    Gandhi’s message was peaceful, but violence was used right across India. It was unsafe for British soldiers to walk around in small groups.
    I don’t buy the ‘if enough people…’ line either. 2 million people marched peacefully against the Iraq war – the biggest protest in our history – and we still went to war. British diplomats who were involved in putting sanctions on Iraq have revealed how useless that march was, and how they were laughing at the protesters at the time.
    Regimes rarely give up power, influence, wealth etc. You can see that with the military junta that helped oust Mubarak. They said they would fuck off after 6 months and hand the power over to the people. Surprise surprise, they didn’t. After battering and murdering a few protesters they ‘compromised’ and allowed an election to take place. But there were two main candidates; a moderate Islamist (who nobody really wanted) and the former leader of the last regime. So no real choice. Funny that. Then, when it looked like the wrong one was going to win (and he did), they dissolved Parliament thus rendering him useless. But this fella’s got balls (or a craving for total absolute power) and has demanded that it be reopened, so we shall see what happens.
    You say governments and regimes use violence as a means to an end – aye. Violence from authority toward people is acceptable whereas violence from people toward authority is unacceptable – which is the mindset of the oppressed. So, during one of the education reform protests outside of the Tory HQ I saw a young lad pushed forward by a huge crowd and into a line of police. A riot officer responded by leathering the fuck out of the kid with his baton. The BBC news presenter described the incident like this… and I wrote it down because this should be used in media studies classes if its not already… ‘there we can see a police officer trying to calm a protester down.’ Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m getting clobbere upside the head with a stick, my instinct is to fight back. But you can’t do that because if you do, you’re nicked, because that’s assault. And that right there is a monopoly on violence.
    Violence in the UK loses public support – aye. But that’s not the case in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, China, tonight in Spain where miners are fighting fierce battles with police. There is a lot of British support for violence as a means for revolutionary change in these countries – especially in the middle east. The Arab Spring is popular among lefties. Even liberals like Sunny Hundal are in favour of action there… But not here. God no.
    I agree with this: “In order for non-violence to work your opponent must have a conscience” because you’re relying on the oppressor to take sympathy on the victim in order to stop the violence. But in reality this rarely happens. Look at Assad in Syria, he sent his troops into people’s homes to execute women & children in order to warn off protesters. He shot 30/40 kids in the head and cut their throats as a warning to protesters over how far he was prepared to go. He doesn’t have a conscience. The non-peaceful method would rely on Assad suddenly feeling guilty and thinking ‘shit, what have I done, I’ve become a monster, I must end this now’ which is never going to happen. He went and did the same thing a week later while international monitors were there. A leaked document shows that while some of the worst fighting was going on, he was downloading songs from fucking iTunes and his missus was buying expensive cutlery from posh British shops.

  46. madmaxmadmax says

    Sid, violence wasn’t used right across India against the British. There were few stray incidents but overall the freedom struggle in India was peaceful. But having said that the role of Gandhi’s non-violence in India’s Independence is a little bit over-rated. The key to Gandhi’s struggle was non-co-operation. Basically India was a country for raw materials and market for the British. What Gandhi made the people do was to not work for the British and not buy their products. Simple. There was simply no point for the British to be in India. And of course non-violence gave the people the discipline. Despite the violence from the British soldiers Gandhi’s followers never resorted to violence and never budged from their stand.

    I’m really not sure how Gandhi’s Methods would work now. People following the Srilankan Tamil issue might know. There was a Thileepan ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasaiah_Parthipan ) who was an armed fighter tried to embrace Gandhian way and started fasting for a cause. The Indian peace keeping force just ignored him and he died fasting in front of hundreds of people.

    The point is non-violent protests alone cannot succeed now. Because the corporation and the administrators just don’t give a shit. Not just in the west but through out the world. The corporations have to be hit where it hurts – the money. Stop generating revenue for them, stop working for them. Even in the Glazer’s case, the only way to make them move out is to make Manchester United non-profitable. Stop buying merchandise from the megastore, stop going to matches and ensure that people know buying merchandise is being an ass-hole. United becoming shit and getting knocked out of Champions League early for a few years would definitely help. And then protest. Create a hostile environment around Old Trafford, Carrington etc . Make it unworkable for the employees not just the Glazers. Make Manchester United one of the least preferred workplaces. This is what you can call a Gandhian way of protest. Sadly because of the diverse nature of our fan base its very difficult to achieve.

  47. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I think you both have a point that non-violence can’t work now… but it’s not because of the authorities lack of conscience, or their willingness to just ignore the masses… it’s because it requires a dedication from the masses to go beyond what could normally be tolerated… first of all, you’ve got a press media that is largely controlled by the elite authority anyway, so they don’t want to show anything that might get sympathy for any opposition… but even a press blackout can’t keep the truth hidden forever… like you pointed out about Assad… he’s shown just how far he’s willing to go to retain his rule, but the truth eventually comes out, and then the atrocities he’s tried so hard to keep hidden look all the more horrendous, and end up working against him… as his media defended reputation as the “good guy”, or at least the guy who had some sort of justified right to maintain order against a terrorist opposition,(rebellion), is exposed for what it really is, blatant murder to maintain his rule… even his political allies start to turn against him, for fear of being associated with his crimes… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18806469
    The rebels in Syria are fighting the good fight… but it’s the sacrifice… the death of the innocents that is turning the tide against Assad as even his Russian/Chinese allies are starting to get nervous at being seen to defend his position.
    People can be manipulated in so many ways now… the press is largely controlled by the state and will report what it’s told to report… but there will always be people who know the truth… and the truth always finds a way to be heard… and if that truth shows the authorities are going too far in their efforts to keep control, then it will always work against them in the end… but too far, is never the killing of a violent enemy… it’s always the killing of a peaceful opposition.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  48. Just1n says

    I know Alf is all over this thread so i would like to wish Dannitronix a happy bday and may the two of you be peaceful on this special day.

  49. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    alf you side shuffling anti glazer old fat cunt, andersons a cunt too, and fat etc

  50. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Fuck off Knobhead…


    You cunt!

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  51. bman says

    The worst part of this whole thing is that we have to really hope that the IPO is a success, otherwise the club is well and truly fucked.

  52. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    I think you both have a point that non-violence can’t work now… but it’s not because of the authorities lack of conscience, or their willingness to just ignore the masses… it’s because it requires a dedication from the masses to go beyond what could normally be tolerated… first of all, you’ve got a press media that is largely controlled by the elite authority anyway, so they don’t want to show anything that might get sympathy for any opposition… but even a press blackout can’t keep the truth hidden forever… like you pointed out about Assad… he’s shown just how far he’s willing to go to retain his rule, but the truth eventually comes out, and then the atrocities he’s tried so hard to keep hidden look all the more horrendous, and end up working against him… as his media defended reputation as the “good guy”, or at least the guy who had some sort of justified right to maintain order against a terrorist opposition,(rebellion), is exposed for what it really is, blatant murder to maintain his rule… even his political allies start to turn against him, for fear of being associated with his crimes… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18806469
    The rebels in Syria are fighting the good fight… but it’s the sacrifice… the death of the innocents that is turning the tide against Assad as even his Russian/Chinese allies are starting to get nervous at being seen to defend his position.
    People can be manipulated in so many ways now… the press is largely controlled by the state and will report what it’s told to report… but there will always be people who know the truth… and the truth always finds a way to be heard… and if that truth shows the authorities are going too far in their efforts to keep control, then it will always work against them in the end… but too far, is never the killing of a violent enemy… it’s always the killing of a peaceful opposition.

    “I think you both have a point that non-violence can’t work now” I knew you’d come round to my violent ways
    A Gandhi style boycott wouldn’t work here no matter how committed people are. It only works when there is a ‘foreign’ occupying force. You can’t boycott Assad’s regime, or Mubarak’s or the Spanish austerity measures.
    People can be manipulated – aye. States set out to demonize groups of people, and manufacture consent to fuck them over, and the end result is a population that hates Jews, blacks etc. and condones their exploitation, oppression and murder. But I disagree that the truth eventually comes out and favours the peaceful oppressed… If it does, it’s often too late. By the time we got around to understanding that the extermination of the Native Americans wasn’t a nice thing to do, they’d all but been wiped out; their land, their culture, the lot. Entire communities are wiped out in Africa and the world is oblivious to it.
    You have to ask yourself why do states the world over approve of peaceful protest, and create circumstances were only peaceful protest is the ‘legitimate’ form of protest. Labour successfully demonized protest and protesters, now you have to get permission from police to demonstrate, and the police have the power to determine how many turn up, where they go, how long it will last etc. Any demo that doesn’t conform is considered ‘illegal’ and stopped. So, the Fortnum occupiers, the Trafalgar Square lot who were prevented from going home by a police kettle… who were then arrested for not going home at the agreed time, the hundreds of people who were kettled in the snow without food, water or lavvies – who wanted to go home and recoup but were prevented from doing so by a police kettle – and were then arrested for ‘protesting’ in an unauthorized zone.

  53. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    “manufacture consent”???

    You reading Chomsky again Sid?

    Too much, too late… I’ll get back to this tomorrow.

  54. Sidsidney says

    I have indeed
    It would be much easier to have these epic conversations in a pub. I write a books worth of really spot on, entertaining shit with some top gags thrown in, then end up deleting most of it to keep it relevant.

  55. DamnedUnited says

    Ok, three things.

    1. You are taking the issue around a football club too seriously. I am not from Manchester or Britian, so I’m not aware about how historically it has supported the local community, but when I visited it, it looked like the local populace was benefitting from all the tourists even though there’s not much else to see in the city. (lol, no offence) If you ask for boycotts and harassing the club’s employees that is just detrimental to the local community.

    Since the topic of India has been brought up, the regime of the Glazers is allegorically similar to that of East India Company. Basically the Glazers are being paid for having the audacity to try to take over the club, by the club and having the expenses of buying the club being paid by the club. I don’t know if they teach how to do this stuff in Capitalism 101 at Harvard but thats conscience-less capitalism to you.

    What I care about as a fan is the lack of good football. I watch the club’s matches primarily for entertainment and most of the reasons I began following the club (’99 team, Beckham, Keane, van Nistelrooy, Scholes) are either gone or will be soon. I have no major affinity for players of Fletcher’s, Young’s, Anderson’s ilk, basically the workmanlike footballer that has padded the squad numbers in recent years has destroyed any real hope of watching them play imaginative football. And it is not helped by Fergie’s refusal to either play players in their right positions or change the style of play (he tried in the beginning of last season, but after a thrashing, immediately went into his shell).

    2. It has become too convenient to blame ‘the economy’ nowadays. The job market is a goldmine for companies everywhere who can hire top talent at half the price they would have paid before ‘the economy went bust’. It is an even bigger goldmine for educational institutions who entertain professionals (who would rather ‘improve their cv’ than twiddle thumbs at home) by providing them degrees at inflated prices as if ‘the economy’ never touched them. Almost every graduate will want to work if offered the job at a bank who caused the ‘economic crisis’ or at a defence contractor who exists because of wars. Just imagine what a year of total peace on the planet will do to these companies.

    Thats why I was making the comparison with the nobility. The nobility had the money and mercenaries, the bankers control the cashflow.

    3. After the past decade, can any of you honestly believe what the media has to say about any country and its internal situation?

    If they could and if they had a reason to, they would make the genocide and exile of Kashmiri Pandits look like the ‘expulsion of the oppressors’.

    Foot soldiers, the ‘grunts on the ground’ have routinely given up lives for the ambitions of their masters for thousands of years. Funnily enough, the new Assassin’s Creed III tailer’s (E3) opening lines were about this sentiment.

  56. Sidsidney says

    We’re not taking issues around a football club too seriously, we’re talking about other things now; things more interesting than United’s finances that some of us have been bitching about on Rant since 2004/5.

    You mention conscience-less capitalism… How would United be run under a capitalist system that has a conscience? Is such a thing even possible? I know Obama and yank liberals think it is.

  57. says

    What do you think is the best way forward for Man United? What are the people buying these shares going to benefit from such an investment well knowing that clubs are almost incapable of making a profit that they do not need to finance acquisition of players and paying of bigger salaries? This is the catch twenty two situation that football clubs find themselves in. Thy can consume virtually any amount of money thrown to them.

    If the Glazers are floating to reduce their debt and the new shareholders will get no value in their shares then it all looks like a con game. I hope I am reading the A and B shareholding properly.

  58. Minus The Bear says

    bman said:
    The worst part of this whole thing is that we have to really hope that the IPO is a success, otherwise the club is well and truly fucked.

    Heard its been pulled due to lack of interest at the price and terms…

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