Liar liar Gill’s on fire as market pours cold water on IPO



There was something vaguely sickening about the spectacle as Manchester United’s chief executive David Gill, adorned by two grinning Glazer brothers, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon. Brothers-in-arms to a less than noble cause: the continued fattening of the Glazer wallet at United’s expense.

Indeed, the sight of Gill lauding it up Wall Street this Friday, in all its Faustian ignomy, brought only renewed anger from United supporters critical of the Glazer family’s highly geared ownership. Not least because the 55-year-old executive repeatedly spun utterly shameless, yet habitual, lines about the Glazer family’s impact on United during the day. In a media war, amid a disappointing listing for the Glazer family, Gill remains cognisant of unremitting and disingenuous positivity.

Yet, even as the Glazers’ stock offer fell flat – pricing below lofty expectations, with an underwriter forced to prop up a share price at risk of being dragged down by traders – Gill managed to spin familiar themes. The man who once claimed debt is the road to ruin, now beholden to its devilish charms.

It was, of course, never going to be any different, with Gill long since tied to the Glazer family’s odious abuse of a previously debt-free 134-year-old institution. Even to the laughable extent that Gill claimed he “doesn’t know” whether he will financially benefit from the Glazers now infamous ’2012 Equity Incentive Award Plan’. Alongside manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who forcefully denied being a beneficiary of the scheme, there is no closer confident to the Glazer regime than Gill.

Yet, on a day as significant as any in the club’s history, shares traded at or around the $14 pricing point all day – way below the $16-$20 the Glazer family had sought – but above, for now, the low-point many analysts have predicted. But with high-frequency traders taking pennies on small trades Friday afternoon the lead underwriter, Jefferies, was forced to make a series of large share purchases at the pricing point to save corporate face. Further drama is surely yet to come.

Gill continued the well-worn pitch though; that United’s is a growth story and that the Glazer family’s debt-fuelled business model has no impact on Ferguson’s team. Few supporters, bar those of Sir Alex’ “real fan” camp, believe any of it. Almost all professional investors shunned an IPO that offers little financial upside.

And despite raising around $100 million less than previous expectations, Gill remained positive on sunny day in Manhatten.

“We’re the biggest sports business in the world,” bragged Gill on CNBC television Friday morning.

“I think you’re buying into one of the world’s iconic brands, playing in the fastest-growing sport in the world. We can demonstrate across all our revenue streams great growth opportunities.”

Shame, then, for Gill’s threadbare credibility that United will post a loss on falling revenues when accounts to June 2012 are published. As ever under the Glazer family’s ownership, United continues to sprint commercially, only to head rapidly backwards on the altar of debt.

And it is this debt, together with the American family’s decision to cash in on the IPO rather than reduce an onerous burden on the club, which continues to anger supporters. With just $233 million raised from the New York listing, barely £65 million will be removed from United’s £427 million debt pile. In fact the IPO will have such little effect on interest paid, says analyst Andy Green, that it will take United two years to break even on the offering’s $12 million costs.

“Roughly 65 million to 60 million will come off the debt level,” Gill claimed.

“I think it’s important to note that even at the prior debt levels we were comfortable they weren’t impinging with what we were doing from a football perspective. The level of debt in the club since they have taken over hasn’t had an impact on what we have done in the team. We fully understand, and the owners fully understand, that what happens on the pitch is crucial and we will make sure that we have sufficient funds to invest in the team going forward.”

Many supporters will question whether the £20-25 million annual net spend in the transfer market promised to investors during United’s pre-IPO roadshow is “sufficient” in a market where Manchester City, Chelsea and now Paris Saint German repeatedly outbid United’s highly constrained financial operation. It is, of course, well below the £100 million ‘cash profits’ the club makes before debt takes its hold.

No wonder then that the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), which has called for a boycott of the club’s commercial sponsors, damned a failing IPO.

“As it stands the club is valued at around one-third less than their expectations but many commentators expect the price to slide over the next two weeks,” said MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo.

“We maintain this IPO will be bad for investors, not just the club and its fans, and we’re confident time will show that to be true. We remain totally committed to fighting for fan ownership.”

Indeed, highly critical media coverage in the lead-up to Thursday’s pricing, swayed by pessimistic analyst prognosis, is likely to have steered the investment community away from United’s listing. The smart money ran from the Glazer family’s opaque pitch, although local fan-driven demand may have ensured a full book at a significantly reduced price.

Still, the Glazers’ lieutenants continued to boast of strong demand in the face of all evidence, with vice chairman Edward Woodward claiming a successful investor tour had driven demand. And he did it with a straight face too.

“The understanding that U.S. investors have around sports business, given it’s the most developed sport market in the world, has been a benefit,” Woodward told Bloomberg.

“We had a fantastic response from the investor base in the U.S. We found that a number of people came in with a strong level of interest, which was tweaked higher when they heard our story. It’s very easy for people in the U.S. to grasp the huge opportunities around merchandising and digital media.”

The roadshow is now over, of course, and on open trading many analysts expect the market to correct a $14 price that values United at around $2.3 billion – £1.5 billion – or more than 19 times earnings before tax and other deductions. It is a multiple more commonly found among high-growth technology companies, not hundred year-old institutions growing at just seven per cent per annum.

Yet, this is unlikely to be the final story, with the Glazer family remaining entrenched at Old Trafford, slowly milking the club for their own financial gain. The “six lineal descendants” of Malcolm Glazer walk away from the offering, no matter how limp, with voting power untouched, and $110 million in the family bank account.

There may be more to stock issued in the future too, with reports that the family’s failing US business empire has caused meaningful financial strain. There remains significant room for the family to sweat the asset further, having sold just 10 per cent of shares to date. As ever, keeping just one step ahead of the banks is the family’s primary goal; United’s health only a passing concern.

Whether the IPO is the first step in the Glazers’ exit from the club remains moot, with the family likely to sell up when maximum value has been reached. Yet, the family’s decision to list rather sell to Qatar or other interested parties in 2010 – somewhat ironically the Qatari’s reportedly bid £1.5 billion for the club – means price is at the vagaries of the open market.

And with United’s share price marginally down in the final hours of opening day trading its a capricious market that no volume of Gill spin, or Glazer engineering, will buck.

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Comments

  1. the kaizer says:

    so much for valuing the club at over £2bn… fucking disgrace. i dont even know who i hate more, the glazers or their apologists aka “real fans”

  2. Gill a serial LIAR and Glazers, well what can I say about them except that they are Bloody Greedy Parasites sucking the life out of the club we love……..hope they all rot in Hell cause they have all signed their club membership together for their eventual destination and with this IPO and potential benefit to senior management, looks like Fergie has also joined the Club Membership !!!

    • Damian Garside says:

      In a sense it is Hell already: any conception of Hell would need the idea of a “treadmill”, the harder you try to move forward, the more you slip back. Ed’s article implicitly uses this metaphor. A diabolical fate for us Red Devils, on a vicious downward spiral taking us back on the field to the bad days of the 1970s and beyond, and penury and then we presume bankruptcy off the field with a perpetually expanding astronomical debt. And a process that will have to be slow enough to be absolute torture: where we (or some of us) still cling to hope after it has all gone.

      No, it were better that the punishment/bad payback Gill and his Glazers receive is in this world rather than the next.

  3. Gill a serial LIAR and Glazers, well what can I say about them except that they are Blo,,ody Greedy Parasites sucking the life out of the club we love……..hope they all rot in He,,ll cause they have all signed their club membership together for their eventual destination and with this IPO and potential benefit to senior management, looks like Fergie has also joined the Club Membership !!!

  4. With our transfer budget and all the money that always seems to be available, is it there to be spent and Fergie’s choosing not to or is there nothing and Fergie and Gill are just helping to cover it up?

    Also, I don’t know how much, if any, of their own money they used to buy the club, but how much longer until they make a profit?

  5. An idea: Someone should buy 1 share and then as a shareholer sue Gill for breaching his fiduciary duties….

  6. Damian Garside says:

    Well,,the 49ers off to a good start in the pre-season winning 17-6 against the Vikings (killer defence yet again). What’s happening down in Tampa, anyone?

  7. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Commenter said:
    Well,,the 49ers off to a good start in the pre-season winning 17-6 against the Vikings (killer defence yet again). What’s happening down in Tampa, anyone?

    Eh!? Get away tae fuck with that crap!

    ffs

    • Damian Garside says:

      Oh, censorship rearing it’s ugly little head again, in the person of the great Pikey. I bet you can all hear my knees knocking.

  8. Damian Garside says:

    The verdict appears to be out on the IPO: failure. The Glazers took their best shot and missed — in what for us was a lose-lose situation. So the team kicks off with only one major signing, tawdry performances and a failure to score in the run- in, a failed IPO, which would have at least created optimism and enthusiasm, however misplaced, and the memory of the utterly deflating conclusion to last season. Good news though: City haven’t bought and needed to to refresh themselves/ add something new. A prediction, therefore:, contrary to what the Guardian writers predict, City will not retain the Premier League Championship.

  9. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said:
    The verdict appears to be out on the IPO: failure. The Glazers took their best shot and missed — in what for us was a lose-lose situation. So the team kicks off with only one major signing, tawdry performances and a failure to score in the run- in, a failed IPO, which would have at least created optimism and enthusiasm, however misplaced, and the memory of the utterly deflating conclusion to last season. Good news though: City haven’t bought and needed to to refresh themselves/ add something new. A prediction, therefore:, contrary to what the Guardian writers predict, City will not retain the Premier League Championship.

    I’m totally depressed for other reasons. Those parasites have dragged another $110m out of the club, we’re no better off (about £3m a year according to Andersred). I predict further serial cash withdrawals by the Glazers, they can sell a further 80% of the club without losing control. I predict them paying off the pik debt, and using the club as a cash cow to prop up their property business. They’ll never let now. I predict further bargain basement shopping, a sharp rise in ticket prices when the economy returns, a European super league within 10 years, and the development of the “United” franchise – ie we’re a global brand – why do we need to be in Manchester?

  10. Damian Garside says:

    I would agree: probably the only thing that can change things is if things start to go spectacularly wrong on the field, everyone in the club starts to blame one another, dissension, chaos and for the fans … opportunity.

  11. BiscuitBarrell says:

    I agree. I’m totally torn between my historical allegiance, wanting the team to win, but at the same time hoping for a catastrophic disaster of Leeds proportions, so we have a chance of reclaiming the club. Strange times.

    • Damian Garside says:

      Indeed! But even with a spectacularly bad season two 7-0 victories over City would not go amiss, as long as they didn’t help us to win anything.

  12. BiscuitBarrell said:
    I agree. I’m totally torn between my historical allegiance, wanting the team to win, but at the same time hoping for a catastrophic disaster of Leeds proportions, so we have a chance of reclaiming the club. Strange times.

    ^^^this. I’m feeling the same.

  13. Denton Davey says:

    ” the family’s decision to list rather sell to Qatar or other interested parties in 2010 – somewhat ironically the Qatari’s reportedly bid £1.5 billion for the club – means price is at the vagaries of the open market.”

    So, does this mean that you’re now casting longing glances at the Wastelands – wishing that UTD had its very own sugar-daddy ?

    I’m not sute that the refusal to sell to the Qatari Investment Fund (or whatever it’s called) means that MUFC “is at the vagaries of the open market” because at this level there is no open market.

    The only serious alternative to a leveraged buy-out would be some sort of sugar-daddy, most likely an oil baron or some Russian despot/oligarch who wants to launder his ill-gotten gains in the way that RomanA did with Chel$ki. Who else but the mega-rich and/or the uber-rich would have that kind of spare change ?

    If the Glazers take money out of MUFC to line their pockets and to finance their “investment” then that’s the devil we know. Was it better when the Edwards family paid themselves yearly dividends and made 100 million by selling shares in their PLC ? Would it be better if Rupert Murdoch owned MUFC ? Was it all just hunky-dory because the Irish horse-guys made a profit of 100 million quid ?

    Sure, the Glazers are parasitic in that they are using the club’s revenue streams to finance their investment but that’s how modern capitalism works. I don’t like it – and most of you don’t like it – but the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and now there’s only one-game-in-town. Money is securely in the saddle and it rides men – and MUFC, too.

    My reason for scepticism about the super-ventilating, anti-Glazer hype is that one should be wary of the devils we don’t know. So far, the six/seven years of Glazernomics have been accompanied by six/seven years of exceptional accomplishments on the field-of-play.

    When SAF says that the Glazers have been “great” he’s not bull-shitting you or kow-towing to them; he’s simply saying that for the manager of MUFC, the owners have made money available to build and maintain a squad of players that have won many, many trophies – and have the promise to win more in the near future. After Fergy goes, who knows ?

  14. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    You’re an idiot!

    • Damian Garside says:

      We have won trophies: but we don’t have any promise whatsoever at the moment. Denton, just when I thought you might be smart you come up with this! Any dope who knows about corporations know that success is dependant on change, sometimes radical change: not that tired old excuse for, well, slavery amongst other things, “better the Devil you know..”

  15. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said:
    ” the family’s decision to list rather sell to Qatar or other interested parties in 2010 – somewhat ironically the Qatari’s reportedly bid £1.5 billion for the club – means price is at the vagaries of the open market.”

    So, does this mean that you’re now casting longing glances at the Wastelands – wishing that UTD had its very own sugar-daddy ?

    I’m not sute that the refusal to sell to the Qatari Investment Fund (or whatever it’s called) means that MUFC “is at the vagaries of the open market” because at this level there is no open market.

    The only serious alternative to a leveraged buy-out would be some sort of sugar-daddy, most likely an oil baron or some Russian despot/oligarch who wants to launder his ill-gotten gains in the way that RomanA did with Chel$ki. Who else but the mega-rich and/or the uber-rich would have that kind of spare change ?

    If the Glazers take money out of MUFC to line their pockets and to finance their “investment” then that’s the devil we know. Was it better when the Edwards family paid themselves yearly dividends and made 100 million by selling shares in their PLC ? Would it be better if Rupert Murdoch owned MUFC ? Was it all just hunky-dory because the Irish horse-guys made a profit of 100 million quid ?

    Sure, the Glazers are parasitic in that they are using the club’s revenue streams to finance their investment but that’s how modern capitalism works. I don’t like it – and most of you don’t like it – but the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and now there’s only one-game-in-town. Money is securely in the saddle and it rides men – and MUFC, too.

    My reason for scepticism about the super-ventilating, anti-Glazer hype is that one should be wary of the devils we don’t know. So far, the six/seven years of Glazernomics have been accompanied by six/seven years of exceptional accomplishments on the field-of-play.

    When SAF says that the Glazers have been “great” he’s not bull-shitting you or kow-towing to them; he’s simply saying that for the manager of MUFC, the owners have made money available to build and maintain a squad of players that have won many, many trophies – and have the promise to win more in the near future. After Fergy goes, who knows ?

    This kind of subtle cheerleading for the Glazers – they’re not that bad, it could be worse, look at how many trophies they’ve won – is exactly the sort of revisionist argument that you can get on red-cafe if you want it. The Glazers have contributed zero to the on field success of the club, and are actually a negative factor when you compare with the PLC. Sure the PLC made money, but there was transparency, a brake on ticket prices and some sort of recognition of the historical core fanbase and it’s importance. None of this exists under the Glazers.

    Personally I’m not a communist, but this argument that it’s mega-capitalism or nothing doesn’t hold water. Unless the status quo is challenged nothing will change, in fact it’ll get worse. That’s what we’re doing here, isn’t it? Questioning, not accepting things at face value, analysing. It is possible to have a more equal and virtuous society, and maintain a capitalist structure. There just needs to be more accountability.

    The argument that SAF is being sincere about the level of investment in the squad lacks any credibility. It flies in the face of everything we learnt about the man from 1987 up to (strangely) 2005. I wonder why?

  16. Commenter said:
    When SAF says that the Glazers have been “great” he’s not bull-shitting you or kow-towing to them; he’s simply saying that for the manager of MUFC, the owners have made money available to build and maintain a squad of players that have won many, many trophies – and have the promise to win more in the near future. After Fergy goes, who knows ?

    Great owners wouldn’t put the future of a football in doubt with such a high risk financial plan, nor would they rely on an unprecendented almost incomprehensible amount of success in order to pay off debts which they brought with them, nor would they issue just 2 official press releases to fans in over 7 years when the cost of supporting United has rocketed. If they were genuinely great owners City/Dippers/Gooners wouldn’t take the piss out of us and the way we get fucked around all the time, the whole time knowing that a few ‘lean years’ could be potentially ruinous (Charlton’s words).
    And so fucking what if they let Fergie run the football side of the club, that’s hardly an epicly fucking genius business call, is it? Letting the greatest manager of all time run the football side of things. That’s the minimum requirement.

  17. I don’t know what sickens me more: listening to Fergie defend the Glazers or having our own fans do that for him.
    For what these Glazer dickheads are doing to our club, it’s as clear as day FFS.

  18. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Commenter said:
    Oh, censorship rearing it’s ugly little head again, in the person of the great Pikey. I bet you can all hear my knees knocking.

    You poor gullible fool

  19. We were fortunate to have Rio, Rooney and Ronaldo before the Glazers came, and fortunate that in their first year we got Evra, Vidic, and VDS for £14 million (and you would imagine we would’ve lined them up pre glazer). The most important parts of the squad were all there at the beginning and we rode that wave to 4 PL titles and 1 CL title. In the previous 7 years we won the same trophies, as well as 2 FA cups – so no exceptional accomplishments in the glazer era. Imagine what we could have achieved without them.

  20. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    It’s not just about winning shit… I get really fed up with all the emphasis being put on what we have, or have not won.
    The argument about winning a few titles under the Glazers, justifies their ownership misses a very important point… the Glazers don’t pay for anything… the fans do… we pay for everything directly or indirectly… and if we didn’t have to support the Glazers parasitical needs, we could compete for the best players, pay top wages, and win titles… and pay a lot less at the turnstiles for the pleasure and pride of doing so.

    “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.”

  21. Denton Davey says:

    Biscuit Barrell @ 6:40: “this argument that it’s mega-capitalism or nothing doesn’t hold water.”

    I’m not arguing in favour of “mega-capitalism”, I’m just recognizing that no one but a mega-capitalist (or conglomerate) have the necessary funds to purchase a successful and very, very expensive business like MUFC. What did the so-called “Red Knights” offer – another leveraged buy-out by a bunch of guys with shallow pockets. That would have been worse – much worse – than Glazernomics. Besides oil sheikhs or Russian robbers, who else has the funds to purchase a football club – for Christ’s sake, “a football club” – for 2.5 billion dollars (or quid, at that level does it really matter ?). Thaksin Shinawatra, anybody ?

    What I argued for earlier today – and several times before (to generalized scorn from such gentlemen as Alfonso Bedoya) is that the massive escalation in the value of MUFC have rendered alternative ownership scenarios to be yesterday’s news. Indeed, what kind of “alternative ownership scenario” can any of you critics suggest that has a ghostly-chance of purchasing MUFC ?

    You can call me whatever names you want but unless you can supply a credible alternative to “mega-capitalism” then you might as well piss-in-the-wind. This kind of resistance makes about as much impact on the Glazers (and their ilk who own CSKALondon, PSG, ManShitty, QPR, TheArse, ACMilan, InterMilan, Juventus, and so on) as the Quixotic “green and gold” campaign.

    The only credible “alternative ownership scenarios” in big-time professional sport is the community-based models of Barcelona, Madrid, and Bayern Munich. However, these alternative ownership models pre-date the massive infusion of ca$h into professional sports and – don’t forget ! – the two Spanish giants have debts that are even larger than MUFC. So, what are you left with in your fantasy world apart from an alternative model which would require the mythical 660 million fans investing five quid apiece to purchase MUFC at the price demanded by the current owners. Yeah, right !

    Go ahead, make my day – tell me what’s the alternative ? If not, continue pissing in the wind but don’t let reality hit you in the face.

  22. Denton Davey says:

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 7:17: “The argument about winning a few titles under the Glazers, justifies their ownership misses a very important point… the Glazers don’t pay for anything… the fans do… we pay for everything directly or indirectly… and if we didn’t have to support the Glazers parasitical needs, we could compete for the best players, pay top wages, and win titles… and pay a lot less at the turnstiles for the pleasure and pride of doing so.”

    It must be great to live in a parallel universe. You can be virtuous – and completely irrelevant.

    Compete for the best players ? like Lucas Moura or Eden Hazard who were offered the moon and six-pence but wanted the bling, not M/C ?

    Pay top wages? UTD pay TheWayneBoy about 250k per week; the club’s wage bill is 3rd in the EPL and probably fifth in Europe (after Barcelona, RM, PSG, CSKALondon, and ManShitty).

    Win titles ? Like 4/6 EPL titles; 3/5 CL finals ?

    Pay less at the turnstiles ? MUFC do not charge top prices; everything I’ve read suggests that ticket prices at OT are less than TheArse or CSKALondon charge. Are the prices high ? That depends – compared to what ? Evidence suggests that not only do MUFC have the largest match-day attendance but that almost every match is completely sold out.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your fantasies and, if you want, continue pissing in the wind. But, do remember, don’t piss into the wind.

  23. BiscuitBarrell says:

    What did the so-called “Red Knights” offer – another leveraged buy-out by a bunch of guys with shallow pockets. That would have been worse – much worse – than Glazernomics.

    How is that much worse than Glazernomics? That is Glazernomics.

    I’m not arguing in favour of “mega-capitalism”, I’m just recognizing that no one but a mega-capitalist (or conglomerate) have the necessary funds to purchase a successful and very, very expensive business like MUFC. What did the so-called “Red Knights” offer – another leveraged buy-out by a bunch of guys with shallow pockets. That would have been worse – much worse – than Glazernomics. Besides oil sheikhs or Russian robbers, who else has the funds to purchase a football club – for Christ’s sake, “a football club” – for 2.5 billion dollars (or quid, at that level does it really matter ?). Thaksin Shinawatra, anybody ?

    A proper flotation would have been an option. Premier league rules determining that registration of holding companies should be in the UK should have been an option. Some real recognition by successive governments that football clubs in this country had a value beyond their ability to turn a profit should have been an option. We’ve been let down by regulators, the FA, Premier league, the government and most unforgivable of all Ferguson and Gill. You’ll forgive me if I don’t just shrug my shoulders and say “that’s the way of the world”. If there isn’t some sort of critique and scrutiny, albeit amateur, then what checks and measures are there?

    You can call me whatever names you want

    Personally I think you’re entitled to your opinions but given the tone of the forum here, you shouldn’t be surprised that others are less tolerant.

    This kind of resistance makes about as much impact on the Glazers (and their ilk who own CSKALondon, PSG, ManShitty, QPR, TheArse, ACMilan, InterMilan, Juventus, and so on) as the Quixotic “green and gold” campaign.

    I agree the Green and Gold campaign is a joke, and became a joke when anyone wearing one bought their season ticket the following year. However to extend that to “all protest is pointless”, is negative, defeatist and most importantly wrong. I think one of the more sensible things MUST has done (and long overdue) is to start targeting the sponsors. This model is so dependent on increasing turnover that any impact would have a massive effect.

    The only credible “alternative ownership scenarios” in big-time professional sport is the community-based models of Barcelona, Madrid, and Bayern Munich. However, these alternative ownership models pre-date the massive infusion of ca$h into professional sports and – don’t forget ! – the two Spanish giants have debts that are even larger than MUFC. So, what are you left with in your fantasy world apart from an alternative model which would require the mythical 660 million fans investing five quid apiece to purchase MUFC at the price demanded by the current owners. Yeah, right !

    The alternative is what we had, and what worked quite well. A publicly listed company, which was registered in the UK, you could buy and sell shares which had voting rights. There was transparency in dealings and there was no debt in the club. As we both agree capitalism has it’s flaws and regulation is necessary, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that we could be more specific about our requirements and expectations for ownership of what was at the time a community asset. A proper flotation at this time, would stop the constant drip-drip of interest payments, as paying down the debt would have be a requirement for it to be successful.

  24. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Apologies for the Block – Quote overload

  25. Denton Davey says:

    Biscuit Barrell: “The alternative is what we had, and what worked quite well. A publicly listed company, which was registered in the UK, you could buy and sell shares which had voting rights.”

    BUT the “problem” with a PLC is that at any time someone can come along and take-the-club-private by buying out the other shareholders.

    Besides, the so-called “transparency” of the previous regime meant that all transfer dealings had to be vetted by the stock exchange so that UTD were gazumped over-and-over again. I’m not saying that UTD haven’t been gazumped over-and-over again in this private company but there have been a great many transfers that took place in relative secrecy – the big problem with “transparency” is that other clubs got access to UTD’s scouting system.

    “expectations for ownership of what was at the time a community asset.”

    Only by stretching the notion of “community asset” can you possibly believe that UTD have ever been anything but a private asset of rich men like the Edwards or rich shareholders like Magnier and his pal or Malcolm and his spawn.

    In the new economic climate of the 21st century, the only “expectations for ownership” will be that they be economically viable. So far, so good – despite the huge debts there are huge turnovers and a relatively-manageable wages/earnings ratio.

    As I asked, can any new owner do better ? If so, tell me who that new owner would be – the Brooklyn Bridge is currently for sale.

  26. Give me one transfer were United as a PLC were gazumped due to rules notifying the stock exchange. It’s a nonsense claim.

  27. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said:
    Biscuit Barrell: “The alternative is what we had, and what worked quite well. A publicly listed company, which was registered in the UK, you could buy and sell shares which had voting rights.”

    BUT the “problem” with a PLC is that at any time someone can come along and take-the-club-private by buying out the other shareholders.

    Besides, the so-called “transparency” of the previous regime meant that all transfer dealings had to be vetted by the stock exchange so that UTD were gazumped over-and-over again. I’m not saying that UTD haven’t been gazumped over-and-over again in this private company but there have been a great many transfers that took place in relative secrecy – the big problem with “transparency” is that other clubs got access to UTD’s scouting system.

    “expectations for ownership of what was at the time a community asset.”

    Only by stretching the notion of “community asset” can you possibly believe that UTD have ever been anything but a private asset of rich men like the Edwards or rich shareholders like Magnier and his pal or Malcolm and his spawn.

    In the new economic climate of the 21st century, the only “expectations for ownership” will be that they be economically viable. So far, so good – despite the huge debts there are huge turnovers and a relatively-manageable wages/earnings ratio.

    As I asked, can any new owner do better ? If so, tell me who that new owner would be – the Brooklyn Bridge is currently for sale.

    Clearly, by being listed there is a risk of takeover – that’s what happened in 2005. What you asked for was a functional, viable alternative model. Since we both accept that majority fan ownership is a pipe-dream at $2.3bn, listing is an alternative model, which may allow for partial fan involvement. You asked the question, I answered it.

    The transparency argument gets trotted out time and again. I would make two points. One, there is nothing about public listing that prevents other major corporations making negotiations in private, and then announcing them publicly when appropriate. Secondly the financial model that the Glazers have imposed means that it’s completely irrelevant whether they can make quick decisions or not, because the decision is almost always no. I would point out that the PLC broke the British transfer record in 1995 with Andy Cole, 2001 with Veron, 2002 with Ferdinand – as well as the transfer record for a teenager in 2004 (Rooney). The only record the Glazers have broken is the world record for a transfer sale – circa £80m. Money which has not been seen again – unless you’re a banker who underwrote the LBO.

    It depends on your perception of community asset. I started going to football and united in the mid 80s. To me, despite the Edwards ownership, it was clear that the club represented more than just the purchase of a ticket. Despite government and premier protestations about a free market economy, it is not feasible, nor desirable for someone from Urmston to go and support Brighton, because they have a cheaper, higher quality product. There are many aspects (sadly reducing in number) of life in Britain whose value to society is recognised above the value that the market places upon it. Parks, schools, museums are all subsidised in some format. Why should football be any different? Basically the game has been stolen by rich people. To imply ownership isn’t any different from the 60s,70s or 80s is ridiculous.

    I would also take issue with your final point. Firstly our expectations should be more than just financial viability. I think a majority of people would agree with that sentiment, why is that so unachievable? However you disagree – no problem. I would however disagree with the sweeping statement – so far, so good. The Glazers are performing a financial balancing act which is solely dependent on continued success. This is a high risk strategy which they have been fortunate with (given the paucity of the playing staff) so far. Luck runs out eventually. It’s for this reason I think the end game will inevitably be a European Super League and moving the club to a more profitable city. It’s for this reason alone you shouldn’t be defending them. There are no taboos for this family.

  28. Twisted Blood says:

    It’s an interestIng debate I’m probably more with Denton on this one. Never understood why all the ire of the anti-Glazer movement seems to be directed at the manager, Gill and the owners when the principal shareholders who sold to the Glazers get a free ride. Fergie gets ripped on this site for not “standing up to the owners” when, I agree Denton, he would rather be left alone with his ideas of fair value and pick his battles like requesting funds for Berba ( a Glazer-era transfer everyone seems to leave out). The ship has sailed. If you didn’t want it bought, don’t sell it. We can bleat on about virtuous societies and ticket prices, but, in the end, the Glazers own it. I don’t want a sovereign wealth raping oligarch to come in, and the grass roots alternatives are a mirage.

    • Twisted Blood – and there’s the Glazer apologists argument all wrapped up in one. ‘Fergie can’t do anything, the Glazers own it they can do what they want, it’s better than some oligarch’ as if you’ve encapsulated all the possible options in one paragraph. An insult to the intelligence.

      Fergie has always been happy to stand up to the owners – until the Glazers came along. He was quite happy to comment on the Edwards Board pre-1991, and on the PLC board, he even threatened to quit before the 1996 FA Cup Final, and sued the majority shareholders in 2004. Not this time though – instead Ferguson has openly praised the Glazers while antagonising supporters. He didn’t need to, but chose to – he sought out a fight with fans rather than the Glazers.

      As for fan involvement. Why not? There were 35,000 fan shareholders last time around. I’d be willing to bet there would be 10 or 20 times that many this time. Maybe not total control in a publicly traded company, but enough to get representation on the board and a significant say.

  29. Damian Garside says:

    Of course, as owners of a team in the NFL they would be familiar with teams moving from one City to another for financial reasons, bugger the socio-cultural impact on the locals. The Oakland Raiders moved to LA and then back, the LA Rams went to St Louis, and (if memory serves me) the Cleveland Browns became the Baltmore Ravens (and Clevand created a new Browns) and the Houston Oilers also moved. Moving United’s location would. might not be such a big deal at all for the Glazers. They could then sell OT

  30. Denton Davey says:

    Damian Garside @ 4:21: “Moving United’s location would. might not be such a big deal at all for the Glazers. They could then sell OT”

    Sure, but who’d buy it ? Old Trafford’s value is that it is the home to MANCHESTER United Football Club – unlike the NFL examples you cite, there is a very real symbiosis between Manchester, Old Trafford, and MUFC. There’s a much greater likelihood that – rather than moving the team to a new city – the owners would sell the “naming rights” to OT. If Chevrolet is willing to stump up 500 million to have the shirt sponsorship for six/seven years, what do you reckon that OT’s naming rights would be worth on an annual basis – name the price because nothing is impossible under the “commercial revenue” mandate. “The Apple at Old Trafford” – a snip @ 100 million a year !

    In some sort of parallel universe, there’s no doubt that if MUFC were a London club that it would be valued far higher – and it would be better able to attract bling-mad kids with galactico-level skills with their feet. When the shareholders who sold out to the Glazers made-a-deal-with-the-devil, it’s also true that the Glazers made a deal with the Red Devils. Their “franchise” is only valuable -and viable – as a Manchester team @ OT.

    Of course, if the Glazers could move MUFC to that parallel universe then I’m sure they would – I recognize that they’d do whatever was feasible to raise their commercial revenues and thereby the “valuation” of their “asset”. To them, it’s a business – and a cash cow.

    I’m under no illusion that the Glazers’ ownership has any sentimentality attached to it. They’re in it for the money – not the romance. My general point is that that’s a given but the subsidiary point is that they’re unlikely to kill their cash cow – or starve it. THAT makes no sense.

    Their business model is predicated on success-on-the-pitch because without that success-on-the-pitch most of those 659,000,000 fans will disappear. THEN the value of their asset will decline – it would hardly be prudent management to do that. And – to give the devils their due – they are capitalists and in the business-of-capitalism the capitalists’ aim is to optimize profits.

    Even if the NYSE flotation turns out to be rather less beneficial than the optimists have predicted – and the doom-sayers have wanted – the result from the owners’ perspective has been wonderful, wonderful, wonderful: they’ve been able to pocket about 100,000,000 quid and pay down the outstanding debt for next-to-nothing. What have they actually sold off – non-voting shares with no dividends. IF nothing else, one has to admire their ability to fool some of the people some of the time.

  31. BiscuitBarrell says:

    I’m sorry Denton, but you’ve made no cogent argument as to why the Glazer couldn’t or shouldn’t move the team. Just saying the teams “reliant” on Manchester doesn’t work As Damian says the Raiders were reliant on LA. The Buccs are reliant on Tampa. it didn’t stop them threatening to move.

    The point I’m trying to make is their business model doesn’t allow investment at the level required to compete. They have been fortunate to ride the genius of SAF in the twilight of his years. When the next manager comes in and the team needs £100m plus, where does it come from. What we’ve learnt from the Glazers is that they will do the minimum possible.

    You are correct the IPO has been successful for the Glazers. But this has paid down little to no debt for the club. Expect the same for any future flotation. What you’ll be left with is the Glazers owning 11% of a heavily debt laden club, unable to compete with the elite, divorced from its geographical home and historical fan base. Unlike you I find it difficult to celebrate the exploitation of others, by the misrepresentation of the facts in the IPO.

  32. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    Alfonso Bedoya @ 7:17: “The argument about winning a few titles under the Glazers, justifies their ownership misses a very important point… the Glazers don’t pay for anything… the fans do… we pay for everything directly or indirectly… and if we didn’t have to support the Glazers parasitical needs, we could compete for the best players, pay top wages, and win titles… and pay a lot less at the turnstiles for the pleasure and pride of doing so.”
    It must be great to live in a parallel universe. You can be virtuous – and completely irrelevant.
    Compete for the best players ? like Lucas Moura or Eden Hazard who were offered the moon and six-pence but wanted the bling, not M/C ?
    Pay top wages? UTD pay TheWayneBoy about 250k per week; the club’s wage bill is 3rd in the EPL and probably fifth in Europe (after Barcelona, RM, PSG, CSKALondon, and ManShitty).
    Win titles ? Like 4/6 EPL titles; 3/5 CL finals ?
    Pay less at the turnstiles ? MUFC do not charge top prices; everything I’ve read suggests that ticket prices at OT are less than TheArse or CSKALondon charge. Are the prices high ? That depends – compared to what ? Evidence suggests that not only do MUFC have the largest match-day attendance but that almost every match is completely sold out.
    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your fantasies and, if you want, continue pissing in the wind. But, do remember, don’t piss into the wind.

    You complain about others misrepresenting your arguments, and then do the same to mine…
    Ask me if I give a fuck what Arsenal, the Bitters or anyone else charge their fans.
    The fact is simple… United has the fan base, to earn more than enough money to compete with any team in the game… and still make a profit… if the Glazers aren’t sucking up that profit, then it can go back into the club… or just reduced, to cut costs to the fans. It’s not complicated.
    I’m sorry for calling you an idiot… that was unneccessary, and obviously wrong… you’re intelligent enough, you’re just an obstinate fuck, who doesn’t really give a shit about the club, it’s heritage or its fans… just like a Glazer.

    “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.”

  33. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    I also don’t like this argument that compares the “sugar daddy” ownership model of Chelsea/City, to what it would be like owning United.

    First of all… like him or not, Abramovic is a genuine football fan… and as such, he’s been willing to dump truck loads of cash into Chelsea to make them successful… but that has made them overly expensive to maintain… Chelsea can’t stand on it’s own without his investment… City is the same, but I’m not as sure that Citys owners are as didicated to the game.

    United, would need no such support from an owner… only the initial cost of buying the club… the club can pay it’s own bills, stand on its own feet and compete at the highest levels… United is in fact, the ultimate club to own.

    The problem is, the Glazers are tying the club up in so much debt and financial entanglement, that it will take a ridiculous amount of money to untie it.

  34. BiscuitBarrell says:

    “Pay top wages? UTD pay TheWayneBoy about 250k per week; the club’s wage bill is 3rd in the EPL and probably fifth in Europe (after Barcelona, RM, PSG, CSKALondon, and ManShitty).”

    We have the highest turnover and most profitable club, yet we pay only the 8th best wage in Europe. We pay 15% less in wages than City, Chelsea, Inter (OK with the oligarch argument), but also Bayern (Fan ownership) and AC. Predictably we are where we are with the squad.
    http://soccerlens.com/highest-football-club-wages/69045/

    Twisted blood “he would rather be left alone with his ideas of fair value and pick his battles like requesting funds for Berba ( a Glazer-era transfer everyone seems to leave out). “

    Berbatovs transfer is 4 years ago now. I know the phrase is clichéd, but look at net spend, not individual one-offs. BTW if you want to evaluate one offs in the interim spending for the others at 20m plus includes (and these are only the ones with published figures)

    Nasri £24m
    Balotelli £24m
    Milner £26m
    Dzeko £27m
    Adebeyor £25m
    Lescott £22m
    Silva £26m
    Toure £24m
    Robinho £32m

    Oscar £25m
    Mata £23.5m
    Hazard £32m
    Torres £50m
    Luiz £21m

    Coentrao £25m
    Kaka £56m
    Ronaldo £80m
    Benzema £25m
    Alonso £30m
    Diarra £20m
    Huntelaar £20m

    Sanchez £30m
    Fabregas £30m
    Ibrahimovic £56.5m
    Villa £34m

    Lavezzi £25m
    Moura £33m
    Silva £40m (est)

    Ibrahimovic £24m

    Eto £28m

    30 transfers at £20m plus have taken place involving our direct rivals since we last spent serious money. Still think we’re in the elite?

    Even Liverpool, who aren’t in that elite have spent
    £35m Carroll
    £20m Downing

    Plus numerous others. In net spend terms, even Stoke out perform these leeches.

    • Biscuit – well quite. There have been a few studies in this area. Methodologies can be challenged but a couple point to a 0.72 R2 correlation between transfer fees and ‘success’ and a 0.92 R2 relationship between wages and ‘success’. Whatever the true number, generally speaking – some individual examples aside – the more a club spends on transfers and wages, the more successful it’ll be. The remainder is the skill of the manager, scouting, luck, the weather, etc etc and so on.

      There’s good evidence to say United has bucked the market over the past seven years – ‘success’ achieved while not spending as much as rivals. When Ferguson goes… who can guarantee that? Especially since the club has promised the market £20 million net spend per year ongoing.

  35. BiscuitBarrell says:

    That’s almost exactly £1bn of transfers we’re not involved in.

    • Damian Garside says:

      Two things: firstly, spending for itw own sake is obviously not the way to go. We don’t need to be a team of galacticos but we do need to be a team without a hole in midfield, with cover in key positions, and a set of match-winners around whom formations and tactics can be constructed. Starting this season both United and City have not looked to transform what they were last year. Chelsea have, and could well profit as a result,, given that they have Euro confidence on their side too.

      On the rootedness or otherwise of teams in the US compared to England: I would contend that the move of the Brroklyn Dodgers from NY to LA had a huge impact on the city and the borough of Brrklyn in particular: in books and film, it’s a kind of legend. So the move was done despite the deep historical roots of the team. Money diesn’t just talk: it moves at the speed of light.

  36. Denton Davey says:

    Biscuit Barrell @ 9:34: “I’m sorry Denton, but you’ve made no cogent argument as to why the Glazer couldn’t or shouldn’t move the team.”

    I disagree – of course. Let me explain:

    First, moving the club out of Manchester would necessitate finding a place with a solid fan-base willing to fork out for season’s tickets which wouldn’t be easy to do in, say, Paris or Rome or Madrid (or even London in the Olympic Stadium, despite all the guff about Surrey-bsed UTD fan-boys); BUT how about MUFC of Berlin ? a rich city with an Olympic Stadium and no decent footie club of its own;

    second, leaving M/C and OT would require a massive investment in a new stadium – and essentially liquidating the investment in OT; and,

    third, your reference to the departure of the Dodgers from Brooklyn is ill-advised for a couple of reasons: one, Ebbets Field in Brooklyn was a band-box that never drew more than about 25,000 per game whereas when the Dodgers went to LA (LA ! the city of dreams with more millionaires per capita than any other place in the USofA and more bling/glamour than anywhere else on Planet Earth) they first played in the 100,000 seat Coliseum which was “unfriendly” for baseball but soon moved to the state-of-the-art Dodgers Stadium which had been the most profitable baseball stadium from its opening in 1962 until the recent slide into mediocrity of the Dodgers – only the new Yankee Stadium is a worthwhile comparison (NOT Brooklyn, despite what David Beckham named his child); and, two, the Dodgers were actually more succesful – on the field and at the box office in LA because in New York City they were a “local” team in what was then a poor neighbourhood – so they were the subject of nostalgia, the first team to break the colour-barrier, and had a lot of players with great nicknames like “Preacher” Roe, “Junior” Gilliam, “Duke” Snider, and “Shotgun” Shuba; as well as sporting the one great Jewish player in Sandy Koufax, but even he only came into his own in LA.

    While you’re right to mention that the Dodgers moved at the “speed of light” when the opportunity came along, the above reasons should go some way to explaining that the MUFC/Dodgers comparison is the proverbial apples-and-oranges. The only real over-lap has to do with nostalgia and “legend”.

    “The point I’m trying to make is their business model doesn’t allow investment at the level required to compete. They have been fortunate to ride the genius of SAF in the twilight of his years. When the next manager comes in and the team needs £100m plus, where does it come from. What we’ve learnt from the Glazers is that they will do the minimum possible.”

    I think that this is a completely head-in-the-sand argument – and it’s not really any different from the one proposed by Alfonso Bedoya @ 10:22. This is a controversial statement so let me do you the courtesy of explaining why I disagree.

    First, the “business model” is, in fact, quite flexible – only 45-50 % of turnover is committed to wages so that if, say, the naming rights to OT are sold off for, say, 100,000,000 annually then there’s lots of wiggle room to keep the wages/turnover ratio exactly where it is; and, of course, in such extreme circumstances as the departure of SAF or the missing out of a CL place then the wages/turnover ratio could rise to, say, 60% without creating a doomsday scenario.

    second, as the IPO has just apparently proved, there are plenty of people with spare ca$h who are willing to invest in MUFC – and these are people who will pay something for (essentially) nothing. Selling off non-voting, non-dividend shares just goes to prove that the Glazers really-and-truly fooled some of the people some of the time. Would another IPO work as well ? maybe the Glazers would sweeten-the-pot and give new investors very limited voting rights or a penny-dividend to fool more of the people. I wouldn’t bet against that !

    Finally, what you (@ 10:46) and Alfonso Bedoya seem to be wishing for is a completely-mercenary approach to team-building – something like “MUFC should have the most money to spend so they should buy the best (or most expensive) players”. Excuse me, but I’m far happier to see a team that evolves from its youth system – aided and abetted by some (NOT ALL) imports. Indeed, what concerns me is that the youth system seems to be so limited in its ability to produce new players as efficiently as Barcelona (and this is even with the importation of non-British kids like Rafael, Fabio, KikoTheKid, Paul Pogba (!), Davide Petrucci, and loads of others). In contrast to the mercenary-model of the sugar-daddy teams, my idea of a great club is Celtic of 1967 or even UTD of the same era which had a core of Mancs lads and some others who were scouted from the coal mines of Northumberland (like Bobby Charlton), the working class ‘burbs of Belfast (like Georgie Best), or the rough and tumble of Glasgow’s Gorbals. Barcelona do it – why can’t MUFC ?

    To me – an optimistic, glass-half-full kinda guy who buys into the “romance” of United – this relative failure of the youth system since the FergyFledglings is far more worrying than losing out on some bling-mad kid like Lucas Moura or Eden Hazard or some guys like Mesut Ozul who only-have-eyes for the white shirt of RM. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching the sublime skills of Dimmy, Nani, and KagawaBunga and the lung-bursting energy and commitment of TheWayneBoy, AV7, NinjaEvra, and CaptainVidic but how much more satisfying is it to see DarrenFletcherinho or DannyTheLad come up through the ranks and really-and-truly kiss the badge ?

    Damian Garside @ 11:40: “We don’t need to be a team of galacticos but we do need to be a team without a hole in midfield, with cover in key positions, and a set of match-winners around whom formations and tactics can be constructed.”

    “a hole in midfield” – yes, very odd. It’s pretty clear that SAF’s forward-thinking plan was for Owen Hargreaves and then DarrenFletcherinho to plug that hole – in the argot of 2005, to be the Gattuso to Carrick’s Pirlo. OK, those guys were unlucky with injury/illness so why hasn’t he bought someone else ? To me (yeah, I know !) the three guys who would be excellent additions to the midfield would be GreatBigHugeYaYa but he’s never, ever going to be a UTD player; Daniele De Rossi who wouldn’t come cheap and is 29 BUT De Rossi is also a complete warrior; and – wait for it – Yohan Cabaye, who wouldn’t be especially expensive and who reminds me of TheGingerNinja of the early 2000s.

    BUT, obviously, SAF doesn’t share these opinions and seems willing to persist with the “odd couple” (Scholes/Giggs) along with the potential of Anderson (?) and Cleverley and the promise of Tunnicliffe and Petrucci (the real dark horse in this mix). Right now, the midfield is Michael Carrick and six question marks but SAF is a guy who follows his own drummer. (Myself, I’d like to see him “evolve” this team into a 3-5-2 formation so that the “hole” in midfield could be plugged by numbers rather than any one particular individual but – hey – that’s just me).

    Hopefully, this long-winded comment (that’s what I do !) will go some way towards answering your comments/criticisms but I welcome the chance to continue this conversation with dedicated fellow-travellers. We all want UTD to be winning in a FergyWonderLand but we seem to want to get there by high roads AND low roads. Bring it on !

  37. Denton Davey says:

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 9:44: “’m sorry for calling you an idiot… that was unneccessary, and obviously wrong… you’re intelligent enough, you’re just an obstinate fuck, who doesn’t really give a shit about the club, it’s heritage or its fans… just like a Glazer.”

    So, I’m not an “idiot” but just an “obstinate fuck” – isn’t that what we call a back-handed compliment ?

  38. BiscuitBarrell says:
  39. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Attempted repost, with (hopefully) better formatting

    “First, moving the club out of Manchester would necessitate finding a place with a solid fan-base willing to fork out for season’s tickets which wouldn’t be easy to do in, say, Paris or Rome or Madrid (or even London in the Olympic Stadium, despite all the guff about Surrey-bsed UTD fan-boys);”

    I think anyone who’s been to OT or Anfield recently, would disagree with this, given the number of daytrippers who populate the place. Given people have commuted from ROI for 40 plus years, I think the argument people wouldn’t travel is also flawed. Half the people at the Emirates weren’t season ticket holders at Highbury.

    “BUT how about MUFC of Berlin ? a rich city with an Olympic Stadium and no decent footie club of its own;”

    I think this is making my point for me.

    “second, leaving M/C and OT would require a massive investment in a new stadium – and essentially liquidating the investment in OT” -

    I agree but leasing the Stadium to another team (eg City) who wanted a 75,000 capacity wouldn’t be difficult. OT is already used for Rugby League, cup games, concerts. In the doomsday scenario of a European Super League, they may even want to play a 2nd team in the English premier league. Look around the world, it’s full of stadia – many underutilised.

    Again, I reiterate, none of this makes the case why they cannot, should not or will not pursue this in the future. You’re taking a lot on faith, from people who deserve none.

    I personally didn’t mention the Dodgers, I did however mention the Raiders, who were moved to and from LA to improve revenue, nothing more nothing less, when they talk about stadium improvement, they just mean more bums on seats. I also mentioned the Glazers who had no problem exploring the possibility of moving the Buccs, until they got what suited them. What is so different here?

    “First, the “business model” is, in fact, quite flexible – only 45-50 % of turnover is committed to wages so that if, say, the naming rights to OT are sold off for, say, 100,000,000 annually then there’s lots of wiggle room to keep the wages/turnover ratio exactly where it is; and, of course, in such extreme circumstances as the departure of SAF or the missing out of a CL place then the wages/turnover ratio could rise to, say, 60% without creating a doomsday scenario.”

    The model is not flexible. Since we actually made a loss last year – thanks to interest payments – where would the money to increase wages from £98m to £120m come from? I would agree any increase in spending would need increased revenue = Higher ticket prices and naming the stadium (something they said they would never do).

    “second, as the IPO has just apparently proved, there are plenty of people with spare ca$h who are willing to invest in MUFC – and these are people who will pay something for (essentially) nothing. Selling off non-voting, non-dividend shares just goes to prove that the Glazers really-and-truly fooled some of the people some of the time. Would another IPO work as well ? maybe the Glazers would sweeten-the-pot and give new investors very limited voting rights or a penny-dividend to fool more of the people. I wouldn’t bet against that !”

    Except that we’ve just had an IPO and the Lions share of the money went into the Glazers’ pockets. Andersred estimates we’ll be £3m better off each year from the money repaid. Look at the list above, what does that buy you? It wouldn’t even buy Andy Carrolls (useless) left leg.

    ” the three guys who would be excellent additions to the midfield would be GreatBigHugeYaYa but he’s never, ever going to be a UTD player; Daniele De Rossi who wouldn’t come cheap and is 29 BUT De Rossi is also a complete warrior; and – wait for it – Yohan Cabaye, who wouldn’t be especially expensive and who reminds me of TheGingerNinja of the early 2000s.”

    I agree that all three of those players mentioned would improve midfield. But they’re not the only 3. I think you’d struggle to get Cabaye for less than £20m, and as we’ve seen – that rules him out. We haven’t bought a midfielder for 5 years until Powell arrived. Cleverly and Powell, may well both have potential but I don’t see any of the Big 8 knocking down the door for them.

    “BUT, obviously, SAF doesn’t share these opinions and seems willing to persist with the “odd couple” (Scholes/Giggs) along with the potential of Anderson (?) and Cleverley and the promise of Tunnicliffe and Petrucci (the real dark horse in this mix). Right now, the midfield is Michael Carrick and six question marks but SAF is a guy who follows his own drummer. (Myself, I’d like to see him “evolve” this team into a 3-5-2 formation so that the “hole” in midfield could be plugged by numbers rather than any one particular individual but – hey – that’s just me).”.

    None of the players you’ve mentioned would get into another Champions League top teams first 11 with the possible exception of Carrick.

    “Don’t get me wrong, I like watching the sublime skills of Dimmy, Nani, and KagawaBunga and the lung-bursting energy and commitment of TheWayneBoy, AV7, NinjaEvra, and CaptainVidic but how much more satisfying is it to see DarrenFletcherinho or DannyTheLad come up through the ranks and really-and-truly kiss the badge ?”

    Badge kissing is for the day-trippers, unless the player in question has played for the club longer than 10 years, and has never threatened to leave or run-down their contract. To my mind this only leaves Paul Scholes who would never do anything so contrived. They’re employees who like their job (mostly). I don’t kiss my name badge, when I perform well in my job either.

    “To me – an optimistic, glass-half-full kinda guy who buys into the “romance” of United – this relative failure of the youth system since the FergyFledglings is far more worrying than losing out on some bling-mad kid like Lucas Moura or Eden Hazard or some guys like Mesut Ozul who only-have-eyes for the white shirt of RM.”

    Finally, I’m loving your optimism. It just seems your perspective on the financial machinations of the club, seem completely at odds with your doe-eyed love for the romance of the youth system. You’re making out like we’re Accrington Stanley or something. Plucky underdogs, who overachieve despite adversity, to fight their way to unexpected success. Which ever way you want to cut it, we’re the biggest club in the world. “Bling mad player” – Sorry weren’t you aware we pay Rooney £250k per week? Perhaps he gives it all to Mancunian community football charities? – that must be the difference between him and those horrible mercenaries. It smells a little of sour grapes – “well we didn’t want Hazard/Ozil/Moura/Villa/Nasri/Toure/Insert£30mplayerhere anyway, the cheeky monkey wanted paying!!”

  40. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    “Finally, what you (@ 10:46) and Alfonso Bedoya seem to be wishing for is a completely-mercenary approach to team-building – something like “MUFC should have the most money to spend so they should buy the best (or most expensive) players”.”

    FFS… that’s why I called you an “obstinate fuck”… where did I say anything, that’s even close to that?

    Fuck it… fans like you will never get it… you’d sell the clubs very soul, if the money was right.

  41. Ed said:
    There’s good evidence to say United has bucked the market over the past seven years – ‘success’ achieved while not spending as much as rivals. When Ferguson goes… who can guarantee that? Especially since the club has promised the market £20 million net spend per year ongoing.

    Only reason we’ve bucked the market is because we spent a lot before they came, and bought very well in their 1st season. Most of our success was built on Rooney, Ronaldo and Rio, who all arrived before the Glazers, as well as the guys we brought through the youth system. Almost our entire defence was in place within a year of the Glazers arrival – VDS, Vidic and Evra all arrived in their first year for a combined £14 million. Ronaldo has gone and Rooney aside, those careers (as well as those of the youth products) are coming to an end. Fergie or not, we are taking a huge gamble on our future by betting that the young players in our squad will reach the level of those guys at their peak.

  42. BiscuitBarrell says:

    It looks like Rodwell’s signed for City as well. The good news is it wasn’t a £20m plus player, just the £15m we’ve missed out on this time, the IPO mustn’t have gone well. No doubt we’ll have outright denials of our interest, despite Fergie sniffing round him like a spaniel on heat.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19232773

  43. IPO cash was never for transfers – our half was going straight to the debt.

  44. BiscuitBarrell says:

    I’m not sure you can separate the two. More debt = less cash (effectively). The repayments have to come from somewhere, that isn’t going to be the Glazers’ personal accounts anytime soon.

  45. Few years before we have to pay off the debt. What we will pay off with IPO funds won’t change our finances a whole lot (at least from an interest POV). Most likely outcome is United continue to service the debt and refinance when the loan agreements end. Without paying off a much bigger chunk of debt, our transfer spend is not going to change.

  46. Denton Davey says:

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 6:41: “that’s why I called you an “obstinate fuck”… where did I say anything, that’s even close to that?”

    9:44: “The fact is simple… United has the fan base, to earn more than enough money to compete with any team in the game… and still make a profit… if the Glazers aren’t sucking up that profit, then it can go back into the club… ”

    I assume that “to compete with any team in the game” means paying expensive transfer fees. If not, then I can’t possibly imagine what you mean since UTD already have a wage-bill that is among the elite of “any team in the game”.

    Furthermore, if you take a close, critical look at the list of 20million-plus transfers that was assembled by Biscuit Barrel @ 10:46 he lists nine ManShitty expenditures but seems to leave out Sergio Aguero whose transfer fee was 38 million and whose wages are supposedly 250K/week and Carlitos whose fee was anywhere between 25 and 47 million (depending on which opinion you credit) and whose wages are also a quarter-million per week. Of those eleven players:

    Tevez £25-47m
    Aguero £38m
    Nasri £24m
    Balotelli £24m
    Milner £26m
    Dzeko £27m
    Adebeyor £25m
    Lescott £22m
    Silva £26m
    Toure £24m
    Robinho £32m

    Would you be happy with Milner or Robinho or Lescott or Adebayor or Nasri or Dzeko ? How about a little bit of Balotelli, a man-child with immense skill and no self-control ? Same goes for Carlitos – we had him and SAF decided that he wasn’t worth the headaches he’d create. Sure, I’d be happy if we had Davide Silva, GreatBigHugeYaYa, or Sergio Aguero – but the other seven can only be classified as losing propositions @ about 200 million in transfer fees and a gazillion/week in their trousers.

    Of course, this is a self-serving exercise in fantasy. Glazernomics doesn’t allow for this; instead we have to be satisfied with Chicharito, Powell, and Bebe (!) for about 7 million apiece; KagawaBunga, AV7, Nani, Anderson, and De Gea for just under 20 million each.

    But, in the cold light of day, would you be happy if our clubs’ ownership had decided to “compete” with its local rivals by spending waaaaay beyond its self-imposed budgetary resources that relate wages/turnover to under 50% – and waaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond reason, too ? Only to win on goal difference with the last kick of the season ? What’s happened at the EmptiHat is simply obscene – wages 125% of turnover with no chance of ever be financially viable.

    AND it’s not just ManShitty that are out-of-control; most of the other “competitors” (CSKALondon, PSG, Barcelona, RM) have sugar-daddies or huge debts and wage-bills that eat up far more of their turnover, according to the figures that were published a while back (sorry no link available right now but, “trust me”). Of the serious “competitors” in the top rank of EuroFootie ONLY Bayern Munich and TheArse are well-run businesses. The rest are rather similar to the national economies of Greece or Spain.

    Most of the HateGlazers crowd don’t like to admit that their “business plan” has worked rather well – for them, NOT for the fans – but that is the reality of the situation. Sure they’ve saddled the club with debts and raised ticket prices but they’ve also raised commercial revenues and not (yet !) sold the naming rights to OT while having overseen a run of success that has been quite astonishing – 4 EPL titles and three CL finals in the past six years: not even the PLC was that successful in the ’90s or Busby’s greatest team was in the ’60s.

    We can argue forever – chicken-and-egg – whether the recent run of success was because of OR in spite of the Glazers; what is indisputable is that it’s occurred at the same time as the valuation of MUFC has at least doubled to be the most valuable sporting club in the world.

    My “problem” with the HateGlazer faction is that their hatred just seems churlish when seen in that perspective. Of course, none of us knows what tomorrow (or the day after) will bring but it seems to me that the club is organized on a fairly secure footing which is more (much more, in fact) than can be said for the ManShitty, PSG, CSKALondon baubles of sugar-daddies or the artificial interest-free debt loads of the two Spanish giants.

    Finally, will any of your ilk change their tune IF TheLads bring home # 20 in May ? For all the orgasmic fawning over ManShitty in the English press, they won the EPL last year on goal difference against an opponent which “lost” five points due to shitty refereeing and had the longest injury list in its recent history, including its Captain and defensive lynchpin and its key midfielder (NoFletch/NoWin). I’m not predicting that TheLads win #20 – and I’m not predicting that ManShitty can go a full season injury-free – but re-wind the tape from last year and see how it might have turned out. Are you still unhappy with the way MUFC performed on the field ? AND why do you give a tinkers’ damn about the money problems/successes of its owners – SAF seems happy enough and it’s simply slanderous to suggest that he’s their toady.

  47. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    You Glazer lackies are relentless, I’ll give you that… completely full of shit, but relentless.

  48. Denton Davey says:

    Biscuit Barrel @ 5:55: “I personally didn’t mention the Dodgers”

    My mistake – it was Damian Garside @ 11:40 who referenced the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 10:33: “You Glazer lackies are relentless, I’ll give you that… completely full of shit, but relentless.”

    You might consider me a running dog of Glazernomics AND that’s your right and privilege; but, equally, your HateGlazer mantra is boring, predictable, uninformed, and mostly beside-the-point.

    In point of fact, I care more about footie than ownership and would much more happily discuss the merits of the 3-5-2 or the “hole” in midfield but a lot of commentators on this forum seem to be unwilling to actually deal with the on-field doings.

  49. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    “your HateGlazer mantra is boring, predictable, uninformed, and mostly beside-the-point.”

    Says the numpty who keeps repeating the same irrelevant nonsense, to answer a question no one’s asking. And ignoring the only issue that really matters.

  50. twisted blood says:

    “In point of fact, I care more about footie than ownership and would much more happily discuss the merits of the 3-5-2 or the “hole” in midfield but a lot of commentators on this forum seem to be unwilling to actually deal with the on-field doings.”

    Amen Denton.

  51. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Apologies for leaving out those two players. It actually makes 32. Thanks for reinforcing my point.

    It’s interesting you focus only on the city players, which are a bit of a mixed bag admittedly. However sometimes you’ve got to take a punt – we did with Berbatov and Veron. I would actually take a few more players than you including Lescott and Balotelli. But I understand why you don’t. You’re focusing on city because it’s difficult to make you case with the others (by far the majority) because they’re top drawer. In fact we were in for a lot of them, but pulled out citing nae value.

    You’re quite mistaken. Without interest payments we wouldn’t have to spend any more on wages to increase our transfer expenditure. Secondly why do I, or any fan care, provided the club breaks even? I’m not sat here celebrating my club’s profitability.

    You’ve yet to adequately address the post in my last post, namely;
    What’s to stop them moving the club?
    Why are we the most profitable club in the world but pay 2/3rds of the wage bill of the biggest spenders and are 8th in Europe in terms of wage bill?
    Where is the Ronaldo money – that was available for SAF to spend anytime he liked?
    Are any of the players currently at the club capable of playing at the highest level in midfield (Kagawa apart)?
    How is there financial flexibility given the constraints I’ve outlined?
    What evidence do you have that future listings will benefit the cash position of the club? I have a lot of evidence to the contrary, the last IPO being one.
    What makes you think our players are any less money orientated than those who’ve chosen to go elsewhere?

    Personally whether they win the league or not next year, will make no difference to how I feel about the running of the club. Most “real fans” aren’t that fickle. I’d rather see us relegated and city win the league, but the Glazers out or at least some sort of fan representation (a cessation of the constant exploitation would be a start).

    You think it’s slanderous about suggesting ferguson is their toady? He’s acting like one, he talks like one and he’s happy to take their money. You do the maths.

  52. BiscuitBarrell says:

    No problem. There’s no legal requirement for either of you to post on this thread.

  53. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Commenter said:
    “In point of fact, I care more about footie than ownership and would much more happily discuss the merits of the 3-5-2 or the “hole” in midfield but a lot of commentators on this forum seem to be unwilling to actually deal with the on-field doings.”

    Amen Denton.

    That’s all well and good, and there are other threads open for those discussions, but it’s hard for the owners, debt, IPO etc to not be discussed when ultimatley these things could (if they haven’t already) be detrimental in the long run to what happens on the pitch. It’s foolish to think otherwise, and as fans who care about the running of the club you can’t simply ignore what’s happening beyond the events on the football pitch.

  54. Denton

    I, similar to you, care more about footie than ownership. To be frank, I couldnt care less who owns United.

    The problem I see is this is one of the instances where the interests of the owner is not in alignment with the interests of the club.

    the LBO model which benefits the Glazers tremendously is most likely draining away money from transfer spend, which, analagous to capex in companies, is one of the key determinants of on field success. This is evidenced by the dismal net transfer spend over past seven years, which has been well documented elsewhere in this forum.

    In addition, fans suspect that Glazers either do not understand the above, or do not care, or worst of all, do not have the fnancial resources to do anything about it. This is evidenced by the various ways they always prioritze money for them vs for the club,IPO proceeds being amongst them

    In the end thats why i am concerned for ManUtd. I am still fairly confident we’ll still be competing for top titles over next 3-4 years, but given the current leverage, Can we stay conpetitive over the long run?

  55. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    LOL…
    If you turnips don’t want to talk about off field issues… then why bother with a thread titled… “Liar liar Gill’s on fire as market pours cold water on IPO”?
    Fuckin pitiful…
    Look… this has been argued to death… but the reason it drags on is because there’s allways some fucker who feels the need to play Glazer rationalist…
    Fuck off… when will people like this realize that being a fan of a football club goes deeper than just the points won or lost on match day? This is what cunts like the Glazers don’t understand either.
    Where’s your fuckin pride?
    These parasites came and agressively seized control of our football club, for no other reason than to leech money off it… and you make shitty arguments in their favour.
    “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.””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.”

  56. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    “In point of fact, I care more about footie than ownership and would much more happily discuss the merits of the 3-5-2 or the “hole” in midfield but a lot of commentators on this forum seem to be unwilling to actually deal with the on-field doings.”

    Amen Denton.

    LOL…

    If you turnips don’t want to talk about off field issues… then why bother with a thread titled… “Liar liar Gill’s on fire as market pours cold water on IPO”?

    Fuckin pitiful…

    Look… this has been argued to death… but the reason it drags on is because there’s allways some fucker who feels the need to play Glazer rationalist…

    Fuck off… when will people like this realize that being a fan of a football club goes deeper than just the points won or lost on match day? This is what cunts like the Glazers don’t understand either.

    Where’s your fuckin pride?

    These parasites came and agressively seized control of our football club, for no other reason than to leech money off it… and you make shitty arguments in their favour.

  57. A bit off the point here, but something Denton Davey said prompted me. There’s so much talk about what a top player David Silva is. And to be fair, he is top quality.
    Interestingly though, Silva was involved in a goal (i.e. scored or assist) every 121 minutes in the Premier League last season. This is compared to every 105 minutes for Nani, every 118 mins for AV7, and every 92 mins for Ashley Young. I was surprised by this. So it seems, although Silva looks a hell of a lot prettier, he is not as productive as some of our players in terms of end product.
    Stats are based on minutes played and number of goals / assists. Yes, it’s a crude analysis, but I found interesting all the same.
    I’m sure Silva’s stats for completed passes would probably be higher than all our three combined. But, ultimately it’s goals that really count…as we found out to our utter despair at the end of last season.

  58. twisted blood says:

    “Fuckin pitiful…

    Look… this has been argued to death… but the reason it drags on is because there’s allways some fucker who feels the need to play Glazer rationalist…

    Fuck off… when will people like this realize that being a fan of a football club goes deeper than just the points won or lost on match day? This is what cunts like the Glazers don’t understand either.

    Where’s your fuckin pride?

    These parasites came and agressively seized control of our football club, for no other reason than to leech money off it… and you make shitty arguments in their favour.”

    Stay classy, San Diego. Do you really think the problem is bringing up the football when it’s a Glazer topic? Quite the reverse actually where you’re concerned…..

  59. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Stay classy, San Diego. Do you really think the problem is bringing up the football when it’s a Glazer topic? Quite the reverse actually where you’re concerned…..”

    Oh ffs… don’t get lost on the way to find your own cock, eh?

    This is a non-football thread… and you and Denton are complaing about the lack of football talk… and you want to be sarcastic when people tell you to just ignore the thread?

    “stay classy” my arse… silly post Mate.

  60. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1133216/man-utd-share-value-‘could-plunge-like-facebook’?cc=5901

    If true, it would certainly remove all weight from the pro-Glazer faction’s apologetic, “the Glazers have increased the value of the club” mantra.

  61. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Don’t know whether to laugh or worry.

  62. BiscuitBarrell says:

    That is hilarious. I now await the Glazer apologists, informing me that they are financial geniuses. Combined with the dubious IPO information and the murky Chevrolet deal, I can see a lot of litigation heading to Florida. If it bankrupts the club, so be it.

  63. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Don’t know whether to laugh or worry.

    I worry, because, if the true market value of United is not high, asset-stripping followed by a “fire” sale of, first, the more valuable players and then the football club could look like the best way of maximizing profit for the Glazers. Manchester United would become like Humpty-Dumpty, in that, once broken up, it would virtually impossible to put it all back together again. Mid-table finishes, even relegation, I could stand, but a United playing at a renamed Old Trafford—some other greedy bastard bought in order to collect fees for the naming rights—would just about break my heart.

  64. BiscuitBarrell says:

    RobDiablo said:
    I worry, because, if the true market value of United is not high, asset-stripping followed by a “fire” sale of, first, the more valuable players and then the football club could look like the best way of maximizing profit for the Glazers. Manchester United would become like Humpty-Dumpty, in that, once broken up, it would virtually impossible to put it all back together again. Mid-table finishes, even relegation, I could stand, but a United playing at a renamed Old Trafford—some other greedy bastard bought in order to collect fees for the naming rights—would just about break my heart.

    The Glazers are going to have to sell the naming rights at some point anyway. The only way to stop this happening is for them to be out on their ear, and hope that any purchase of the going concern had sufficient fan representation.

  65. Damian Garside says:

    Nae value AFTER the market.

  66. Damian Garside says:

    Think positive: if we do end up asset- stripped and a mid- or bottom of the table side, then imagine the wonderful gallows humour coming from the Stretford End and Paddock (possibly renamed by this stage) as we get thumped at home by City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

  67. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    Commenter said:
    Think positive…

    About fifteen minutes ago, I was in the process of replying that I had actually thought of a possible, positive aspect: the number of people/consortiums able to meet the real value of United, but, as I was trying to write it, I kept coming up with reasons why that would either not work or not happen, so I gave it up. I just received an email from MUST, however, that echoes those same sentiments, so it just might be possible to get rid of the Glazers, keep Manchester United and all of its assets with the club, and let those tremendous revenue streams generate a transfer kitty that would have Sir Alex buying maybe as many as two CMs—even though he doesn’t want to.
    EDIT: No, I’m back to my original way of thinking in regard to the increasing possibility of a buyout of the Glazers.
    The problem is that these shares are not “real” shares, so no “real” figure can be placed on the value of Manchester United simply by multiplying the share value times the number of shares. Unless the Glazers float some of the shares that have full voting rights and pay dividends, the “real” value of United will remain a matter of guesswork and speculation.

  68. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    RobDiablo said:
    I worry, because, if the true market value of United is not high, asset-stripping followed by a “fire” sale of, first, the more valuable players and then the football club could look like the best way of maximizing profit for the Glazers. Manchester United would become like Humpty-Dumpty, in that, once broken up, it would virtually impossible to put it all back together again. Mid-table finishes, even relegation, I could stand, but a United playing at a renamed Old Trafford—some other greedy bastard bought in order to collect fees for the naming rights—would just about break my heart.

    The Glazers only get away with what they do, because we the fans haven’t become angry enough en-masse to stop them… they’ve used Ferguson well to pacify most of the restless… but I do think there’s a limit to how far the fans tolerance will stretch… I also think the Premier League and the FA would squirm at the thought of Manchester United going down the toilet… the Premier League is the best league in the world because of the great football, but also because of the many great rivalries… and United is one half of several of the best.
    If it all goes to shit for the Glazers, I think they’ll have no choice but to sell… or float the lot.

    “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.”

  69. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    There are just so many ways things can go that all we can do is guess. I tend to the pessimistic side because so many of the “better” outcomes rely on owners who care about United, not just as a cash cow, but as an historical institution that holds a special place in the hearts of many, many supporters. The EPL and FA would squirm, alright, but I don’t trust them to act. Hell, I don’t trust them to even figure out a course of action until well past too late. Placing my hopes on whatever remnants of human decency might still inhabit the Glazers or on the intelligence and efficacy of the FA, etc., feels like a setup for major disappointment.

  70. Denton Davey says:

    All might “go to shit for the Glazers” as Alfonso Bedoya writes @ 8:52. However, the most up-to-date information I’ve seen suggests otherwise:

    “all the shares were sold by the Glazers. They floated at 14.05 and realised the price they asked for them. Tney floated 16million shares with request for quite alot more than that. There was never any danger of them not selling. Scare mongering by idiots. Due to the value of the shares and on a percentage work out the value of the club as being 2.3billion dollars pretty much in line with Forbes assesment.”

    So, they fooled some of the people some of the time. AND those suckers didn’t get an even break.

    The reality – sad, disgusting, or otherwise – is that fools and their money are soon parted. AND in a financial world drowning in ca$h, MUFC looks like a pretty good place to park money.

    Biscuit Barrel @ 1:26 a.m.: “What’s to stop them moving the club?”

    Nothing can “stop them from moving the club” because they own it and can do what they want with it.

    Somehow, though, Der Berliner Rote Teufel seems quite unlikely for reasons I thought that I had outlined above (@ 4:44 p.m. yesterday).

    AND, of course, to pursue that fantasy-move to greener fields, there’s the little issue of the “club” being a member of the English FA and NOT the Bundesliga.

  71. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said:

    “all the shares were sold by the Glazers. They floated at 14.05 and realised the price they asked for them. Tney floated 16million shares with request for quite alot more than that. There was never any danger of them not selling. Scare mongering by idiots. Due to the value of the shares and on a percentage work out the value of the club as being 2.3billion dollars pretty much in line with Forbes assesment.”

    Somehow, though, Der Berliner Rote Teufel seems quite unlikely for reasons I thought that I had outlined above (@ 4:44

    You should keep up to date with your reading.
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1133216/man-utd-share-value

    I responded to your comments about the difficulties in moving the club. Would you reciprocate?

  72. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    “All might “go to shit for the Glazers” as Alfonso Bedoya writes @ 8:52. However, the most up-to-date information I’ve seen suggests otherwise:”

    Bit selective in your quote, aren’t you?… but then, why should you care… you’re just talking shit anyway.

  73. Twisted Blood says:

    Still staying classy I see. BTW, it’s a line from Anchorman you twit

    Also, I think the move from Manchester argument is a red herring. Virtually all NFL moves and NBA moves in the States are predicated by a lack of a good/profitable stadium lease or a lack of ownership
    In the stadium (it’s owned by the county/city, whatever). Since OT has great capacity, is huge and is owned wholly by the Glazers, they’re not moving the team anywhere.

  74. The reality is, that maintaining the value of Manchester United as a brand is directly linked to success. No sustained success over the last 20 years, no brand. Simple as that.

    To achieve that, you need to constantly be improving the side. The reality is that United have not done that, and you will see “brand vlaue” leaking over the next 2 – 5 years as United will not win anything over the next 3 seasons unless some serious changes happen.

    The club is hamstrung – and, the worst part is, the Glazers will willingly accept a decline in success on the field, to “mediocre” – lumped in with Arsenal, Dippers, Spurs, et al – as long as they can maintain 659m “followers”.

    I knew it had to come to an end at some point – but I figured it would be something like Fergie leaving. Not the destruction of the values of Manchester United, the destruction of the community around the club, the divisions that have formed across the fanbase, and the parasitic nightmare of the Glazers.

    Captain DOOM this morning eh?

  75. Damian Garside says:

    In the latest article postethin Rant the author suggests that United can beat City to the league title provided that they suffer the loss through injury of one of their key players. I presume the same holds good for Chelsea, too. What we have descended to: it’s laughable really that all we need is a potent voodoo shaman to cast a few injury spells and we’ll be home free for our 20th title.

  76. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    I’ve referenced this elsewhere, but my view in that regard would be the strength and depth of the Chelski and Citeh squads vs ours. True, we may potentially have the best attacking line in the league but in other areas (guess where?) we’re fooked!

  77. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    Still staying classy I see. BTW, it’s a line from Anchorman you twit

    Ah, I see.

    You use a quote from a, no doubt, shit American sit-com… that I’ve never heard of… and call me a “twit” cause I don’t recognise it.

    LOL…

    Have I ever been put in my place.

  78. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    You’re his bitch Alf

  79. New York outfit PrivCo says the stock is worth no more than $5 a share. That compares with a float price of $14 that only stayed at that level on the first day of trading thanks to emergency support from the brokers behind the deal.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/simon-english-if-manchester-united-shares-get-any-lower-expect-glazers-to-grab-first-chance-of-an-exit-8038685.html

  80. Denton Davey says:

    Biscuit Barrell @ 9:36: “I responded to your comments about the difficulties in moving the club. Would you reciprocate?”

    I did.

    It’s their “club” (their “business” if you want to simplify matters to the most basic economic factor) SO they can do what they want. AND, why would they want to liquidate OT (apart from MUFC, it’s not worth much as a shell, except for “free dates” when it’s rented out for cricket and rugby) ? AND, like I said where would they move – the Olympic stadium in London, with all the SurreyReds close by ? Berlin, with an Olympic stadium, huge wealth and no decent footie team – Der Berliner Rote Teufel ?? AND if they liquidated OT, how much would a “replacement” cost them in London or Berlin ??? No deal there, methinks.

    Besides, as Twisted Blood wrote (@ 12:48): “the move from Manchester argument is a red herring. Virtually all NFL moves and NBA moves in the States are predicated by a lack of a good/profitable stadium lease or a lack of ownership In the stadium (it’s owned by the county/city, whatever). Since OT has great capacity, is huge and is owned wholly by the Glazers, they’re not moving the team anywhere.”

    Sidney @ 1:12: “New York outfit PrivCo says the stock is worth no more than $5 a share. That compares with a float price of $14 that only stayed at that level on the first day of trading thanks to emergency support from the brokers behind the deal.”

    OT alone is “worth” more than the overall value as based on that PrivCo share estimate.

    Forbes estimated MUFC @ 2,300,000,000 and the stock-trading seems to support that valuation.

    Was there really “emergency support from the brokers behind the deal” or is this a RealTimeUrbanLegend ? Time will tell. It’s too soon to know

    • Denton – After three days trading I hardly think anybody can make any determination about what the market thinks one way or another, especially since the trading volume once the HFTs had got out of the market is pitiful. The ‘underwriter support’ isn’t legend – you can see the huge trades quite clearly – but that says nothing about longer term value either. Give it some time, don’t make any judgments either way just yet.

  81. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    I was wrong… you are in fact… an idiot!

  82. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Commenter said:
    Was there really “emergency support from the brokers behind the deal” or is this a RealTimeUrbanLegend ? Time will tell. It’s too soon to know

    Didn’t there used to be a regular Ranter in the days of yore called Urban?

  83. twisted blood says:

    Anchorman is a movie, Alf. Not a sitcom. Will Ferrell, heard of him? Grossed 90 million dollars. Troll less, get out more.

  84. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said<

    AND, why would they want to liquidate OT (apart from MUFC, it’s not worth much as a shell, except for “free dates” when it’s rented out for cricket and rugby) ?

    OT alone is “worth” more than the overall value as based on that PrivCo share estimate.

    Anyone else spot any inconsistency here? To be fair to you Denton they are a whole 2 paragraphs apart.

  85. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Commenter said<
    I did.

    It’s their “club” (their “business” if you want to simplify matters to the most basic economic factor) SO they can do what they want. AND, why would they want to liquidate OT (apart from MUFC, it’s not worth much as a shell, except for “free dates” when it’s rented out for cricket and rugby) ? AND, like I said where would they move – the Olympic stadium in London, with all the SurreyReds close by ? Berlin, with an Olympic stadium, huge wealth and no decent footie team – Der Berliner Rote Teufel ?? AND if they liquidated OT, how much would a “replacement” cost them in London or Berlin ??? No deal there, methinks.

    Sorry I didn’t realise that was your response. I thought you might come up with something a bit more substantial than
    1) OT isn’t worth a lot – which you then contradict.
    2) Here are 2 major cities with 8.1m and 3.5m populations, with empty stadia and opportunity for tapping a wealthy market
    3) It’ll cost too much to obtain a new stadium in a big city – Oh BTW West ham are likely to pay £2m per season for the use of the Olympic stadium (about 100k per home game) http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/10/12/2707679/west-ham-will-almost-certainly-rent-olympic-stadium-says Sounds affordable for a team which has a match day income of £3.5m per game.

    I’ll repeat, you’ve not made the case against the Glazers being willing or able to move the club. As you say, “they can do what they want”.

    I’m not saying they will move it, just that they have no interest in M16, the heritage or the fans, just the bottom line. And while fans like you make excuses for their decisions, and tell us how they wouldn’t/couldn’t possibly do the unthinkable (name the stadium, move the club, leave the premier league, change the badge, change the name, rewrite the history), in 10 years time you’ll be making the same excuses for them when they’ve done the unthinkable. And wondering why everyone’s getting so upset.

  86. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Oh my… Will Ferrel, eh?… 90 million dollars???
    Goodness me, that’s really interesting…
    You got any more really cool bits of information that you’ve picked up in your amazing life?
    LOL…

    “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.”

  87. Pikey McScum said:
    Didn’t there used to be a regular Ranter in the days of yore called Urban?

    Yeah dont you remember him quitting rant after Dread said that Biggie was better than Tupac.

    Back when there was fuckall happening on this site.

  88. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Just1n said:
    Yeah dont you remember him quitting rant after Dread said that Biggie was better than Tupac.

    Back when there was fuckall happening on this site.

    lol, I don’t remember that actually – it’s a shame things got so bad then, some real characters have fallen by the wayside

    That Pipey06 fella was probably my favourite…

  89. Damian Garside says:

    Sympathy for the Devil: about 60 posts up I suggested that if the Glazers took United elsewhere then they could sell OT.

    Denton and Biscuit between them must have argued the toss over this one for a few thousand lines of text across a score of posts. For those who enjoyed this spectacle, you may thank me later. For those who didn’t …. Sorry!

  90. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    The Glazers could never move United, and don’t give me any shit about, “it’s their club, they can do what they like”.

    It would not be allowed… period!

    Fans would not allow it, the City of Manchester would not allow it, even the Premier League and the FA would get involved… it’s as daft as saying Real Madrid, or Barcelona could be moved…

    Whoever said this is possible is a fool, and seriously needs to eat more fish… a lot more.

  91. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    The Glazers could never move United, and don’t give me any shit about, “it’s their club, they can do what they like”.

    It would not be allowed… period!

    Fans would not allow it, the City of Manchester would not allow it, even the Premier League and the FA would get involved… it’s as daft as saying Real Madrid, or Barcelona could be moved…

    Whoever said this is possible is a fool, and seriously needs to eat more fish… a lot more.

    We’ve seen how much notice they take of the fans.
    What influence have the council got? None.
    The premier league don’t care where it’s played as long as its making money. 39th game?
    The FA are as impotent as the council.

    I’m not saying it will happen, just don’t be surprised if it does. There’s nothing legally stopping them, and we’ve seen how much scruples they’ve got.

    FYI. I had Salmon for tea last night, and I’m seriously contemplating tuna tonight.

  92. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    BiscuitBarrell said:
    We’ve seen how much notice they take of the fans.
    What influence have the council got? None.
    The premier league don’t care where it’s played as long as its making money. 39th game?
    The FA are as impotent as the council.

    I’m not saying it will happen, just don’t be surprised if it does. There’s nothing legally stopping them, and we’ve seen how much scruples they’ve got.

    FYI. I had Salmon for tea last night, and I’m seriously contemplating tuna tonight.

    Quit talking nonsense… Manchester United is the crown jewels of the Premier League… as much as the ABU brigade love to hate us… the fact is, Manchester United is responsible for bringing more money into the English game than any other team… by a long way.

    You really are sleeping too close to a source of toxic fumes Mate…

  93. BiscuitBarrell says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Quit talking nonsense… Manchester United is the crown jewels of the Premier League… as much as the ABU brigade love to hate us… the fact is, Manchester United is responsible for bringing more money into the English game than any other team… by a long way.
    You really are sleeping too close to a source of toxic fumes Mate…

    You don’t think so? That’s fine. I remember them saying that the FA would never allow teams to form a separate league. What happened? The teams just went off and made their own league (the premier league), where they divied up the money more to their liking. They also used to think that man couldn’t fly, we seem to do that frequently now, too.
    Time moves on, perspectives change. The only thing that keeps the league together is that the top 5 are currently making more money that way. If that changes – (individual media rights, European super league etc) – they’ll just go off where they want. To make more money. This thought that the others won’t allow it – what can they do?
    The fumes? Ahh you must be smelling the paint stripper I’m drinking. It’s ok though, I’ve got enough brains to lose a few million neurons and still be correct.

  94. Pikey McScum said:
    lol, I don’t remember that actually – it’s a shame things got so bad then, some real characters have fallen by the wayside

    That Pipey06 fella was probably my favourite…

    Naah that Pipey was a complete cunt along with that Nazereth dude.

  95. George Soros buys 8% of United. We never get the good ones…

  96. marlon said:
    George Soros buys 8% of United. We never get the good ones…

    Soros has bought 7.85% of class A shares. It’s a $40m stake. Very small. NOT 8% of club.

  97. Is he a cunt this George Soros?

    Wiki tells me “Soros supports progressive-liberal causes… he gave away over $8 billion to human rights, public health, and education causes”

  98. While not all investors get these things right, the man is a genius and would offer some level of credibility to other investors.

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