I feel as though the penny has dropped.
On Wednesday night I went and watched a pre season friendly. Not just any pre season match. But it was between Aldershot Town and Portsmouth FC. A derby between two Hampshire clubs. Before you start laughing, I implore you to read on.
This match was different as it will be one of Pompey's last, unless a miracle happens. On the 10th August the taxman will liquidize the club unless an agreement can be reached. This is four years on from when the club was at its highest peak. Winning the FA Cup in 2008. If you would have told a Pompey fan then that their situation would be so dire four years on, they would have told you to check yourself into the nearest rehab clinic. This was all because an owner brought the club but then could not pay the money needed to keep it running. And who will end up hurt the most. Not him. Not the people who own the club. But the people that the club really belong too. The fans.
Us Manchester United fans should count ourselves lucky. Not because the Glazers are brilliant owners. They are not. But because we support a club that can just about survive and succeed despite our owners. Despite their bleeding the club dry of its resources.
That doesn't make it any less wrong.
I have always thought, "we are Manchester United, we will be alright no matter what". But now I have a naggong doubt in my mind. Why have the Glazers now decided to float a portion of the club, and take half of the money raised for themselves. Why have they now signed a new shirt sponsor for two seasons away, when we could wait and possibly get more money down the line? Are they just greedy and want money? Or are they desperate and need money?
The fantastic AndersRed has posted another story yesterday, on how much the Glazers has cost United. I will leave you with a paragraph from his piece. I really could not put it better myself.
I want Manchester United run for the glory of Manchester United, not to make money for owners who do not care about it. I want the money United makes to be ploughed back into the club, invested in players, stadium and cheaper tickets, not wasted on financing costs. I want debts taken on only to expand the facilities of the club. This is not a pipe dream. It is how almost every European football club is managed, for the glory of the club. It is how the other financial titans; Barca, Real and Bayern are run.As part of the IPO roadshow, the senior management team at United (Woodward, Arnold and Bolingbroke) have done a video presentation. For the next few days you can view it here:In the video presentation they confirm that the club's transfer budget in the future will usually be a net £20-25m, the average spend over the last fifteen years. That is a choice being made by the Glazers, more concerned with maximising profits. A debt free United run like a normal football club could afford to compete with biggest clubs in Europe, we aren't even trying.