Well, well, well. I am not the kind of person to say I told you so. It's not in my nature. But I can't think of any other way to start this story. So........
A program aired in the UK over the weekend that brought to light the Glazers real financial problems. Apparently they are over a billion pounds in debt and have recently borrowed money against one of their core holdings. Malls that they borrowed 400 million pounds against and now they can't make the mortgage payments. They also borrowed money against their NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Combine that with the debt they created when purchasing Manchester United and it seems the Glazers are in rough shape financially. Is it any wonder the Glazers want 1.5 billion pounds for the club? It's the only way they can get out of debt and make some money. As I said in the comments section yesterday, the Glazers aren't great businessmen just because their NFL team makes money. They misjudged several aspects of their take over of Manchester United including the right time to make such a take over. Borrowing the amount of money that the Glazers did to buy United right before the markets crashed shows that they aren't as savvy as some people seem to think.
Do you think that owners facing over a billion pounds in debt would really say no if they were offered close to 100 million pounds for one player? Whether it's Rooney or not I have no trust that the Glazers will do anything other than try to make money.
The alleged debt issues came to light on a BBC television program called Panorama. Panorama is a current affairs documentary program that you may remember was responsible for bringing to light several offenses by Premier League clubs including Sam Allardyce and Bolton and Frank Arnesen at Chelsea. Now obviously I have never seen this program as it doesn't air in Canada but the fact that it has been on the air since the 50s tells me something. It tells me this is more than just a trashy program that fabricates stories in an attempt to get a reaction. It tells me this is a program that does the leg work and the investigating properly. Maybe I am wrong on that. Some of you are from the UK so I am sure you will be able to help out on this point. But I doubt a program could be on the air that long if it wasn't respectable.
The issue I have with the Glazers, and I always have, is that they saddled our club with debt without caring what we thought. The fans only matter to the Glazers as commodities. They sell us tickets, shirts, and magazines. And they sell us to AON to make as much money as possible. The fans don't want this debt on our club which is why the Green and Gold campaign, among others, have sprung up during the Glazer era. The fans are attempting to get their message through to the Glazers. But the problem? No one is listening.
Now there are reports that United will have to sell to 'ease their wage bill'. Dave Whelan thinks that the only reason United are still stable is Sir Alex. Luckily we have the greatest manager in the history of English football. If we didn't? I shudder at the thought. Selling players to ease the wage bill? At a club that makes profits of over 60 million pounds a season? In what world does that make sense? A Glazer world where profits are used to pay off debt not strengthen the club.
Now in the interests of balance and fairness I should mention that spokespeople for the Glazers have come out and said they are fine financially. The business model of the club is strong. Blah blah blah. Now I am not a financial expert and maybe I will never be a billionarie. Maybe the Glazers know just what they are doing and I have it all wrong. In the end it doesn't matter. All I care about is that my club isn't in debt. And until the Glazers are gone I can't see a way that Manchester United can be debt free.
Manchester United is a club with the ability to make vast amounts of profit. Right now those profits are used to pay off the interest that is accumulating on the debts of a group of owners the fans of the club don't want. In the end that is an injustice that I can't live with.