Thursday, 24 June 2010

How long do you have to wait on the “waiting list”?

The wait for a bespoke new Ferrari is over two years, for a Hermès “Birkin” handbag you have to wait nine months, and in some parts of the country the Daily Telegraph claims the waiting list for an allotment is up to 40 years.

So what about that other valuable commodity, the Manchester United Football Club Season Ticket? If you join the waiting list, how long do you have to wait?


You only have to wait 4 hours.

That’s how long it took one red to receive the following email, having registered himself, as an experiment, on the waiting list earlier the same day:





The following day, he received another email with a link to United’s (new this season) “Season Ticket waiting list booklet”.  As IMUSA have pointed out, this shows season tickets available everywhere with “limited availability” in the Family Stand (understandably) and North Stand Tier 3, the perennially unpopular “little Oslo” where fans find out what top flight football looks like when viewed through a distant letter box.  Limited availability in NT3? Or perhaps the only part of the ground not visible on TV?

The prize for the most amusingly desperate attempt of this renewals season (and a sad reflection on the club’s fabled CRM database) is won by this (from a Red Issue Sanctuary contributor):

A few years ago my daughter (then 13) registered on MUFC.com [sic] in order to download photos of Ronaldo. This morning they have written to her asking if she would like a season ticket.

The club remain tight lipped about renewals of course, and financially it is the widely reported collapse in executive/hospitality sales that will have the biggest impact.  I’m sure that bond investors will be keen to quiz the club on all this on the next quarterly results call on 27th August.

LUHG

178 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andersred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EastStand 375 said...

Anders,

North Stand Tier 3 has limited availability because along with the family stand it's the only area of the ground where juniors can buy season tickets, at a price of £190.

But please don't let that fact get in the way of yet another one of your good old fashioned conspiracy theories.

Your desperation has now reached a level of epic proportions.

The overwhelming majority of season tickets that the club is allowed to sell (54,000 max) will be sold. I predict a figure of at least 52,000 and will afford myself a little chuckle when the final figures are released at some point next season.

Cheerio

Ralphie said...

Afternoon, Tufty.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Percy The Ratcatcher said...

Another sign of the times: the two latest stories from BBC Sport's Premier Leagues news feed -

1 Day Ago. Man Utd rule out bid to sign Cole.

1 Hour Ago. Scholes 'to play one more season'.

I love Paul Scholes, but what kind of investment in the team is this ?

The Red Devil said...

Just out of interest, I put a family member on the list the other week (Friday 11th June).

I received an email on 13th June which said:-


Dear Supporter

Thank you for your recent enquiry to join the season ticket waiting list.

I can confirm you have been added onto the list. Please note, one united members will be prioritised when looking to allocate from the season ticket waiting list. If you are not already a member and would like to join please contact us on XXXXX and an advisor will be happy to help.

If we can make you an offer for the 2010/11 season you will receive an invitation around mid June.


Have heard nothing since.

Make of that what you will.

Ole1999 said...

@ Anders
I see where the UEFA fair play regulations were released today.

Do you intend to do an analysis of whether we will pass the rules as outlined?

David Gill remains adament we will pass but it is hard to understand how considering our accumulated losses of £89.6m and YTD losses of £66.6m.

As you read it, can the Goodwill amortisation be added-back as Gill seemed to be suggesting?

andersred said...

Eaststand - loosen up man, it's meant to be (slightly) humorous. I have no idea what the final ST total will be, although chasing up teenage girls who once downloaded a Ronnie screensaver sounds pretty desparate!

As I said, it'll be (mainly economic) driven execs/hospitality sales that'll have an impact.

Red Devil, isn't that just a "give us more money" tactic?

Ole - I've got work to do and a World Cup to watch! I will take a more detailed look when I get a chance, but it would be madness for goodwill amortisation to be deducted so I'm sure Gill is right (on this one at least).

anders

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

@ Red Devil

What I make of it - before selling you a season ticket, the Glazers would also like to extract the cost of a One United membership from you.

If you or your family member chooses to hand over £30 of your hard-earned cash in order to give them another several hundred, and you think that's fair and good value, that's your choice.

If you just registered your family member out of interest to see what happens next, then you just contributed to making the season ticket waiting list an industry joke. Also your choice.

Anonymous said...

Good work AR as always and a good read and one i didnt need my dummys guide to accounting for. keep up the fight

The Red Devil said...

@Percy the Ratcatcher - I was just hearing all kinds of things about the "waiting list" and everyone seemed to have a different experience so I wanted to see for myself what was happening.

For the sake of fairness, I also signed up for MUST Membership and am now counted towards the 160,000 they claim to be supporting their cause.

Seriously, you are, in fact, a Manchester United supporter are you not? Why do you go to such lengths to bring ridicule onto our club?

Or are the Glazers responsible for your actions too?

The Red Devil said...

@ Andersred -"Red Devil, isn't that just a "give us more money" tactic?"

Give us £30 or we won't sell you this £600 ticket despite the fact that we are desperate?

Yes, brilliant tactic.

Stick to staring at numbers and graphs Anders. There's a place in this world for all of us.

andersred said...

Errr.... The membership was to give "priority" not a requirement to actually get a ticket.

You always HAD to be a member to get a ST in the past of course. This year (along with that beautiful pdf), you can get on the "list" as a non-member. In the case of my correspondent (and others with similar experiences) you "join the list" and get offered a ticket virtually simultaneously.

Assuming that, as a non-member, you are sufficiently motivated to try to get a ST then you may well be sufficiently motivated to pay £30 for the right to be "prioritised". Hardly a mystery....

From the letter to the teenage girl (registered as an "e-member" on manutd.com), they are casting their net pretty wide.

Last season, games were going on open sale and Viagogo was packed with unsold surplus tickets, why be surprised that renewals are tough this year?

On of the advantages of doing this blog is that I get good information from sympathetic people inside the club (of whom there are a lot I can assure you). I'll believe what they tell me and you believe whatever fits with your cosy contrarian view of life!

anders

Anonymous said...

Anders, when should we really start turning the screws on the Glazers?

Steven said...

@Ole1999
@Anders
Regarding the UEFA FFP rules I came across an interesting article on this a few weeks ago.
http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2010/05/uefa-say-fair-play-to-arsenal.html
I don't know if the figures are accurate but it lists the financial data of United and our main competitors vis-a-visa Uefa's proposals.
Health Warning: it's written by a gooner so plenty of smug sanctimony.

The Red Devil said...

@Anders - I don't think disagreeing with someone who has been shown to stretch the truth in any way that he can in order to prove his point is a sign of having a "contrarian view of life".

All I have done is shown that not everyone is offered a season ticket within four hours (my relative is still waiting for their invitation to purchse and it has been two weeks now).

I have no doubt that there is a "hierarchy" as they sift through the list of names that they have.

Current (or ex) ST holders who have not renewed are obviously main priorities because they have shown a willingness to buy in the past.

Then it may well be One Members then e-Members and then complete strangers with no history on the Manchester United database.

The only thing that matters here are the actual figures come Saturday 14th August.

The rest is mere rumour, speculation and yet more anti-Manchester United propaganda.

andersred said...

Speculation indeed. As I said we'll find out more at the next quarterly results.

"anti-Manchester United propaganda" absolutely not. A football club exists on a different level from its owners - should Pompey fans have kept quiet as their club was trashed by a series of owners?

Manchester United existed long before the Glazers and will exist long after they are gone. The supporters are the only constant, outlasting players, managers, even the stands and floodlights....

We all support the team, but I struggle to see how apologists like you can make any legitimate claim to support the club.

anders

The Red Devil said...

You're cracking Anders.

Everything you are doing now is with the sole intention of putting spanners in the works of the owners' business plan even if that means (as it necessarily will if it is to succeed) bringing Manchester United - as a footballing entity - down with it.

What's the phrase? "Short term pain for long term gain"?

Give me a break. You're deluded.

You, your cohorts and sycophants are seeking to do more damage to the club than the Glazers have ever done to damage the Club in the five years of their ownership.

I fear that this situation is now becoming far too personal for you as your reputation is now on the line and in your desperation to prove that what you are saying is right, you are advocating things with the express intention of giving your predictions every opportunity of coming true - even if that damages the Club.

You don't speak on behalf of all the fans Anders and you are playing dangerous games with the Club I have supported since I first became fascinated with the nickname "The Red Devils" when I was about five years old.

I will be forty years old in a few months. My love for United goes back much further than the Glazers.

But, if it suits your argument, go ahead and portray me as a Glazer sympathised and a "non-fan" or whatever it is I am supposed to be.

I'll be supporting the team next season, what will you be doing? Staring at a spreadsheet?

Anonymous said...

"Everything you are doing now is with the sole intention of putting spanners in the works of the owners' business plan..."

If that business plan is only in the interests of the owners' and against the short, medium, and long term interests of the club, do you think a fan of the club should do all they can for that plan to succeed or fail?

The Red Devil said...

@Anonymous - Go away and get a clue and think up a name while you're at it. Replying to 100 people all called Anonymous gets very confusing.

This issue has been done to death all over the internet.

Show me one coherent argument that proves the Glazers can make their business plan work without success on the footballing side and I'll discuss it further with you.

Until then, your comment remains something you don't understand and is just something you copy/pasted from somewhere else and you thought it sounded good.

Quetzalcoatl said...

@Red Devil

"Stick to staring at numbers and graphs Anders. There's a place in this world for all of us."

That's right Smart Alec, and judging by your link, your place in the world appears to be writing utterly derivative dreary bilge on yet another no-mark United blog.

There are about four decent United blogs in the world and i'm sorry to break it to you wannabe, but yours ain't one of them.

Please, in the interests of your own sanity, cease and desist and do something more worthwhile like mow the lawn or collect the fluff from under the bed and - here's an idea - if you're so implacably at odds with the author of this excellent blog, fuck off with your peevish comments.

The Red Devil said...

@Quetzalcoatl - Sorry. No can do. I know it would be nice if the other side of the argument all just disappeared but there are some of us who just don't agree with Anders and MUST and feel the need to balance up the argument somewhat.

As for my peevish little comments, you're a fine one to talk.

I think you will find Anders can give as good as he gets in that regard too.

As the owner of this blog, Anders is perfectly at liberty to close the comment facility or even delete the comments that he doesn't like.

That he chooses not to do so at least shows that he is a believer in freedom of speech. Unlike your good self who seems to think that anyone who doesn't agree with you should just shut up and "go away".

I'm also sorry you don't like my own Blog. Your comments are duly noted. I'll admit, it doesn't include too many graphs and spreadsheets. Maybe that is something I should look into. It is clearly a much bigger issue with football fans than I suspected.

Anonymous said...

@Red Devil

I dip in and out of this blog to get a "feel" for the current barometer in respect of fans views, their intelligence and how that equates to the current highly unsatisfactory position of the club being owned by such reckless speculators.

The only conclusion I can draw from reading all the comments is that you simply do not have a life. I'd love to know what you do for a living, because whatever you do, I feel sorry for the people you work with/share your life with. To me, looking in from the outside, it seems like you have this blog page open wherever you go and probably look at it on your iPhone whilst driving in the outside lane of a motorway, such is your obsession with trying to discredit Anders. If Anders were to put a survey up on www.surveymonkey.com as to what readers of this blog thought of you, I don't think it would look very pretty. Move on and channel your energy for the club in a more positive fashion.

The Red Devil said...

@Anonymous - Brilliant argument! You've shown me the error of my ways and no mistake. I'll be supporting Anders now, for sure. Not.

It's just a pity for you that I don't give a stuff for such petty personal insults. Water off a ducks back. That you don't even have the courage to come from behind the "anonymous" moniker before throwing your insults is pathetic, frankly.

That you are unable to put forward a view on the REAL matter at hand makes me realise that you don't even have an argument.

As for your final sentence. I DO channel my energy for the club in a more positive fashion, that's the whole point, you tool.

What have YOU done for your club today?

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

@ Red Devil. Yes - I'm a Manchester United supporter, yes - I travelled to Moscow, yes - giving up my season ticket has been a really difficult choice for me. But it's one I feel compelled to make because of the debt the Glazers have heaped on our previously debt-free football club, the fact that SAF says we can no longer compete in the transfer market with the richest clubs (although we should be one of these) and the threat in the Bond Prospectus that if the Glazer's business plan does go belly up, their solution is to sell Old Trafford and Carrington and lease them back.

So that's my choice and my opinion. Can you respect that ?

The Red Devil said...

@ Percy the Ratcatcher - Of course I respect your opinion and your choice.

However, I think you're misguided, I think you're wrong and I think you are making a sacrifice on behalf of others who seek to benefit from it.

I trust you will afford me the same respect for my position on the subject.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

@ Red Devil. Respecting my opinion while describing it as misguided and wrong does seem to be a contradictory position. It seems to me that my opinion is perfectly valid on the evidence available, particularly the bond prospectus and SAF's public statements on United's position in the transfer market.

I understand your own position to be (my summary) "neither for or against the Glazers, though concerned about them speculating with the the club's future". I have simply come down on one side of the argument - I am against them, and I think they will bleed United dry.

My sacrifice is not for anyone's benefit, it's an act of protest against the Glazers. I have no brief for the Red Knights or MUST. My ultimate preference would be for a Barcelona style of fan ownership, but frankly I'd settle for owners who can actually afford to buy the club - something the Glazers patently never could.

The Red Devil said...

@ Percy the Ratcatcher - I don't think it is contradictory. It is right and proper to have respect for an opponent's view and their right to hold it.

The fact that we have opposing views makes each of us think the other is wrong though.

I won't get involved in a long and tedious debate with you about the points you raised though.

I am interested to know though... would there be any circumstances, however far down the road, that might make you think, "Actually, these Glazers aren't all that bad, really"? Or is your mind made up and that's that?

Mr. Another Anonymous said...

@Red Devil

Everybody knows who Anders is, what he does for a living and that based on publicly available data, he's passionately against what this family of parasites has been allowed to do with United. And I'm of the same view. Nothing good will come of their ownership of the club.

So it's a bit rich of you to accuse others of hiding behind the "anonymous" moniker. If you didn't hide behind your "Red Devil" identity, others on this blog might take your pro-glazer views a little more seriously. Perhaps.

As it is, merely sniping at Andy Green with stuff like "You're cracking Anders" is not adding anything to what you claim to want, i.e. reasoned debate. Like most of your posts, it's just classic tabloid spoiler stuff along the lines of: if you say something often enough, some people will start to believe it.

So, as The Who once sang: "who are you, doo, doo, doo, doo"? If you're not going to tell us then cease and desist posting here and stick to your own excellent blog. Perhaps some people might like to do a whois search on your domain name and come up with your "real name" eh "Andrew"?

It's been suggested before that you're just a hired hand of the glazers with a mission to create dissention within the anti-gimp camp. I see no reason to disagree with that view. Don't bother with another denial though, you just need to respect my view as you say.

And yes it may seem ironic, but my real name is Mr. Another Anonymous.........

andersred said...

Red Devil,

“Give me a break. You're deluded.

You, your cohorts and sycophants are seeking to do more damage to the club than the Glazers have ever done to damage the Club in the five years of their ownership.

I fear that this situation is now becoming far too personal for you as your reputation is now on the line and in your desperation to prove that what you are saying is right, you are advocating things with the express intention of giving your predictions every opportunity of coming true - even if that damages the Club.

You don't speak on behalf of all the fans Anders and you are playing dangerous games with the Club I have supported since I first became fascinated with the nickname "The Red Devils" when I was about five years old.”

The situation is only “personal” for me in as much as this is a subject I care deeply about. As for my “reputation”, reputation as what? Someone who comments on football finance? Is that “on the line”? Frankly I couldn’t care less if it is. I have no doubt that what I say about the financial prospects for the club are correct. It’s a view shared by numerous other financial commentators, the bond market (through the repricing of the bonds post their issue), the vast majority of football journalists (including the leader in the field David Conn), the fanzines, the supporters groups’, UEFA (as can be seen in their current attempts to prevent a repeat of the United and Liverpool LBOs), the list goes on.

On the other side we have (unsurprisingly) the senior management of Red Football and a small minority of supporters on the web.

I don’t claim to speak on behalf of any fans, let alone all of them. Nobody elected me and I have no mandate from anyone. What I do have is a regular readership of thousands including many in the media who are interested in my views.

Let me be crystal clear on one other thing. My advice is to not renew (or to start going match by match). It is advice and nothing else. It is not an instruction or an order. I have no issue with those supporters who value going to OT over taking action against the Glazers even if they oppose their ownership, I have friends in that camp. In the same way I know there are many supporters for whom ownership is not an issue at all. I disagree with that approach, but totally understand their position. I get annoyed with people who take your view because I believe it is totally wrong.

I’m sorry if you feel this is getting too personal, it’s sort of inevitable with a one man blog that talks about controversial subjects. I hope we can all discuss things with a reasonable amount of civility.

As for looking at charts next season, I’ll be the touts’ best friend as I recycle all my season ticket and travelling to Manchester money into trying to get to as many away games as I can....

anders

The Red Devil said...

@Mr. Another Anonymous - yet another just telling me to "go away" but requiring 300 words and no small amount of personal insults before they get to the point.

I have said it before and I will say it again.

I am in no way connected with the Glazers. I am not paid by the Glazers. I have no loyalty to the Glazers.

Whether the Glazers stay or whether the Glazers go will not affect me personally in any way shape or form.

The same WHOIS lookup will show you that I have been running The Red Devil in various forms since 2003 - well before the Glazers were even heard of.

I am a Manchester United supporter who simply does not subscribe to the view that "nothing good will come of the Glazers ownership".

The last five years of their ownership must surely make you question the truth of your own words!

Anyway, who are YOU? Anders in disguise?

Well, I might as well. Wild and spurious allegations seem to be perfectly acceptable around here.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

Red Devil asked me... would there be any circumstances, however far down the road, that might make you think, "Actually, these Glazers aren't all that bad, really"?

Yep. They could get their businesses in order (or sell 'em), cease using United's income to sevice the debt they accrued in buying the club, and stop drawing cringe-inducing consultancy fees from United. They could use the huge revenues United creates for the long-term benefit of the Football Club and its match-going supporters - who create a substantial chunk of those revenues to begin with.

Couple of questions back

1. Are you at all concerned about the amount of money being used to pay the Glazers' interest and consultancy bills, rather than on players of proven quality ?

2. Would your ideal ownership arrangement be

a) The Glazers
b) An individual or group who can remove or at least reduce the level of debt United is currently subject to ?
c) Fan ownership ?
d) A combination of the above ?

I'b better write cos Red Devil says so. said...

Red Devil, do you think United need new players this summer? Or more to the point, do you think Fergie thinks we need new players?

Ole1999 said...

@ Steven
Thanks very much for the link. This is consistent with the view that you add back the Goodwill amortisation.

However, the calc includes the PIK interest which of course David Gill swears is not our problem.

@ Percy @ I'd better write
I doubt you'll get the answers you're looking for. Red Devil only asks questions, rarely answers.

In his world the following are good things:

(i) We have made Losses after Tax for every year except one (the year we sold Ronaldo) with accumulated Losses of £89.6m to June 2009.

(ii) We have a Loss after Tax of £66.6m year-to-date.

(iii) We have had interest costs since ownership change of £171m to June 2009 and £28m year-to-date, all for the privilege of being owned by the Glazers.

(iv) We incurred costs of £40.7m in terminating interest rate swaps due to the need for the Glazers to re-finance out to 2017.

(v) For the Glazers to define United as a success, we do not have to win any trophies EVER ... 3rd in Prem, last 16 of Champs League and last 8 of domestic cups is good enough.
No Prem every 5 years, domestic cup every 5 years or Champs League every 15 years, or any of that rubbish.

But it’s ok, because we have been successful for the last 5 years all because of the Glazers and how they don’t interfere with Sir Alex in the day-to-day running of the club.

Let’s conveniently forget that the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney, Ferdinand were all purchased pre-Glazer or that Giggs, Scholes, Neville, O’Shea, Fletcher were products of a youth system put in place years ago.

In reality these players had very little to do with our success during the Glazer-era.

The Red Devil said...

@Anders - I'll respond to your essay in due course. An interesting read.

@Percy the Ratcatcher - PART ONE Right, your two questions... I'll come to in a bit because your opening sentence says more to me about why some supporters (such as yourself) and I will never really see eye-to-eye on this one.

You said, "Yep. They could get their businesses in order (or sell 'em), cease using United's income to sevice the debt they accrued in buying the club, and stop drawing cringe-inducing consultancy fees from United. They could use the huge revenues United creates for the long-term benefit of the Football Club and its match-going supporters - who create a substantial chunk of those revenues to begin with."

Firstly, and this is the one thing I have had to wrestle with myself for some time. "Using United's income to service the debt they accrued in buying the club".

The problem is, Manchester United were a PLC and as such, it was up for sale. Buy all the shares, you own the club. Simple as that. Me, you, Anders, MUST, all United fans and the Red Knights could have bought sufficient shares back then to prevent the takeover but we didn't. But this is besides the point.

Whether the Glazers obtained the money from their own back pocket or whether they borrowed the money is mostly immaterial. They got the money together and bought the club fair and square.

Their whole business plan was obviously to use revenues generated under their ownership in order to service the debts accrued.

In any other business, this practice would not cause the batting of an eyelid but because it is a football club we are talking about, it has caused uproar and I can understand why some people are angry.

The wording of your sentence is telling though. You use words and phrases such as "United's income" and "the huge revenues United creates".

This is where you and I go our seperate ways. My view is that as owners of the club, the income is the Glazers, not United's and the Glazers create the revenues, not Manchester United.

Now, I am not saying that they could have achieved the revenue growth by purchasing say, Accrington Stanley, the fact that it is Manchester United does a lot of the work for them ("The Brand").

What I am saying however is that the Glazers are given very little credit for the growth in revenue since their arrival but it has been substantial. You could argue that the revenue would have increased anyway but if that is the case, why didn't anyone else see the potential and buy the club? Could it be that the Glazers are not the stupid gnomes and gimps they are made out to be?

Basically, it is all very well to look at what has gone OUT of the club since the Glazers took over but you have to be fair and look at what has come IN too.

As for the "consultancy fees" etc. I am strongly of the opinion that much of those are tax avoidance measures. How much tax have the Glazers paid in the last five years?

I do believe that they shuffle money around their various businesses in an attempt to keep as much of it as possible under their own control and out of the clutches of governments.

That kind of answers your first question, I think but I can only back up what I say with what Fergie himself says about the Glazers always giving him the money whenever he has asked for it.

Some people choose to disbelieve what the big man says and this is yet another regrettable side issue of this whole affair.

The Red Devil said...

@ Percy the ratcatcher (PART TWO) As for your second question regarding my choice of ownership.

I must admit, I know very little about what "fan ownership" actually means. My personal opinion is that it is a fanciful notion that sounds nice but would be a nightmare in practice. Discussions such as this show just how even fellow Reds cannot agree on anything. Quite how a club would be run under such conflicting views is beyond me.

This is one of the reasons why I can't get too excited about the Red Knights (whoever and whatever they are).

I will be honest, my ideal owners would be the Glazers without the debts.

Seriously. I am not going to lie and say that I am overjoyed by the debts but so long as the Glazers continue to generate the revenues to service them and continue to do whatever they have been doing to support Fergie over the last five years then, on balance, I have few complaints.

I can certainly think of worse examples of club owners out there.

Stripped down to its absolute skeleton then the "dire" situation we have found ourselves in under the Glazers is a club which makes something in the region of £300million per annum of which £45million is paid out on the debt.

You can add the PiKs (around £216million) to that if you wish but it still does not lead me to believe that, overall, the Glazers are doing that bad a job.

Success is also measured by how well the team performs on the pitch and I can have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about that over the last five years.

Whatever the Glazers have "taken" from the Club, they certainly haven't taken anything away from that side of things so that's another tick in the boxes for me.

What few people understand though is that it is not in their interests to allow onfield success to drop. It is not in their interests to "bleed the club dry".

They maximise their income and the value of their asset by making it the biggest and the best that they can.

Their goals and our goals are in complete alignment.

Are they the best owners out there? I don't know but I certainly see no reason to bring them down now without anything concrete in place to replace them with.

The Red Devil said...

@I'b better write cos Red Devil says so - you ask "Red Devil, do you think United need new players this summer? Or more to the point, do you think Fergie thinks we need new players?"

And then ole1999 chirps in that you shouldn't expect an answer from me.

Well. How the hell am I supposed to answer half of that question?

The first of the question is fair enough and Yes, I do think we need one or two new players but we will need more NEXT summer unless one or two of the other players show that they are capable of stepping into the shoes of Giggs, Scholes, Neville and VDS.

BUT... there are squad limits from next season and we have a full squad. It is not a case of going out and buying five players (even if we had the funds and even if this was something we have ever done - which it isn't) because we are now at the "one in, one out" stage with our squad.

As for "do you think Fergie thinks we need new players?" I dunno. I tried mind-reading once and found it a scary experience. You would be surprised at the amount of shit some people keep in there.

Why don't you listen to what he says and does on the subject and take it from there? He has forgotten more than I will ever know about how to run a successful football team.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

Red Devil wrote: "My view is that as owners of the club, the income is the Glazers, not United's and the Glazers create the revenues, not Manchester United."

You've made my point very well. Manchester United and the Glazers are indivisible, and I can't be a match-going supporter without financially supporting the Glazers too.

Would have replied sooner, but I was watching David Villa score a superb goal for Spain. But United can't afford him.

The Red Devil said...

@Percy the Ratcatcher - Well, good luck trying to find the person who will run a business the size of Manchester United and not take a penny for themselves.

No wonder you're disillusioned.

As for David Villa. A cheap shot and nothing like honest.

Oh well, I tried but come away disappointed... again.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

Oh well, Red Devil... enjoy the customer experience. You pay whatever's requested. You get whatever you're given.

The Red Devil said...

@ Percy - Indeed. It's been pretty good value for money so far.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

It was going ok, wasn't it ? And then the recession hit... viva Ronaldo. Tara Tevez. No Cole, no Villa, only Smalling. Value for money.

The Red Devil said...

Ok Anders.

Here's my take on it all.

Firstly, I have to commend you on the body of work you have put together on this blog. There is nothing else quite like it out there and as such it is exceptional.

I, like many others, have never known quite what to make of the Glazers since they came along and bought our club in 2005. I had heard all the horror stories about what they were going to do and, coming on the back of one of the most successful periods in Manchester United's history, I had concerns that we were about to go into a downward spiral.

Having watched over the last five years, though, I started to wonder what all the fuss was about. From an outsiders point of view, it looked very much like things had only got better.

And then those financial reports came out earlier this year and I saw all the headlines about how much debt we were in, how we had to sell Ronaldo to make a profit, how the debts were spiralling out of control and how, ultimately, Manchester United would implode under the weight of unservicable debts and interest payments.

Like many others, I sought out sources of information that could perhaps offer me some reassurance that this was media speculation and that the situation was not as bad as being reported. It was this search that brought me into contact with your blog.

At first, I was impressed. Here was a guy who clearly knew his financial onions and was also a Manchester United fan and could put me straight.

As time as gone by, however, I have come to realise that not all on this site is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

If there is an upside to anything, it is ignored; if there is a downside, it is magnified.

I have come to appreciate that you are philosophically opposed to the type of ownership that the Glazers represent and changing someone's philosophy is as futile as trying to change someone's religion so I won't go there.

This is a shame though because I do believe that this blog and your knowledge could help to settle a great many arguments between the opposing factions within the Manchester United supporters. You truly could help to "fill the gap of knowledge" as in your stated intention.

I genuinely believe that the split between fellow Reds, caused by people such as yourself is causing more damage to the good name of Manchester United than anything the Glazers have done.

And here's where I am going to get controversial. If any of what I say is libellous, don't publish it. You're the publisher here and you're responsible for whatever appears.

The Red Devil said...

@ Anders (Part Two)

I see a group of people (MUST) who have always wanted fan-based ownership.

I see you, who is closely aligned to MUST although, wisely, and not coincidentally, not in with the "higher levels" of their hierarchy.

I see a group of business-people called The Red Knights who would like to buy the club.

You are advising non-renewal of season-tickets with the stated intention of preventing the one-off injection of funds which will allow them to take out "club profits" in order to pay off their personal debts. The intention behind this is to throw out their financial planning.

MUST are not following your stance because you are now the willing "fall-guy" whilst leaving MUST in the clear (as you yourself say, you "couldn't care less" about how this all ends up reflecting on you). However, you have built up a reputation and a following that now treats your word as gospel and, at the very least, your figures are quoted in the press as coming from an "authority figure on the subject".

You have basically, as far as I can see, produced an anti-Glazer propaganda campaign on behalf of MUST and the Red Knights for the last six months. Your figures are quoted everywhere and by the time they have been shown to be flawed, it is too late.

The Red Knights, having initially stated their intention to put in a bid for the club, have since "disappeared" into the background but I know they have not truly disappeared.

They don't have the funds to buy the club from the Glazers legitimately and so the last six months has seen an anti-Glazer propaganda campaign (including the appalling Panorama documentary on which you appeared) which has been perfectly timed to coincide with the one point in the season where supporters can have the biggest financial impact on revenues for the Glazers.

The intention is to make the Glazers more willing to sell (your words) at a price that the Red Knights can afford (my words).

The problem is this.

You have taught us all to turn our cynic-o-meters up to maximum whilst viewing the business dealings of the Glazers but we are expected to turn them down to zero when viewing your role, MUST's role and that of the Red Knights.

You are not in this for the money, MUST are paupers who work for nothing and the Red Knights are doing this as a purely altruistic gesture.

I'm sorry but I can't turn my cynicism off just like that.

If United were some two-bit semi-pro outfit making peanuts, I could probably get behind you but we are talking about a business worth in excess of £1 billion with £300million and rising revenues here and some people want to be in control of it for a knockdown price.

The Red Devil said...

@Anders (Part Three)

The Glazers have put in place certain things (global sponsorship rights with the associated mobile technology possibilities of such rights stretching into a market of hundreds of millions of people - I know some have mocked this idea but who knows where mobile technology will be in five years' time? Products such as the iPad are a very exciting glimpse.) which could make the club billions in the coming years. They claim to have already turned down a bid of £1.5billion. This might be a lie, I don't know - but I can see why it could be true.

As far as I am concerned, the Red Knights are (ab)using fan-power to get their hands on all this for a bargain £800million and you and MUST are their tools to get the job done.

I cannot prove that either you or MUST stand to gain financially from any of this and so I won't make that claim. I have, however, been accused (unchallenged by yourself) on this very blog of somehow being on the Glazers' payroll and so I see no reason why you and MUST should be exempt from the same treatment. Like it or not, it will be in the back of some people's minds.

Besides, reward does not necessarily mean direct financial payment. Rewards can take other guises: Kudos, fame and position to name but a few.

In summary, despite your intentions with this blog, I feel that there is a credibility gap. You are not providing a complete financial insight regarding Manchester United. You are merely providing sufficient information for people to form the opinion that the Glazers must be ousted.

If you wish to purchase the club, put in an offer. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. To take advantage of the fans' lack of knowledge in the area of finance in order to influence their decision to give or withhold funds from the current owners with the express intention of lowering the price to within the Red Knights' reach is, in my opinion, far more unethical than anything the Glazers have done at any stage of their purchase or running of the club.

Matt said...

@RD. I think a 'credibility gap' is a bit much. This is the most complete financial analysis I have seen. If you think something is missing, then tell us what is missing. Anders is merely backing up his point of view with hard facts. And, like all facts, they are hard to dispute.

You on the other hand concentrate on a mixture of optimism and conjecture, such as 'who knows where mobile technology will be in five years' time ?', 'what will ticket prices be?' etc, etc.

None of us know, clearly. And so none of us know for sure whether we'll clear the debt (because I haven't seen any credible projections showing that we can). There is a fair chance that we won't, in my view. If you disagree then I beg you, publish this information that Anders is apparently hiding from us. Show us how you think the debt will be cleared. But please don't reply saying 'I have no idea but I reckon it will happen' because that really isn't credible.

You seem to be suggesting that we'll take something like an extra £50 each from a million United fans per year, starting this year, via some magic means which you currently have no further details on... but it might have something to do with iPads. Now that's what I call a credibility problem.

Short of this technological miracle (which would happen for everyone if it comes, still leaving us behind our competition), then a change of ownership is coming down the line one way or the other. I would personally prefer that to happen now, rather than after 5 more years of leeching the club dry followed by a fire sale.

And no, that doesn't make me, or anyone else, anti-United.

jack said...

Manchester United Belongs To Fans Not To Those Leechers.

jack said...

some supporters does not like truth come out about of our clubs finance.


LUHG

RobC said...

Red Devil = Agent Provocateur as described in the common use of the phrase here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_provocateur

Your output on this blog has been prolific and could only have come from a nutter or an Agent Provocateur. The comments atributed to you are designed very carefully and deliberately to confuse an already financially confusing situation about Uniteds ownership and to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of some glazer doubters among our support.

A very similar media campaign was waged by the glazers before the hostile takeover which succeeded in causing debate and doubt.

I like many other self respecting Reds are not taken in by your musings.

You're obviously not going to go away and politically Anders can't ban you from posting here.

Have a nice life mate whoever you are, you deserve it.

fattmatt said...

Anders

Any idea what the churn rate of STs are every year for MUFC?

The Red Devil said...

@Matt - No I cannot see clearly into the future and as I am not privy to the inside business dealings of the Glazers, I can only go off what I have seen already.

There are however, things like these:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/17/manchester-united-premierleague

http://www.sportspromedia.com/notes_and_insights/_a/manchester_united_glazers_coffers_get_big_boost_but_with_big_warning/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/2010/05/glazers_in_no_rush_to_pay_off.html


Yes, all positives are tempered by negatives in the articles but I prefer that kind of thing.

In all anti-Glazer propaganda, we are told to only look at the debts and the money going OUT. The fact that the money coming IN has increased enormously under them is something that is rarely mentioned.

In view of some of the things written in those articles, I think it also highlights why it is wrong to suggest "the revenues would have risen anyway - even without the Glazers".

I just feel that to give a true representation of Manchester United under the Glazers, you need to look beyond the debts.

Something Anders rarely does. Not that I would expect him to, given his personal views on the Glazers's business model.

@RobC - Agent what? Erm... and you call ME a nutter? You've been reading too many spy novels, me thinks. No. I am not employed by ANYBODY.

My motives are similar to Anders (it's a labour of love) except my quest is for truth and fairness.

jack said...

hey so called The RED Devil.
do u want to look beyond debts. then
very clear. apart from debts what they doing. taking money out of club .they are charging to handle Manchester United club.over 20 million pound they charge last year for handling Manchester United.
u put link of bbc called Glazers r in no rush to pay off debts.so can tell me all money generated by Manchester United for sponsorship,merchandise,sell of players,ticket price.
if u find this then u will know they r good for our club or bad?

and for Anders he all ways look both side negative and positive .u have read every post he put up here. u will find out .

k bye take care.
cheers mate.

LUHG

Matt said...

@RD - I'd rather we didn't have to turn ourselves into something more like Coca-Cola than MUFC but given our situation I hope you are right, I really do.

Assuming they total, say 40million for each of 5 years then that at least covers most of the bond interest. So then next year we should see interest payments being met and either significant investment in the team, or else significant profit. Looking forward to it...

Matt said...

... that said 80m is on the shirt deal, half of which has gone already and details do seem a little hard to come by on the others.

I think to be fair to Anders, we ought to flesh it out a bit he's very consciencious with his figures - so how does the other 120m break down and how many years is it paid over ?

The Red Devil said...

Yes, the shirt deal is the biggie and half of that has been taken upfront.

One of those articles merely says "United's commercial arm has completed 20 deals, raking in over £200m, with the prospect of more to come."

Looking at some of the deals, they seem to be for relatively "small" amounts £3m-£9m spread over 3-5 years.

http://www.sportspromedia.com/deals/_a/huge_cash_boost_in_new_manchester_united_deal/

http://www.sportspromedia.com/deals/_a/glazers_boosted_as_manchester_united_seal_another_multi-million_sponsorship/

http://www.sportspromedia.com/deals/_a/manchester_united_sign_another_new_sponsor/



The point being that they all add up, of course and have so far yielded £200million.

All of these deals have been done since the commercial arm was set up in 2007.

I hate to be petty but I have to fight my corner here because you can see the kind of abuse I get but surely these figures have to be factored in when assessing "the cost of the Glazers"?

BS said...

@ Red (Not Green and Gold) Devil

Part One:

Just read the entire comments on Anders latest post.

I must admit that I got great value out of the comments from the so-called 'Red Devil'.

You remind me of a politician/spin doctor/fortune teller............never makes concrete observations or provides concrete answers to any questions but instead offers up a complete spiel of what can only be described as drivel, lacking the ability to offer a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer. Even a toddler with little or no vocabulary is able to muster up a yes or no response. For example, do you need to go to the toilet?......A yes or no response is then offered up in the form of spoken baby English or maybe a nod or a dart to the toilet if child is not yet able to communicate verbally. I would hate to play the toilet game with you red devil as it could be a seriously tedious and unnecessarily long, drawn out process. Q: Red devil do you need to go to the toilet? A: A response laden with stupid questions and observations about the toilet which have actually got nothing to do with the matter in hand. End result is that Red Devil spends so much time talking drivel he/she inevitably wets him or herself and everyone sniggers at the puddle of pee on the kitchen floor.

Instead of getting to the point in a concise manner you simply bombard readers of the comments section of this blog with massive pages of text which is essentially what boils down to utter nonsense.

No fan of MUFC could possibly be happy with the Glazers ownership of the club, never mind sitting beside your PC 24/7 to defend them whenever normal fans voice their dissatisfaction with the aforementioned ownership.

BS said...

@ Red (Not Green and Gold) Devil

Part Two:

As for your 'we have won this that and the other under the Glazers' argument, that is more drivel which is not possible to quantify. It could be argued that the team was already in place before the Glazers arrived. As for the future performance of the team it is starkly obvious that we are falling behind our rivals both at home and abroad due to a lack of funds being available for SAF to spend. SAF having to come out and say he doesn't see value in the market is clearly code for we are skint as these Yanks are bleeding us dry. SAF wasn't worried about value for money in 2002 when we broke the transfer record for Ferdinand paying circa £30m for him in the process. Adding inflation for the eight years since then onto that fee and you get the idea of what we could and should be spending on players today give or take a few million. Yet today we can't spend anything like that on players despite the fact that revenues/profits are stronger than ever.

And do not even think of giving me your quite frankly idiotic 'Glazers are masters are marketing and have driven sponsorship deals/revenues up since 2005' argument. I would say that anyone who could not take on the Manchester United brand and increase their revenue streams is incompetent at best. Where is the highest concentration of people living on this planet? Yes, its Asia so lets get go there on pre-season tours and open MUFC megastores in that region and do some deals with Asian companies to promote the club in Asian countries etc etc, my goodness those Glazers are impressive when it comes to marketing, they must be rocket scientists too because only extremely clever people could broker sponsorship deals for the biggest brand in world football in one of the only regions of the world where we hadn't targeted before. Yet somehow the Glazer master marketeers managed to negotiate us a shirt sponsorship deal with Aon for less money than Liverpool got from their new sponsors, that is seriously impressive stuff. The Aon marketing department must have had a party in the office when their offer was accepted. Getting their name on the front of the shirts of the most widely supported football club in the world for a pittance (in comparative terms), unbelievable! Then if that deal wasn't sweet enough, during the party at the Aon offices one of the executives came in with a fax from MUFC saying 'I tell you what, we are so strapped for cash that if you pay us a big chunk of the money upfront we will go even lower in terms of the overall deal', cue more champagne corks popping in the Aon office............nice work again Glazers, impressive stuff

BS said...

@ Red (Not Green and Gold) Devil

Part Three:

Furthermore, the last time I checked this was the 'Andersred Blog' yet you contribute more of your 'own opinions' (monotonous drivel) than Anders and the rest of his readers put together. I understand that some fans may well be quite passive with regards the ownership of the club both historically (stretching back to Edwards and the Plc days etc etc) and feel the same with regards the present day owners and that is fine but the amount of effort you put in in order to pick holes in Anders research is confusing at best. I can't understand why anyone (let alone a fan of the club) would want to come on here and dedicate so much time in attempting to discredit and mock a fellow fan's work in trying to bring to the attention of paying united fans the financial situation of the club. The BBC/Panorama had obviously looked into the analysis provided by Anders and were happy with its content/sources etc or they would have left themselves open to legal action. It was fine for the biggest broadcasting corporation in the world not to mention their legal advisers to air the numbers involved yet the figures reported were not fine for a so-called united with too much time on his/her hands.

I sincerely hope that you are not a fan of MUFC because I would be disgusted to think that any fan of the club could honestly hold the ridiculous opinions you spew onto this blog at every opportunity.

Utter rubbish which I am sure 99.9% of readers of this blog view as such.

I could say that I am looking forward to hearing from you but in reality I most definitely am not. However, I am sure you can't wait to reply with your usual waffle, plus that will put in another half an hour of your day for you.

What I am looking forward to, like 99.9% of readers of this blog, is Anders next update which I am hoping provides us with more concrete information on the Glazers worsening financial situation.

Next time I am in Old Trafford watching United play (which will not be until the Glazers have been ousted) the first thing I am going to do is buy a cold pint of Budweiser and toast the fact that the Glazers are no longer bleeding our club dry and the fact that you will be out of a job and won't be able to come on here and talk nonsense. After I have savoured that toast and taken great pleasure from it I am gonna cheer my team on to what will hopefully be another premier league title or another trophy to fill the cabinet yet further.

Love United Hate Glazers and Red Devil

Gotta go, my two year old needs to go to the toilet..........

BS

The Red Devil said...

@BS - I can only say that you made a wise choice with your name.

RobC said...

@BS: well said mate.

@Red Devil: it's simply not credible that your output on this blog is anything other than a campaign of spin designed to pour derision and scorn on the financial investigations by Andy and others into the glazers ownership of United.

As I've already noted, the comments atributed to you are designed very carefully and deliberately to confuse an already financially confusing situation about Uniteds ownership and to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of some glazer doubters among our support.

I repeat, you're either a nutter or you're doing it on behalf of the glazer camp. And if I had the time, knowledge and skills, I would make it my mission to find out who the fcuk you really are. Because clearly you can't be a United fan and write the utter drivel you post here.

The Red Devil said...

@RobC - The thing is. Everything so far aimed at me has tended to be name-calling. "You are a nutter" or attempts to discredit me by saying that I must be a paid Glazer employee or something.

The actual arguments against me have been largely pathetic to be honest but I am supposed to be the one with no argument.

How many times do I have to tell you, I am a Manchester United supporter. I live in Manchester. I was born in Manchester. I have been running a Manchester United website for seven years on and off.

What simply astounds me is that some people are not willing to even accept that maybe, just maybe, there is another side to the story and that it is worth considering.

Most of the comments against me so far have read like, "He's saying things I don't like. Make the bad man go away! Maybe if we call him enough names, he will stop."

If it makes you happier, I will stop. I think I've said all I had to say anyway.

What that won't change however is the fact that:-

a) The Glazers will still own Manchester United.

b) Despite wanting new owners in, you don't have a clue exactly who, what, where those new owners are nor how they will raise the funds necessary to oust the Glazers nor if they will end up being better or worse than what we currently have or if they will end up plunging the club into even deeper debt.

fattmatt said...

Does anyone know the churn rate for MUFC STs for the last few years, pre 2008 if possible?

I quite like the Red Devil having a different opinion about the financial hardship,(not always clearly thought out, but that would include boths sides of the arguments there have been on most aspects of this saga). If he was perhaps a bit more succinct and not ready to respond so quickly to nearly every comment then he might not have to battle with everyone.

Bootsie said...

Red Devil

A simple question. Is the the club in a better financial position now than it was pre-takeover? For all the increase in turnover and new revenue streams (and ramping up the cost of tickets didn't exactly need an MBA) we've gone from being a debt free club to one owing over £700M. And although you'd rather we didn't focus on the debt it's a bloody big elephant in the room and something that's gradually dragging the club back.

The Red Devil said...

@Bootsie - Dare I answer?

Is it worth bothering to answer?

Am I only allowed to say "Yes" or "No"?

Anonymous said...

@ Red Devil
Thanks for the wonderful insight in answering Bootsie's question.

This is like an episode of Malcolm in the Middle ... yes, no, maybe, I don't know, can you repeat the question.

It's funny how you mention a credibility gap about Andersred, but yet show no credibility yourself.

Red Devil is the kind of guy who says he is anti-MUST and then signs up to be a member ... go figure the mentality of that.

steven said...

@The Red Devil

As a fellow Manc, please give me hard facts why the Glazers are in any way, shape or form, good for United. You do not have to give a yes or no answer. You are allowed to expand further.

Bootsie said...

Red Devil

I'm trying to keep it civil, and I won't accuse you of any ulterior motives. As one Utd fan to another, put your case as to why you think we're in a better position now than we would have been if the Glazers hadn't bought the club. I'm genuinely interested in hearing a cogent argument as to why the Glazers have been a positive influence on Manchester United.

Matt said...

@ RD
' surely these figures have to be factored in when assessing "the cost of the Glazers"?'

Yes, absolutely.

I'm trying to get to around 50m - 60m per year - preferably a bit more... over and above previous levels of income.

Because that would then service / gradually reduce at least the bond debt and allow investment in the team. Chances are that anything less will not be enough.

Depending on how you see the PIKs (and I'm with Anders here) then we really need something like 100m / year to bring both debts down. This is a hugely scary number.

If we can take the 200m as read over about 5 years (though I always get suspicious when they don't publish the details, as how are we to know whether that figure is accurate...) then I'd reckon that's perhaps about double what we might have expected otherwise.

So let's say 20m / year. Not a bad start, but not enough yet. Get it to 50m, or preferably nearer 100m, then I'll rest easy.

Also, I'd contend that overall investment in the team is lower than it needs to be by roughly the same amount over the last few years so I'm not sure we're really that far ahead !

Matt said...

@Bootsie - if you read some of RD's other posts, you won't find comments claiming that the Glazers have put us in a good position. But seeing as they do own us know, the question is, does their ownership emperil the club ?

Many of us think yes, based on the debt figures / likely lack of investment in the team.
RD thinks no, based on likely revenue increases. Only time will tell unless someone can an orchestrate a takeover.

Matt said...

@RD Incidentially I fully agree with your (a) and (b) points above.
When you look @ the numbers though, I think it would actually be quite difficult plunge us into deeper debt than we are already in.

We will soon owe (via the bonds / PIKs together) almost as much as we are 'worth', and the amount owed will rise faster than our value in my view.. it can't get a lot worse than that !

The Red Devil said...

Part One

OK. Well, this is weird. Despite what people say, I am NOT pro-Glazer as such and so I am being asked to defend something when the people I am being asked to defend have shown no willingness to defend themselves!

Anyway. The angle I come from is that the Glazers are the current owners. We are not being offered the choice of owners here and we are not being asked to "vote" on our favourite.

The Glazers bought the club a whole five years ago and so my stance is merely from the "default" position of: This is what we have. Do we go with it or do we fight it?

Now, if you ask the question: Are we in a better financial position now than we were pre-takeover and you are comparing a zero-debt situation with a £500-700million debt situation and that is all there is to go on then only an idiot would say that the current situation is better. No debt is obviously better than debt and I am not going to argue otherwise.

Another trite answer to the question could be: Would you prefer a club that is generating circa £200million revenue and no interest payment or would you prefer a club which is generating circa £300million revenue but has to make a £45million interest payment every year?

The fact is this: Both of those questions and answers are irrelevant. The situation we have is the situation we have. The Glazers own the club at the moment and discussing "what if" situations is all rather pointless.

As far as I am concerned, the things we need to be concentrating on are these:-

A) Is the debt situation going to prevent the team from competing for the highest honours?

B) Can we achieve A without the debts spiralling out of control?

Now, as far as A is concerned, have we or have we not been competing for the highest honours, and with some considerable success over the last five years?

Yes, we have.

We came within a whisker of doing what no other team has ever done in English football history last season - win four top flight league titles in a row.

I know the arguments against this already: this was done by the genius of Fergie and the Glazers had nothing to do with it.

Fair enough but surely it demonstrates that the Glazers have not impeded the genius of Fergie in any way? They have provided him with the tools and the platform with which to express his genius.

This is a key point.

The Red Devil said...

Part Two

The big question is whether or not we can continue this. The arguments against the Glazers are that they came when we already had a strong squad and so this success might have come whether they were here or not.

The question now is: Can they support Fergie as he attempts to build the next trophy winning team?

Well, I would love to say a resounding "yes" to this but unfortunately, I cannot. This is football. Anything can happen. Does spending mega-bucks guarantee success? I don't know. You might want to ask Real Madrid and Manchester City that question, though.

What I can say, however, is that this would be a question to be answered by ANY ownership currently in place.

As far as I can see, Fergie has almost £100million in the bank and he can buy whoever he wants with that.

The £75million revolving credit facility provided by the recent bond issue also provides significant additional funds, should he require them.

What is important to keep in mind is the fact that the Glazers' business plan requires a level of success from the team on the field of play. It is in their interests to ensure that we remain competitive. No one wants to sponsor a losing side. Losing sides don't make the Champions League. Losing sides don't generate as much matchday revenue.

If it came to the point where they could take £20million from the club or spend the money on the side which would secure them £40million in additional revenue through onfield success, they would spend the money on the side. It is common business sense.

In summary. The Glazers want Manchester United to be synonymous with winning. "The Brand" is worth so much more when it is associated with winning and success. It is in their best interests to keep us at the forefront of World Football.

Now we come onto B) Can the debts be serviced and reduced? Well, I think the bond issue has tackled the main debt - the £500 million. This is now put aside in a little box and only needs the £45million or so out of the £300million revenues to maintain. The main issue is the PiKs which currently stand at £216million but could rise to £600+million if they are never addressed at any point in the next five years.

Quite what the Glazers intend to do about these is a mystery. There are numerous ways that they could be tackled but the most obvious way is to take money from Manchester United in order to pay them off. This is where, philosophically, most people have a problem. Why should OUR club pay off their personal debts?

Well, provided that they can leave sufficient funds within the club for the manager to maintain a competitive squad, I personally don't have a problem with how they pay them off. Especially when the commercial arm of the business is continuing to generate additional revenue streams.

I do feel compelled to say, however, that taking the full amount from Manchester United coffers is NOT the only solution available to them. They do have other assets to sell and despite what some people would like us to believe, they DO have personal wealth. The Glazers don't live on the breadline. Refinancing is also not out of the question. I would wager that the Glazers know how to get these things done if need be. They're not wet-behind-the-ears amateurs.

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/54/rich-list-09_Malcolm-Glazer-family_48ZS.html

I believe that the Glazers don't look at the the main £500 million debt in the same way that we, as fans, look at it. All they see is the interest to be paid out on the bonds. Around £45million per annum.

You might have a £100,000 mortgage but I doubt you wake up every morning and think "Oh my god, I'm £100,000 in debt! I need to get it paid off!" All you think about is earning your monthly salary and paying off the monthly repayment on the mortgage.

The Red Devil said...

Part Three

This debt will be tackled mostly by inflation and I don't think it will be paid off or even reduced anytime soon. Factoring in repayments for the £500million over the short term is pointless, it just won't be done. It might require several rounds of refinancing but eventually, it will get to the stage where £500million (and the £45million interest) is not viewed as the same amount of money as it is today. If they can maintain the growth of revenues that they have so far generated then it will become less and less of a problem. It could be argued that these early years are actually the hardest they have to negotiate and that it gets easier, assuming everything else goes up in line with inflation.

As I have said before. The situation at the moment is a club which generates £300million revenues and pays out £45million in interest payments which gives them around £250million/year to run a football club with. There aren't many clubs in the world who would not swap places with Manchester United on that basis right now.

Some Random Points

I have already said in a previous post how the Glazers have set up a commercial arm which deals specifically with sponsorship deals which has generated deals worth around £200million in the last three years. The feeling is that this is only the beginning and that further deals will be pursued with vigour from here on in.

The Glazers are the business side of things, the football is left to the manager. As far as I am concerned, this is worth its weight in gold. The manager tells the Glazers how much he wants and they provide him with the money. There is NO evidence to prove that this is otherwise although some people will choose to say that Fergie is lying because that doesn't fit their view of the situation.

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6227778,00.html

I do believe, however, that there has been a shift in Fergie's recruitment policy. Whether this is because of the Glazers or whether this is something he has chosen to do off his own initiative is open to debate but he has recently started to buy young players who he believes have the potential to replace the older generation rather than spend big on "ready-made" replacements. This remains, as David Gill said, a "watch this space" area of speculation at the moment.

The Glazers are not fly-by-night owners. They bought the Bucs in 1995 and are there to this day. There is nothing to suggest that they don't view Manchester United as a long-term investment.

The Glazers represent dynamic and efficient owners. Things can be done quickly. They are a team of brothers who are all pulling in the same direction. If Fergie wants a player, it does not have to go through a layer of bureaucracy so thick that the player could be signed up by another club before Fergie even gets an answer. If you want to be reminded of the problems encountered towards the latter stages of the PLC, you might want to read this article. It is not a pretty sight and I could even argue that the Glazers came at a very good time!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2004/jan/29/sport.comment1

The Red Devil said...

Part Four

I am sorry that I cannot provide exact figures for the future incomes of Manchester United but I hope that you can appreciate why this is almost impossible. There are so many variables to factor into the future financial performance that it would require a hundred pages to cover them - and you would still miss something out.

I don't know if my attitude boils down to "faith" or logic. I would prefer to say that it is logic. When those eleven players cross the white line on Saturday afternoon, we have faith that they will win the game. Logic also says that it is in their best interests to do their very best to win the game. It is their career and reputation on the line. We have faith in the manager that he will buy the right players and pick the right team and tactics but again, logic dictates that he wouldn't knowingly do otherwise. Similarly with the owners. Do I sit here thinking, "I hope they know what they are doing" or do I believe that they have a team of financial experts and business advisers etc who analyse situations and projections and explore potential markets to the nth degree or do they just wing it and produce their plans on the back of a beermat?

It is in their rational self-interests to ensure that they get it right and getting it right necessarily means success for Manchester United on the field and off it. Logic won't allow me to see it any other way. So far, this has proved to be the case.

However, if you know of an owner out there who can purchase the club from the Glazers for (say) £1.2billion without putting us £1.2billion in debt. If you know of an owner out there who can guarantee Premier League and Champions League success every season. If you know of an owner who can do all this and lower ticket prices, buy the best players (which will necessarily mean paying the highest wages) and do this whilst maintaining a profitable club which won't be left in the lurch should he decide he doesn't want to play with his toy any more... well, sign me up. Unfortunately, I think you will find that there are some contradictions amongst that lot and in real life, contradictions don't exist.

denis2605 said...

@RD

"We came within a whisker of doing what no other team has ever done in English football history last season - win four top flight league titles in a row."

Do you think we'd have achieved that had we still had Ronaldo and Tevez in the squad?

denis2605 said...

Just read that previous comment and it's not exactly worded correctly. Let me have another go...

Do you think we'd have won that 4th consecutive title had we still had Ronaldo and Tevez in the squad?

The Red Devil said...

@denis2605 - I understood what you meant the first time and I'm sorry but rewording it doesn't make it any less of a pointless question.

I suspect that what you are getting at is that we WOULD have won the League last season if it weren't for those pesky Glazers and their money-grubbing ways? :)

As far as I am concerned, Ronaldo was not sold for financial reasons. He had wanted to go to Real Madrid for years and in the end, Fergie relented, the offer was too good to refuse and, all things considered, he let Ronnie go.

Tevez leaving was likely for financial reasons but I would still contend that it was nothing to do with constraints put on Fergie by the Glazers. From what I can gather, Tevez wanted more than we were willing to give him and moneybags City were happy to give him what he wanted.

For the good of squad morale, I believe Fergie was right to let Tevez go and not be held to ransom by his unreasonable demands.

Remember, if one player shows that he can get himself a nice payrise just by spitting his dummy out, some of the others might try the same thing and then you have a big problem with team spirit which may, in itself, have been enough to prevent us from winning the fourth title.

If Ronaldo was still here, Rooney would not have had the season he has just had. Valencia would not have contributed (he wouldn't have even been here) and perhaps Nani would not have blossomed the way he did.

A happy Ronaldo and a happy Tevez who were committed to Manchester United and wanted to stay here might well have been enough to grab that fourth title.

The odd Drogba offside decision going our way might have helped too.

Not having any defenders for several games didn't help us much either.

At the end of the day, Fergie felt that he had what he needed to win the League and his judgement wasn't far out. If at all.

Anonymous said...

@ RD

It all boils down to risk. Without owners who bought the club by borrowing to the hilt there would be much less risk of;

1. Losing Old Trafford, our home for 100 years & where the babes strutted their stuff, and having to lease it back for the right to play home games on it! How can this be acceptable to you?

2. Ditto Carrington, paid for by money earned by the club. Because of the debts we cannot look at future developments like that until repayments are made.

3. Ticket price increases hurting the ordinary supporter. Owners without enormous debts to service and consequent interest repayments will obviously not be so desperate to screw the last ´hapenny out of its loyal support base.

4. Team weakening due to repayments taking priority over strengthening (Tevez was NOT offered a concrete new deal until we knew we could afford him when Madrid transferred the Ronaldo cash late June, so he had got so fed up with waiting for months for the club to commit, he became disaffected and decided to leave, no question about this as Fergie would say).

I can´t be bothered to think of any more, your defending of the indefensible is draining my will to live!

One final thing, I disapprove of what you say, but defend.....your right to say it (Voltaire, not me ¡o)

The Red Devil said...

@Anonymous - "One final thing, I disapprove of what you say, but defend.....your right to say it"

That's all I can ask really.

1) Losing Old Trafford - That would NOT be acceptable to me. BUT we are talking about something that was put into the bond document to show that the Club had assets to ensure that investor's money was "safe" (i.e. if this all goes tits up, we can sell the stadium). I would like to believe that it will NEVER actually happen.

I am not sure on this point but if selling OT was ever an option for the Glazers, why wouldn't they have done so by now?

2) Carrington - Same applies really. As for "future developments" - if it is the kind of development that will increase revenues then I believe they will proceed. The stadium expansion plans continue to go ahead. I would actually suggest that it is the threat of boycotts that is more likely to scupper that one though.

3) Season tickets. This is a tough one. On the one hand, I have every sympathy for people who have found themselves priced out of Old Trafford, I really do. BUT I believe we still only have about the 7th highest ST prices in the PL. The ACS is the cruncher though. That was a bad, bad idea and I can't defend that. Of all the things the Glazers have done, that was the most ill-advised.

At the end of the day (and some people are going to go mad at me for saying this) it does seem that some United supporters want their cake and eat it too. I.e. they want the best players in the world, they want to win all the trophies in the World but they want to pay rock bottom prices for it.

I believe our wage bill is somewhere around £130million and matchday revenues are around £110million.

I do believe that some kind of loyalty scheme would have been a good idea because without the people who have been going for 30-50years, the Club wouldn't be what it is today.

4) Tevez - He has been pimped out by his "owner" Kia Joorabchian to the highest bidder ever since he arrived at West Ham in completely mental circumstances a few years ago. Man City were always going to be the highest bidder.

Generally speaking, I do share your concerns on those things and I am not going to suggest otherwise. I would hate to see things like OT and Carrington be sold and I hate to see supporters priced out.

I'm still waiting for the new owner who will remove our concerns on those things though.

Ole1999 said...

@ Red Devil
An excellently written piece and one which certainly adds value to the debate. For this, I commend you.

However, is the commercial wing really the big revenue earner you make it out to be?

In 2006, the first year of Glazer owenership the breakdown of the £165.4m revenue was:
(i) Matchday £71.3m, (ii) Media £45.5m and (iii) Commercial £48.6m.

In 2009 the revenue was £278.4m broken down as (i) Matchday £108.8m, (ii) Media £99.7m and (iii) Commercial £69.9m.

Thus of the £113.1m increase, only £21.4m relates to the commercial side.

How much (do you think) of the £37.5m increase in Matchday revenue relates to the business genius of the Glazers and how much relates to tickets price increases?

How much further do you think Matchday revenue can rise to?

In your opinion, how much of the £54.2m increase in Media revenue relates to the Glazers and how much relates to an increase in (i) Premier league TV rights and (ii) Champions league TV rights?

fattmatt said...

No one seems to know the churn for ST or will not tell me. I want to know as this will give a better idea if ST holders are not renewing ST because of the campaign rather than hearsay.
I wonder why no one has not questioned why the Glazers ended up having to raise part of the loan through a PIK? Is this because they themselves are a bad risk(doubt it, due to the paper assets they own)or is rather that football clubs are defined as a very risky business to own (no matter how large). Whoever can replace the Glazers will face the same problem, all finance institutions will want to have a very good certainty to have their loans repaid or the new owners will have to talk to the sharks the same as the Glazers.

Bootsie said...

Red Devil

Thanks for the detailed reply.

"A) Is the debt situation going to prevent the team from competing for the highest honours?"

Yes we have been competing for and winning the highest honours, but it's largely because of players from the pre-Glazer era. In the last couple of years the weaknesses in the squad have been apparent to all, but we've made only half hearted attempts to fix them. With all the money available was Michael Owen the best player available, or just the best we could afford? Last season we suffered because once Rooney was injured there was no Plan B. Surely we could've afforded a better striker, with enough left over for a good attacking midfielder with all the Ronaldo money?

"As far as I can see, Fergie has almost £100million in the bank and he can buy whoever he wants with that."

Well, that's the official line, but we've not seen much sign of it,have we? In 2005 the Glazers talked of a net £25M transfer chest every year, with more available on a one-off basis for a truly major signing. The reality is they've spent about £25M net in 5 years. We keep hearing there's money to spend, but as I said above there's not much action.

" B) Can we achieve A without the debts spiralling out of control?"

The big question. From the accounts it seems we've managed to keep the debts from getting totally out of control by increasing revenue and limiting spending, but I don't see how that can go on much longer. In the next couple of years we'll need serious investment in the squad but the revenue streams won't be able to match the demand. They've already banked half of the Aon money even before the name appears on our shirts, and although they've been clever with the way they've targetted local deals in the Middle East and Asia, these won't bring in the sort of money they need, so that means more borrowing.

"The £75million revolving credit facility provided by the recent bond issue also provides significant additional funds, should he require them."

And that's probably the only way we'll buy new players, borrow more and get even deeper into debt. Higher repayments, less money in subsequent years to invest in the squad.

It might require several rounds of refinancing but eventually, it will get to the stage where £500million (and the £45million interest) is not viewed as the same amount of money as it is today.

And how long will that take? 25 years, 50 years perhaps? And at every refinancing the debt gets just a little bit bigger as more is borrowed. You make a comparison to a mortgage. This is like a 50 year, interest only mortgage where you keep adding a bit on every few years to put in a new kitchen or fix a hole in the roof. Fifty years of repayments in the hope that when you reach the end you'll be able to flog the house, pay off the debt and clear enough cash to buy something else. And while you might not wake up in a cold sweat over the total amount you owe you'll be sure to have a few sleepless night as the interest rates go up and you start to worry how you'll be able to meet next month's payment and still put food on the table.

Bootsie said...

Part two

"I do feel compelled to say, however, that taking the full amount from Manchester United coffers is NOT the only solution available to them. They do have other assets to sell and despite what some people would like us to believe, they DO have personal wealth. The Glazers don't live on the breadline. Refinancing is also not out of the question. I would wager that the Glazers know how to get these things done if need be. They're not wet-behind-the-ears amateurs."

I think this is the central issue. As you say the Glazers don't look at the club the way we look at the club. They're only interested in money. Not winning things, not any kudos they get from the "brand", just cold, hard cash. And from that point of view they've done really well. They hold a very valuable asset for very little personal expenditure and will now squeeze every cent possible out of it. You're right in that they're not worried about the loans, because they won't be around to pay them off. They'll juggle the bills, move money and borrow money and when it's no longer viable they'll sell. But we'll need to hope they haven't screwed us up too much, because despite your faith in the Brothers Glazer their track record isn't that great. While Malcolm may have made the family billionaires there's been a few disasters along the way, mostly the results of the sons' bright ideas, and the way things are looking across their main businesses it wouldn't take much to bring down the whole house of cards.


"The fact is this: Both of those questions and answers are irrelevant. The situation we have is the situation we have. The Glazers own the club at the moment and discussing "what if" situations is all rather pointless."

"The Glazers bought the club a whole five years ago and so my stance is merely from the "default" position of: This is what we have. Do we go with it or do we fight it?"


So it comes down to this, do you just shrug your shoulders, accept the situation and sit back and let the club slide into mediocrity, or do you try to do something about it? You may not like what Anders is doing on the finance side, and MUST, IMUSA and Green and Gold stirring up the fans in protest, but at least they're trying to do something for the club they care about. The club is at risk of serious, long-term damage and some of us are not prepared to let that happen.

Ole1999 said...

@ fattmatt
I have no idea if the churn rate is ever released to the public.

On the stats, United only ever mention the number of season tickets sold before the start of a season.

Thus I don't know how many leaving ST holders were replaced by new holders.

The numbers (both GA and exec members) per the stats are:
(i) 06/07 - 64,000, (ii) 07/08 - 64,500, (iii) 08/09 - 63,000, (iv) 09/10 - 62,000.

Make of these numbers what you will but there is no breakdown between base, new holders and attrition.

Percy The Ratcatcher said...

Red Devil wrote: "I have come to appreciate that you are philosophically opposed to the type of ownership that the Glazers represent and changing someone's philosophy is as futile as trying to change someone's religion so I won't go there."

I actually quite value Red Devil's input, because it focuses my thinking and makes me challenge myself over whether I have closed my mind to alternative views.

What I'm absolutely willing to concede is that I'm philosophically opposed to the type of ownership that the Glazers represent, and the treatment of MUFC as a brand or franchise. Maybe that's unrealistic ? But one of the most passionate moments I recall at OT in the immediate pre-Glazer era was singing to the Chelski fans "You're not Chelsea anymore" given the Abramovich squillions.

So - as I've said before - I don't want a sugar daddy, but we got something even worse, an LBO which the Glazers can't sustain (in my opinion) post-credit crunch.

In the meantime, they've gradually alienated me. At first, I thought "why should they drive me away from the Football Club I love, and have so much emotional investment in?". But they introduced the ACS, increased prices well beyond inflation - though not the highest in the PL - and devalued supporters loyalty over decades in the expectation that our loyalty to the team and desire to follow them to Cardiff and Wembley would mean that we would pay whatever they ask to make sure we could be there.

What kind of way is that to treat your must committed 'customers' ? It reeks of contempt.

Then the Bond Prospectus laid the cupboard bare.

steven said...

The Glazers have brought "financial expertise" to United. Lets examine this a little further.
TV income: not really since the since comes from a collective negotation and team performance.

Matchday income: put ticket prices up by 50%. Thank you very much.

Commercial Income: £30m increase in 5 years= 6m per annum.

Compared with Bayern £135m, Madrid £120m and Barcelona £95m (with no shirt sponsorship income)this is fairly unimpressive considering United are supposed to be the most valuable club and football brand in the world.
Also, ironically the above three clubs are fan owned.
These owners are not business people, they are speculators.

The Red Devil said...

@Everyone - I am not ignoring your replies. I was going to post yesterday but was so depressed because of a certain football result that I couldn't even bring myself around to thinking about football so I just sat out in the sun and got drunk! :)

I think I've said my piece and you all have said yours really we're just going to go around in circles from this point.

I accept all views and take them all on board. Our situation could obviously be much better but I still don't believe it is as bad as some would have us believe.

Oh and Steven... Getting financial info on Bayern isn't easy but some reports suggest that all is not completely rosy there. You might also want to look into the debt situations of Barca and Real Madrid. Some estimates suggest that Real Madrid have even more debt than we do.

The Spanish teams are also able to negotiate their own TV revenues independently of the rest of the league and I believe Real Madrid (not too sure about Barca) get loans at highly favourable rates and there have even been suggestions in the past that the government has bailed them out of tough situations.

Just some food for thought for you and I don't really want to take this discussion on a mad tangent.

steven said...

@Red Devil

I was comparing the commercial income stream under the Glazers as this is the only income stream that you can fairly measure between our rivals.Also Gill has publicly stated that the Glazers have brought financial expertise to the club.I'm questioning whether this is true and why I should have confidence in the Glazer's ownership of the club I support.
I'm also questioning why a privately owned club commercially is much better than a club that is fan owned.

P.S Bayern have almost cleared their debt incurred after building a brand new stadium and have even bought out their neighbour's share in the stadium.
Madrid's bank debt was £125m at the end of 2008/09 paying 3% interest.
Barca's bank debt for the same period was £25m

The Red Devil said...

@Stephen - Seems to depend which report you read:-

http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/EuroSpy-transfer-news-Barcelona-s-stratospheric-debt-could-wreck-bid-for-Arsenal-captain-Cesc-Fabregas-article432055.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/mar/28/barcelona-real-madrid-spain

One thing in that second article which is interesting is that Real Madrid sold their training ground to the council in 2001 for 447m (euro) to clear their 278m(euro) debt

Seems like those pesky financial rules which say something about income needs to exceed outgoings still apply even in the wonderful world of fan-based ownership.

steven said...

@Red Devil
I wish the Glazer's could sell Carrington and from the proceeds build a brand new state-of-the art training ground and pay off all of the debt.
Seems like those pesky fan owned clubs actually had a proper idea of how to pay down their debts.

Anonymous Again :)) said...

Red Devil said 28 June 2010 14:59: "Seems like those pesky financial rules which say something about income needs to exceed outgoings still apply even in the wonderful world of fan-based ownership". Another classic pro-Glazer slant to RD's post there. He'll deny it of course. Keep up the good work!

Forgive me for asking, but is this the andersred blog or has it been totally hijacked by this online persona known as The Red Devil? (hint: rhetorical question alert.....)

The Red Devil said...

Come on! It wouldn't be half as much fun without me! :)

The comments section would look like:-

Anonymous said... Great stuff, Anders. I agree!

Anonymous said... Me too!

Anonymous said... And me!

Anonymous said... You can add my name to the list of those who concur with your views.

Anonymous said... I particularly agreed with the way you used EBITDA to show how we're stuffed.

Anonymous said... Yes, that bit was particularly brilliant and I agreed with that too.

ZZzzzzzzz....

:)

andersred said...

Part 1

Blimey, I go off for a day or two and it all kicks off....

No point repeating what many have said on here in response to some of the arguments from The Red Devil.

I will just answer some of the personal (to me) points you made in the small hours of the morning on 26th June RD.

“I genuinely believe that the split between fellow Reds, caused by people such as yourself is causing more damage to the good name of Manchester United than anything the Glazers have done.”

Seriously? What split? As I have repeated ad nauseum, people should do what they see fit. The majority will not boycott of course. That’s perfectly acceptable and I count friends in that number. How can you compare what I have said to the LBO of our football club, the systematic squeezing out of the core support, the gate searches, heavy handed stewarding, one (yes ONE) poxy interview with the in-house TV station in five years, unwillingness to answer questions from supporters, papers, TV etc, the breaking of guarantees given to the Sports Minister on ticket pricing, the firing/gagging of employees for dissent, the 7-8x cash pay debt/EBITDA burden, the £42m swap loss, £45m annual bond payments, £80m in professional fees etc, etc, etc?

All that is really less damaging to MUFC than me saying "put them under pressure, don't renew"?

Bonkers.

andersred said...

Part 2
You have basically, as far as I can see, produced an anti-Glazer propaganda campaign on behalf of MUST and the Red Knights for the last six months.

You have taught us all to turn our cynic-o-meters up to maximum whilst viewing the business dealings of the Glazers but we are expected to turn them down to zero when viewing your role, MUST's role and that of the Red Knights.

You are not in this for the money, MUST are paupers who work for nothing and the Red Knights are doing this as a purely altruistic gesture.

I'm sorry but I can't turn my cynicism off just like that.


Have you ever met any of the people at MUST? You should try going onto that variety of United forum where they are constantly slagged off for being useless, do-gooding muppets with no strategy and suggest it’s all some Machiavellian scheme! MUST is the supporters’ trust (as recognised by Supporters Direct) for Manchester United Football Club, that’s all. I’m a bloke with a United fixation, too much time and a career spent doing company analysis. As for the RKs, I am constantly baffled by peoples’ unwillingness to contemplate a group of United supporting “Jack Walkers” or “Randy Lerners” or whoevers coming together to buy a football club for the glory/love of the club. Why look for the “grassy knoll” of conspiracy everywhere?

For your information, something which I imagine you have very little on all this, the Panorama programme was initially going to be broadcast on Monday 17th May but was delayed several times. The fact it was broadcast five days before the renewal deadline was thus, like some much in life, chance...

Want to know THE BIG SECRET why the analysis I do comes to “anti-Glazer” conclusions Red Devil?

It’s because we’re in a crap situation financially thanks largely to them and a little to the timing of the credit crunch.

You are welcome to point out all the brilliant financial aspects of the Glazers’ ownership that I have wilfully ignored, but all you’ve suggested so far is that laughable “£200m of commercial deals” PR puff the club spun to gullible journos. Matt and Ole1999 have already shown that that (unverifiable) number can’t be a “growth” number when commercial income has only risen £21.4m since 2005. For one of those who accuse me of spin, your acceptance of that club story is odd.

andersred said...

Part 3

If you wish to purchase the club, put in an offer. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. To take advantage of the fans' lack of knowledge in the area of finance in order to influence their decision to give or withhold funds from the current owners with the express intention of lowering the price to within the Red Knights' reach is, in my opinion, far more unethical than anything the Glazers have done at any stage of their purchase or running of the club.

I can’t afford it. Just so you know.

On the rest, here we go again.... I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m not the first person in the past five years to suggest boycotts etc as a way of encouraging the Glazers’ departure! I’d love to think that my opinions on this blog could galvanise some boycotting revolution but I don’t believe I have the powers you ascribe to me.... As for “lowering the price”, my suggestion was more fundamental, I want supporters to make them put the club up for sale, I have no control over who buys it but in the current credit climate I’m 100% certain the buyer would be more equity financed that under the current cap structure. In that case, we won’t be forced to see whether the Glazers’ experiment in re-equitising the balance sheet using the operating cash flow (and then of course releveraging it again in true LBO style) leads to decline and under investment as I very much believe it will.

I can’t disprove your weird conspiracy theories, although I’d hope the BBC lawyers checking me out would be enough for you.

I’m happy to consider Glazer successes I’ve missed, but you can’t identify any.

Philosophically, you believe in a “if its legal its legitimate view” of how football should be organised, you and I will never agree on that.

Which all makes me wonder why you spend so much time on here!

anders

PS. I'm just starting to do some work on UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules (all 93 pages of them). You know what, I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER THEY ARE GOOD OR BAD FOR THE GLAZERS YET, because I haven't done the work. I hope they are bad news of course, but I'll publish my views either way.

andersred said...

PPS. 17:08 post made me smile mate!

The Red Devil said...

Part One

Hi Anders, Welcome back!

"Seriously? What split? As I have repeated ad nauseum, people should do what they see fit. The majority will not boycott of course."

What split? Are you asking that with a straight face? I am not actually talking about the "boycott" (I thought it wasn't a boycott, anyway? :)). The boycott has just drawn a very big line in the sand. It was a line I never thought would be crossed but there you go.

No, I am talking about the split between fans as a result of all this.

Look at the abuse I get on here just because I don't follow your/MUST's line.

Apparently, I cannot possibly be a Manchester United supporter. I'm not a "true Red". It's like "join us or you must be a Glazer".

As for "do what they see fit" well, when you're twisting everything in order to make it look like there's only one possible course of action (especially if you want to call yourself a Manchester United fan) well... it's a bit disingenuous.

"How can you compare what I have said to the LBO of our football club, the systematic squeezing out of the core support, the gate searches, heavy handed stewarding, one (yes ONE) poxy interview with the in-house TV station in five years, unwillingness to answer questions from supporters, papers, TV etc, the breaking of guarantees given to the Sports Minister on ticket pricing, the firing/gagging of employees for dissent, the 7-8x cash pay debt/EBITDA burden, the £42m swap loss, £45m annual bond payments, £80m in professional fees etc, etc, etc?"

There you go again. I could counter almost everyone of those things but this post is already going to be too long as it is.

Basically if you can't see that the split between the fans is not damaging to the club then you're the bonkers one.

If you can't see that telling people to withhold money from the club is not damaging to the club then you're the bonkers one.

If you can't see that giving people cause to disbelieve every word that even the great Sir Alex Ferguson says to the extent that some people are even calling for him to resign is not damaging to the club, then you're the bonkers one.

Etc etc etc.

The Red Devil said...

Part Two

"Have you ever met any of the people at MUST?"

My knowledge of the more prominent people at MUST is restricted to what I have seen on TV and read in the papers.

My most recent experience was watching Oliver Houston on SSN.

He looked and sounded just like a politician to me. I really don't like politicians. One of the reasons I watch football is to get away from all that political crap.

He was repeating the mantra "The Glazers have cost us almost £450million in the last five years and to put that another way, every fan could have been allowed to watch for free for the last five years AND have been given a £800 cash lump sum on top".

He must have said that mouthful at least three or four times - regardless of the question he was being asked by the SSN interviewer.

It's all spin designed to cause the greatest possible outrage and unrest amongst the fans. Good for the club?

I'm not suggesting that we should ignore the costs and stick our head in the sand but there are ways of presenting the information.

MUST choose the most sensational way. When did MUST go from being a organisation representing the concerns of the fans to being a propaganda campaign?

On balance, do you think the propaganda is good for the club?

When people look closer at the figures and realise how much spin is being applied, do you think it helps MUST's cause or do you think it undermines their credibility?

I mean, the other one is something along the lines of 75p out of every Pound spent on tickets goes straight towards paying for the debts (or something along those lines).

Another way of spinning it could be to say that 100p of every Pound spent on tickets goes straight towards paying the players wages but as it is not enough, the nice kind Glazers forego some of their profits in order to make up the shortfall.

Another one recently is that "We are all part of the United family but the Glazers are not".

I mean. What the hell is that?

I know that you don't speak for MUST but as your own financial findings are being used by them more and more in their propaganda campaign, the two of you are now becoming inextricably linked.

I suppose I am against MUST because I think there are two ways to tackle something.

The easy way is to pick holes in the opposition and criticise every little thing they do. Make them out to be monstrous. Undermine them. Ridicule them. Etc etc.

The harder way is to actually show why what you have got to offer is better. What would "Fan Based Ownership" actually mean? How would it benefit the club? What would it cost? What, exactly, are the Red Knights offering? Why would one set of businessmen be any better than another set of businessmen? Who are they? Etc etc

The answer to all these questions is... blank out.

It's like a really crap rallying cry for a revolution.

WHAT DO WE WANT!?

Glazers Out!

WHY DO WE WANT IT?

Because they're shit.

WHO DO WE WANT?

The Red Knights!

WHY DO WE WANT THEM?

Because they'll be better. Probably.

AND WHAT IF THEY'RE NOT?

Eh?

AND WHAT IF THE GLAZERS WON'T SELL?

Hang on... this isn't working... We'll erm... just carry on making a nuisance of ourselves...?

The Red Devil said...

part three

"As for the RKs, I am constantly baffled by peoples’ unwillingness to contemplate a group of United supporting “Jack Walkers” or “Randy Lerners” or whoevers coming together to buy a football club for the glory/love of the club. Why look for the “grassy knoll” of conspiracy everywhere?"

Oh, I dunno. All the secrecy? The view that MUST seem to behind the idea because it will give them a position of importance within the club and the possibility that they are allowing the prospect of this to cloud their judgement of what the Red Knights truly offer?

Sugar daddies are ok in the short term but they're not good in the long-term. The club has to run as a business, it has to be able to pay its own way. The Glazer model requires this. Jack Walker's model didn't require this and look what happened when he stopped ploughing money into it.

I could even argue that a supporter/owner brings all kinds of other problems such as the temptation to go on telly every five minutes and undermine the manager and the possibility that such an owner would let their heart rule their head when it comes to business dealings, especially transfers and such.

That the Glazers are so detached from the football side is actually one of the things that I like about them most.

"It’s because we’re in a crap situation financially thanks largely to them and a little to the timing of the credit crunch."

A crap situation or a situation which could be better but is still far better than the vast majority of clubs out there?

Do you think the Glazer's model will eventually stabilise and put us in a very strong position financially or are we going to go down the pan?

"You are welcome to point out all the brilliant financial aspects of the Glazers’ ownership that I have wilfully ignored, but all you’ve suggested so far is that laughable “£200m of commercial deals” PR puff the club spun to gullible journos. Matt and Ole1999 have already shown that that (unverifiable) number can’t be a “growth” number when commercial income has only risen £21.4m since 2005. For one of those who accuse me of spin, your acceptance of that club story is odd."

This is why you get my back up at times. Why is it "laughable"? You use that word to discredit my argument. You won't find a big, juicy £200million in one set of accounts because as you well know, the money is being paid over several years.

The AON deal in itself was £80million, is it beyond the realms of possibility that another 19 sponsorship deals with an average value of £6million each have been done?

It seems that because it does not fit your own side of the story, it shouldn't be counted, it should be completely ignored, it isn't verifiable (!?), it is mere "PR fluff".

The Red Devil said...

Part Four

"I’d love to think that my opinions on this blog could galvanise some boycotting revolution but I don’t believe I have the powers you ascribe to me...."

Ahh, One Man and his Blog. Dunno if you've noticed but the figures and opinions you arrive at on here are splashed all over the newspapers, they appear on TV documentaries, they appear all over other football and Manchester United websites, they are all over MUST's website (who apparently have 160,000 members).

Your view carries a lot of weight and yet again, you are being disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

"I’m happy to consider Glazer successes I’ve missed, but you can’t identify any."

Well, what would you consider a success?

You reject everything.

I believe MUST said the Glazers' plan would blow up within three years. We're now into six years and counting but I suppose this is not really a success is it?

The revenues have gone up year on year. That would have happened anyway.

The team is as successful as ever. That would have happened anyway.

The Glazers have generated £200million in sponsorship deals in the last three years. PR Fluff. Not to be believed. Laughable.

Let's face it, we could be having this conversation in twenty years' time, the Glazers could still be in charge and we could have won 10 PLs, and 4 CLs in that time and be making more money than any club in the world and you will still be saying, "But they put the STs up and saddled the club with debt".

"Philosophically, you believe in a “if its legal its legitimate view” of how football should be organised, you and I will never agree on that."

Well, thanks for telling me what my beliefs are but that's not exactly the way I see it.

As owners, they have a perfectly legal right to sell the stadium and/or rename it for sponsorship purposes but I would not agree with that under any circumstances.

I would suggest that the way you and MUST are undermining the Club is actually much more in line with the "if it's legal, it's legitimate" line. Think about it.

All's fair in love and war and all that.

"PS. I'm just starting to do some work on UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules (all 93 pages of them). You know what, I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER THEY ARE GOOD OR BAD FOR THE GLAZERS YET, because I haven't done the work. I hope they are bad news of course, but I'll publish my views either way."

I'm sure you'll do your best ;)

Personally, I think the Financial Fairplay Rules will actually show Manchester United (alongside Arsenal) to be in a very strong position and it will prevent some of the "Management Fees" and such that the Glazers have been taking out.

The biggest losers, in my opinion, are likely to be the players as wage bills are likely to be the first areas of reduction.

Ahead of the game, as always, this is something United have already started to look at.

One thing is pretty certain. If there is a big sugar daddy out there with his eye on Manchester United, he should come along now because after 2012, it will be too late.

"Which all makes me wonder why you spend so much time on here!"

Everyone keeps asking me that! They all want me to go away and leave you to it. I feel so unwelcome! :) I dunno. I don't just come here to pick a row. I am not a paid-Glazer stooge. I am just a Manchester United fan who appreciates the need for keeping an eye on the finances and I certainly respect the work you do in this area. I learn a lot from coming here. I guess I am just getting a bit tired of the constant negative spin that is pervading every area of discussion surrounding Manchester United and this blog appears to be the prime source.

I just feel compelled to put a more positive spin on things. If I stop just one Manchester United supporter from hanging themselves through depression then my work is not in vain.

:)

All the best.

Bill Hicks said...

I agree with Red Devil. Never before have i seen the United support so divided.

Some fans view the Glazers as annoying idiots.

Others hold the opposing view that they are evil Americans.

How will we ever come to a consensus?

Maybe if we view them as ... evil annoying idiot Americans??

Choccy said...

Red Devil keeps saying ad nauseum he's NOT a "paid-Glazer stooge". So what evidence does anyone think RD could provide that would make at least this observer to think that was indeed the case?

RD quite correctly identifies that the andersred blog "appears to be the prime source" of "constant negative spin" about the Glazers ownership of Manchester United. Andy Green (bless him) seems to be the ONLY (correct me if I'm wrong) finance expert who is willing to put the time in to trawl through the complex nature of the Glazers ownership of United, and then to present it in near-as-dammit laymans terms for the majority of us financial illiterates to make up our own minds.

As RD says in the last para @ 29 June 2010 12:02: "I just feel compelled to put a more positive spin on things" is certainly too true as witnessed by the sheer volume and nature of RD's postings here. But I can't be the only one who thinks that it just smacks of a concerted PR effort by someone closely allied to the Glazer cause. If RD can then use this blog to cast doubt on Anders work then at a stroke, RD's "work is not in vain".

I'm willing to be proved wrong RD but by the opinion contained within your voluminous blog postings here, I remain firmly sceptical of your motives.

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - The burden of proof is on the accuser. I cannot be asked to prove a negative, that is an impossibility.

What would you regard as satisfactory proof?

Would you like to go to a court of law with me and stand in the dock and make your accusation?

I would be more than willing to do this any day you like.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, someone touched a nerve there Red Devil? All Choccy said was he/she was sceptical of your motives ;-) Rapid Rebuttal technique anyone?

The Red Devil said...

@ Anonymous - the bit that got me was, "it just smacks of a concerted PR effort by someone closely allied to the Glazer cause".

I will apologise to Choccy for my aggressive response. I regret it now and it was made with an element of the old red mist about me.

Seriously though, I run a United blog of my own. As most of the United fans are anti-Glazer, coming on here and openly NOT being anti-Glazer is actually probably COSTING me readership.

It would be far easier and better for readership to just jump on the anti-Glazer bandwagon.

So why do I do it?

It is NOT because I am being paid to do it by the Glazers or anyone else.

Could it be because I actually believe in what I say and could not, with good conscience, write condoning things I don't believe in?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Glazer apologist but I think Choccy has a fair point about the possible targetting of this blog to try and discredit the work of Anders. All's fair in love and war as they say!

Choccy said...

@RD: You know as well as I do that it's virtually impossible for me to flesh-out my scepticism or your bona fides. As you've pointed out countless times, it's OK for us to disagree on this blog. Methinks you protesteth too much.....

Still sceptical RD despite your response.

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - OK. If it makes life easier for you. Consider me Malcolm Glazer's secret lovechild who stands to inherit Manchester United when he pops his clogs.

I don't really care. I know the truth.

Now. Does that completely invalidate my arguments or have I made one or two points amongst all this bumpf that stand up independently of that?

I guess it just makes me annoyed because this is an area I feel very strongly about and I give it a lot of thought and I always try to think from both sides of the fence.

And after all this thought and after writing ten million words, some people just come along and say, "How much are the Glazers paying you for this?" and think that is sufficient counter argument.

Pond Life said...

"If I stop just one Manchester United supporter from hanging themselves through depression then my work is not in vain."

What about those of us who lost the will to live reading through your turgid 'arguments'? Dont we deserve some help too?

andersred said...

Hi Red Devil,
Part 1

On not renewing (aka boycotting, aka going match by match), I am NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT saying those who carry on going are in some way not “true reds” or “not real supporters”. How can I be any clearer than that? I think people who think the Glazers are good for the club are blind, stupid or under employment contracts and therefore obliged to say that...

I listed “bad things” and you said “I could counter almost everyone of those things”. Go on then, here’s the list again:

the LBO of our football club

the systematic squeezing out of the core support

the gate searches

heavy handed stewarding

one (yes ONE) poxy interview with the in-house TV station in five years

unwillingness to answer questions from supporters, papers, TV etc

the breaking of guarantees given to the Sports Minister on ticket pricing

the firing/gagging of employees for dissent

the 7-8x cash pay debt/EBITDA burden

the £42m swap loss

£45m annual bond payments

£80m in professional fees

I don’t think I have ever mentioned what Fergie thinks on here have I? Nor have I ever suggested he’s lieing. He wants to be continue as manager of Manchester United and that involves certain behaviour....

I’m sorry you didn’t like Ollie Houston’s performance on Sky Sports News.... He could have gone further and said the club could have borrowed £500m for itself (rather than having it foisted on us), build up South Stand and 100,000 could have gone for free for five years (plus a cash sum).

I don’t understand why you don’t see the criminal waste of all this. Everyone rails against public sector borrowing but at least we got new schools, hospitals, helicopters and thousands of police out of that little binge. United got nowt. Nothing for all that debt. Fuck it, if we needed the Glazers’ business genius we could have hired them as consultants for a fraction of the price.

andersred said...

Part 2

What would "Fan Based Ownership" actually mean?

Look at German football, look at FC United, look at Exeter City FC....

As for the Red Knights, MUST have seen and vetted their plans (which are understandably confidential at this stage). You don’t trust MUST because...? Because they want “fan based ownership” not the lovely Glazers.... because Ollie sounds like a politician and because... I give up on that one.

Your defence of the £200m is cute. I’m not disputing the number incidentally, I (and you) have no way of knowing its veracity, unlike every number I ever publish, it can’t be verified. I assume it’s includes both the Aon deal (c. £80m) plus the AIG deal (c. £56m) leaving £64m in deals achieved in five years but covering a similar period. Let’s assume they cover 5 years too, that’s £13m per annum in new sponsorship deals. Some will be needed to replace old ones (notice how we have replaced our “betting partner” for example) and some will be in addition. That’s a decent amount of money, but even if two thirds are new money, that’s only £9m per annum or 3% of annual turnover. Two thirds of the £64m is required just to pay the swap loss of course.

I (and no doubt you too) could go on and on, but no doubt we both have real work to do.

anders

Anonymous said...

@Red Devil
“I genuinely believe that the split between fellow Reds, caused by people such as yourself is causing more damage to the good name of Manchester United than anything the Glazers have done.”

So what your saying is - the Glazers haven't done the damage to the club - it's the fans.

Ah, but which fans?

Red Devil is by his own admission, Anti-MUST, so it can't be those guys.

No, it has be the guys who are Anti-Glazer with all their fancy financial analysis and facts.

Don't ya just wish they would stop highlighting the issues and leave the Glazers to their legal right to do whatever they like to the club.

monsta666 said...

@ Red Devil
I fail to see what benefits the Glazers can provide to Manchester United. The main advantage cited is they do not interfere with the day to day management of the club. I dispute this advantage however as Alex Ferguson had no interference when the club was a PLC. The Glazers have merely maintained the status quo; they have not improved matters so in my eyes it cannot be seen as an advantage.

Other than that there are precious few advantages. I suppose under the Glazer's tenure there have been modest gains in the commercial revenue branch. I do not think we can give the Glazer's credit for the increases in broadcasting revenue as that is determined by the Premier League/UEFA Champions League. Match-day revenue has increased but this is a double edged sword. The income here has risen considerably but it has come at the cost of alienating the core support. I can understand this is an area of dispute and you may consider this an advantage - but in my eyes - it is not a good thing. That is not to say I am totally against price rises (even the German clubs which are fan owned raise ticket prices) but it is one thing to raise prices to remain competitive it is another to raise it to maximise profits and alienate supporters.

So to summarize here is my pros and cons to the Glazer's ownership.

PROS
- Increased revenue streams by £66 million. This has largely come from external factors however and is not solely due to the Glazers. In the commercial sector about £20 million more commercial revenue last year than 5 years ago when the Glazers took over.
- Increased match-day revenue largely fuelled by ticket price increases.

And if you are generous:
- No direct interference with the day to day management of the club.

CONS
- £500 million debt (over £700 if you include pik debt)
- £45 million pound interest rising to about £70 if you include pik interest.
- Ticket price rises will price out core supporters.
- £9 million payment in professional fees (per year).
- New restrictive transfer policies which means Manchester United can no longer make a net spend per season. In addition they cannot make large player signings to footballers over the age of 28.
- Possible risk of losing training ground/stadium if debt repayments are not made.
- Possible risk of club going into administration or even liquidation if debt repayments are not made.
- Possible risk of failing to meet UEFA's financial fair play rules due to debts and year to year losses. This was unlikely to be an issue if Manchester United were still a plc. Failure to meet fair play regulations will put the future of the club under severe risk of failure.
- Reduced level of funding towards player and infrastructure (due to debt repayments) will have an adverse effect on future performance of the club.

The Red Devil said...

Part One

"On not renewing (aka boycotting, aka going match by match), I am NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT saying those who carry on going are in some way not “true reds” or “not real supporters”. How can I be any clearer than that? I think people who think the Glazers are good for the club are blind, stupid or under employment contracts and therefore obliged to say that..."

I didn't say YOU were saying those things. You made the point quite clear in your blog post My Advice: Don't Renew.

There just seems to be an element who believe that anyone who does not agree that the Glazers are intent on the destruction of Manchester United can't be Manchester United fans at the same time.

"I think people who think the Glazers are good for the club are blind, stupid or under employment contracts and therefore obliged to say that"

Well, I'm not blind. I can see the figures for myself. I see all that money going down the plughole in debt repayments but then I see that bigger amount coming in.

I can also see what is happening on the pitch and it has been good.

I might be stupid. I'm sure there are some who think I am but at least I am in touch with reality and the reality is that the Glazers own the club and I choose to make the most of it rather than cut off my nose to spite my face (the ultimate act of stupidity imho).

Paid employee? Don't go there! :)

Now your list of stuffs...

the LBO of our football club - Yes, it is a method of purchasing something with little money down and then paying off the interest from revenues generated. It's controversial, it isn't ideal but it is legal and it has been done. Five years ago. In that time, whether by their own doing or not, revenues generated have been more than enough to cope with it.

the systematic squeezing out of the core support - I am not sure I understand this one. Who are the "core support"? and why are they being squeezed out? Squeezed out financially due to the ticket price increases? If this is what you mean then you are making a bit of a sweeping generalisation here. Something along the lines of "all core supporters are financially incapable of affording their tickets". I'm not being deliberately awkward here, I just don't understand what you mean.

the gate searches - Never been searched myself, I must look angelic or something. You'd have to expand on this one. It might be something really far out like a security measure or something.

heavy handed stewarding - never been bothered by a steward myself. Again, you'd need to expand. What kind of behaviours make the stewards start being "heavy handed" with fans? Is there a pattern?

one (yes ONE) poxy interview with the in-house TV station in five years - I am willing to admit that I wish the Glazers would talk more but as you wouldn't believe a word they say anyway, they probably think, "Why bother?" I know I would. The other side of the coin is that the star of the show is Manchester United, not the Glazers and they respect that.

unwillingness to answer questions from supporters, papers, TV etc - Sort of ditto here. I can understand why they would not wish to engage in dialogue with MUST though which is a shame because had MUST not got on their case from day one, there might have been avenues of discussion between the two now. To be honest, I doubt it because the Glazers just don't seem like the talking type but you never know.

SAF and Gill talk to these people and often get ridiculed these days for their efforts (especially Gill).

the breaking of guarantees given to the Sports Minister on ticket pricing - I don't know much about this to be honest. I will accept that the breaking of guarantees is bad. What guarantees were those, by the way?

The Red Devil said...

Part Two
the firing/gagging of employees for dissent - Hmm. How can I answer this without appearing callous? You often mention your "ticket office source" who must be someone who is employed by Manchester United who is leaking out confidential business information to people who are seeking to damage the club as a business.

If that person is caught, he or she will likely be fired. I won't have much sympathy, to be honest. I think you will find that that is common in all areas of business.

I do think it is wrong for anyone to abuse the priveleged knowledge and information that they may glean from their position within an organisation/company.

It is sad that it has come to this at Manchester United though.

the 7-8x cash pay debt/EBITDA burden - Is it under control or are we on the brink of collapse?

the £42m swap loss - There's no getting around this one because without the debt, this wouldn't have been necessary but, given that the debt is there, the Glazers have to deal with the situation.

Now, as far as I can see. The bond did two things. a) It gave them more flexibility with what they do with their money (pay off the PiKs being an attractive option, I agree). b) It means that for the next seven years, we know exactly what the interest payments are on the £500million. In exchange for the uncertainty of bank interest rates, wasn't this a sensible move? Doesn't it show that the Glazers are not the reckless speculators some would have us believe?

Anyway, it's there, it's been paid. Won't happen again for at least seven years, I would imagine. Doesn't make it right but I'm sure the Glazers will be keen to recoup the money one way or another.

£45m annual bond payments - Revenue increases more than cope with these. In time, they will be less of a burden.

£80m in professional fees - Where, exactly did these go? Did they go to the Glazers? Great tax dodge if you ask me either way. Can we at least agree that any ownership would have incurred expenses over a five year period?

You're still only really quoting outgoings without any reference to what has come in over that time.

Taken in isolation, the figures look bad. When put next to the £1billion revenues, they start to look a bit silly.

"I don’t think I have ever mentioned what Fergie thinks on here have I? Nor have I ever suggested he’s lieing. He wants to be continue as manager of Manchester United and that involves certain behaviour...."

I don't think I have accused you personally of an attack on Fergie but others do.

You have basically just said that you think he is lying in order to keep his job, though.

"I’m sorry you didn’t like Ollie Houston’s performance on Sky Sports News.... He could have gone further and said the club could have borrowed £500m for itself (rather than having it foisted on us), build up South Stand and 100,000 could have gone for free for five years (plus a cash sum)."

This debt would have been servicable for five years without matchday revenue and with no impact on the team then?

Thank god the Glazers don't have any crackpot ideas like that.

The Red Devil said...

Part Three

"I don’t understand why you don’t see the criminal waste of all this. Everyone rails against public sector borrowing but at least we got new schools, hospitals, helicopters and thousands of police out of that little binge. United got nowt. Nothing for all that debt. Fuck it, if we needed the Glazers’ business genius we could have hired them as consultants for a fraction of the price. "

I agree actually. On the face of it, it's a terrible waste of money. Do you think that perhaps the Glazers have a cunning plan to, you know, make massive revenues to recoup all these losses or something?

When you're not choking on your own bile about the past, do you ever give a thought to the future?

Have you ever given a thought to the revenues Manchester United could be generating in five years' time? Ten years' time? Fifteen years' time?

I bet the Red Knights have and I'm damn certain the Glazers have.

That's why I am inclined to agree that they have already turned down an offer of £1.5billion.

I honestly don't care who owns Manchester United so long as they stay the hell out of the footballing side.

Someone, somewhere is going to be making themselves very rich out of Manchester United and it won't be me but if they can give me the kind of success we've enjoyed over the last five years, I'll be a happy "customer".

monsta666 said...

Red devil posted

"the systematic squeezing out of the core support - I am not sure I understand this one. Who are the "core support"? and why are they being squeezed out?"


By core supporters anders is referring to supporters who have regularly attended Manchester United matches for a substantial number of years. The term is subjective however as "substantial" is a relative term but I imagine a supporter who regularly attends United games for the last 5+ years can be deemed a core supporter.

Now some of these core supporters will not be able to attend matches due to the price increases and anders does not like this. These core supporters often generate most of the atmosphere and so removing them is not only bad for the core supporters themselves but it also has a damaging effect on the experience of supporters who still attend matches.

Off course not all core supporters will be squeezed out but some certainly will. It must be noted that a large number of these core supporters earn a modest income so they are usually the first set of fans to be priced out. In my opinion it is not a good thing for loyal fans to be squeezed out of a ticket. Many fan owned clubs deliberately keep prices down for this reason so it is a widely held view.

monsta666 said...

As for your thoughts about revenue increases and club valuations you must consider this point: as a club increases its revenue it is likely their costs will also increase. Manchester United have increased their revenue by £66 million compared to 2005 when the Glazier took over. However this extra income has been negated by costs rising by about £66 million as well. So the core business of Manchester United has not become more profitable since the Glazier's takeover at least by a significant amount i.e. £9 million+.

In fact the Glazier's have grossly underestimated costs rises (a point anders made in the earlier months of his blog). To compensate for this the Glazier's have had to adjust their earlier policy of making a net spend of £25 million per year on players to £0 (yes the Glaziers underestimated costs by about £25 million).

Manchester United can easily pay the interest payments of £45 million but here's the rub. By paying these interest rates and management fees Manchester United go from being the richest club in the world (as before) to a club that has a budget of a top 7 English club like Tottenham. Now the Glazier's repayment plan depends (and this is explicitly stated in the bond prospectus) on Man Utd maintaining their level of success in the last 3 years. So how can Manchester United be the most successful club in the country with a budget of Tottenham (if you factor in the additional "Glazier" costs)? This is Manchester United's predicament.

It should also be acknowledged that sports works in cycles and it unheard of for a club to enjoy perpetual success. Sooner or later Manchester United's success will end and this is when the debts will become unsustainable. You have already suggested that debt would eventually be repaid if Manchester United were to refinance several times over the next 50 years. That means Manchester United must maintain their current level of success for the next 50 years which would be unprecedented.

Another reason why United supporters are apprehensive is because they look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and see the club has not won anything in over 5 years due to limited funds. If such a thing were to happen to United it would be the end of them.

The riskiness of this operation is also reflected in the high interest rates of the loans Manchester United pay. The greater the risk of default then the higher the rate of interest. The banks/investors know the chance of default is higher so they will charge extra interest to offset this extra risk.

The Glazier's have created a high risk strategy that is likely to fail. But if their plan were to succeed it would only put United in the same position prior to the takeover. So in essence you are risking everything just to go back to a situation before the Glazier's takeover. I fail to see how people can see this as a good thing.

The Red Knights may not be perfect (their ownership is highly likely to involve some debt) but it will contain less debt and thus be better than the Glaziers. MUST would not support their bid otherwise.

The Red Devil said...

@monsta666 - OK. I see what you mean about the core support now.

As I have said before, I think some kind of loyalty scheme would have been a good idea.

How much do you think a Manchester United season ticket should cost, by the way? What would be a "fair price"?

Personally, I think the cost to watch football is far too much across the board and this is NOT all down to the Glazers. This is something that has been creeping up for years as player wages have risen dramatically over the last twenty years or so.

"As for your thoughts about revenue increases and club valuations you must consider this point: as a club increases its revenue it is likely their costs will also increase."

But the bond payment (which is supposed to be what this all about) won't increase. That is fixed at around £45million now.

Personally, I also think that we are going to enter a phase now where player wages are going to be held in check for a while because of the Fair Play Regulations due to be phased in from 2012.

"Manchester United have increased their revenue by £66 million compared to 2005 when the Glazier took over."

I don't know where you get this figure from.

As far as I am aware, during the last year of the PLC, revenues were around £166million.

During the Glazers' time we have seen the following:-

2005/06 - £200million
2006/07 - £212million
2007/08 - £257million
2008/09 - £278million
2009/10 - ????

"It should also be acknowledged that sports works in cycles and it unheard of for a club to enjoy perpetual success. Sooner or later Manchester United's success will end and this is when the debts will become unsustainable."

OK. A fair few assumptions in there with the usual doomsday ending declared as inevitable fact.

Manchester United have been more or less at the level we are at for the last 18 years or so. The biggest obstacle to overcome (for any owner) is the imminent retirement of Fergie. This is the thing that worries most fans (including me) but it could go either way. It doesn't necessarily signal the end of the success.

Also, again, I think the Financial Fairplay rules are going to benefit the teams who are in the Champions league places. The race is on to secure that top four spot within the next couple of years.

If the debts do become unsustainable, the Glazers will have to sell.

The Red Devil said...

@monsta666

"You have already suggested that debt would eventually be repaid if Manchester United were to refinance several times over the next 50 years. That means Manchester United must maintain their current level of success for the next 50 years which would be unprecedented."

No, it would need to generate enough revenue to cope with £45million bond repayments (assuming the interest rate remains roughly the same). What will the club be generating as revenue in 50 years? Anyone's guess! Getting well ahead of ourselves here, methinks!

"The Glazier's have created a high risk strategy that is likely to fail."

I would disagree with that. There is a chance of failure, as there is with most things in life but to say it is "likely" is not how I see it. You're constantly predicting a doomsday scenario. The same kind that we have been hearing for the last five years but we're still here, still competing and the future looks bright from where I sit.

"The Red Knights may not be perfect (their ownership is highly likely to involve some debt) but it will contain less debt and thus be better than the Glaziers. MUST would not support their bid otherwise."

I don't know the ins and outs of what the Red Knights intend to do (which makes it hard to argue either way) but I have heard that they intend to keep the bond in place and if this is the case then the debts attached to the club will be exactly the same. The PiKs will be removed however.

Overall, I am aware of the shortcomings with the Glazers' business model. I cannot put my finger on it, they have bought the club quite legally but it somehow doesn't quite seem "right" that they have been able to do it in the way that they have. I can see all that. The fact remains however that they have done it and are now the owners.

I just prefer to get behind the team which necessarily means supporting the Glazers. I might find it slightly unpalatable but there it is. I am not so against people making money that I am prepared to withdraw my support of the team.

Steven said...

@Red Devil
You're ramblings really amuse me. They take me back to my childhood with fairytales such as Peter and the Dam.

tier 2 red said...

Sorry Red Devil but anyone who fails to understand the concept of core supporters is either being seriously disingenuous or is some sort of johnny come lately.

You claim to be 40yr old Manc, do you not remember Sexton, 30,000 crowds, pee flowing down the terraces?

tier 2 red said...

Oh I disagree with another poster I dont think somebody who has been going 5+ years (unless their a teenager/kid) can really claim to be part of a core support. SOrry but to many numpties who like to sing who are ya sat round me.

Somebody who will continue to go when we are crap, play bad football and only have a derby victory per season to cling to, is a core supporter, in my humble opinion. Be happy to be put right if someone disagrees though

Choccy said...

@tier 2 red: maybe it's time for The Red Devil to introduce himself to this blog? There's not much to go on if you read his "about me" info here:

http://www.thereddevil.co.uk/about/

Still sceptical RD........

The Red Devil said...

@tier 2 red - Yes, I was just trying to establish what we were talking about with this "core supporter" thing.

As you can see from your definition and monsta's definition, it varies.

It is a vague term really but I think the way Anders uses it is actually more "poor supporters".

I know what you mean though. Yes, the fans who have been with the club through the seventies and the eighties when Silverware wasn't exactly flooding our way could be described as "core supporters" but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can no longer afford to go anymore, does it?

I still don't see how they are being squeezed out solely by the Glazers though although their price hikes prior to this season's freeze are undoubtedly a contributing factor.

Let's be honest here. Would the ST prices now be the same, less or more now than they were pre-takeover under any other kind of ownership?

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - I told you. As far as you're concerned I am Malcolm Glazers secret lovechild who stands to inherit Manchester United when he dies.

Concentrate on what is being said rather than who is saying it.

Choccy said...

Don't be shy RD, tell us a little bit more about yourself.......... We'd all love to hear tales of you rampaging down Warwick Road during the 80's, bish-bash-bosh style. And where exactly do you live "15 minutes" from OT? (no peeking at Google Maps now!) Perhaps we can meet up for a beer in the Blaize pre or post match sometime to chew the fat?

Choccy said...

Sorry Anders, didn't mean to use this blog for internet dating........

tier 2 red said...

Choccy,

Thanks for the link, I would not normally ask fellow reds to justify their support for the club but in light of Red Devils breathtaking naivety, it would be interesting to hear his history beyond being attrarcted to the red devils. Would Red Devil know what te difference between a season ticket and a LMTB was?

The Red Devil said...

@choccy and tier2red - Ahhh - and now we come to the bully-boy tactics.

You've tried the name calling, you've tried arguing and now we come to this.

The lowest of the low.

Right. If it makes your lives easier, I am called Foo King Hell, I am from Malaysia. I have never been to Old Trafford but I love to watch United on MUTV and one day I dream that I will be able to go and see my heroes in person.

Now. Your point was?

Choccy said...

Bully-boy tactics? Not the sort of language I've ever heard being bandied around the borough of Stretford mate. Classic evasion stuff this RD. My point still is: tell us about yourself, where you live, where you grew up, went to school, where you had your first kneetrembler. Y'know, that sort of stuff.

tier 2 red said...

@ red devil Would you consider yourself part of the core support Red Devil?

If you do live 15 mins from OT then surely you will see large parts of Manchester & Salford aint particularly well off, if your some 15 yr old kid whose family is on the breadline and you live in Ordsall, he is going to struggle to afford to go to United, let alone have a credit card to apply a few weeks in advance. its these kinds of kids that are the bedrock of our future support, yet the Glazers will have no interest in these kind of folks – aint gonna spend money in the megastore y’see. They have no interest in the history and traditions of our supporters – im sure there is some quote somewhere of Busby where he says words to the effect that you play on Saturday for those lads who work in the factories in the week.

I think the ST would be less under virtually any other ownership including the plc to answer your question.

One more question for you Red Devil (if you know anything about him that is) Do you really think Matt Busby would approve of this kind of ownership? An ownership (& club) that puts very little back into its local community.

The Red Devil said...

@choccy - I could answer your questions but I don't recognise your right to ask them.

Pick me up on the points I have made.

That's what this debate is about.

You're the one evading the real issues here.

The Red Devil said...

@tier2red - OK. I live in a not very well off area in Manchester. My local Asda is in Harpurhey and I know exactly what you are saying.

I have no argument with what you are saying there.

If the Glazers made one mistake it was thinking that Manchester is next to Notting Hill or something.

Quite what Sir Matt Busby would make of it well... he would probably spin his grave.

But Sir Matt would probably choke on his cornflakes if he heard some players were earning more in a month than some fans earn in their lifetimes.

Football has become massively commercialised and it has been that way since long before the Glazers came along.

Look at the way Fergie has had to recognise that football has become a different animal over the years and has had to go with it. It probably rankles him to his socialist roots but what can he do?

Not even a new owner can take us back to 1958.

tier 2 red said...

@red devil I have no beef with our worldwide support infact it adds to our club, I went Malaysia a few years ago and the old cliché is true – I had some taxi driver telling me about how much he loves Bobby Charlton. there are sound Irish reds, there are idiot Irish reds just like I have mates in Salford who are sound time served reds, but lads who I grew up with who support United but have never been & who are clueless!
Like Ian Brown said its not where your from but where your at.
I think accusing me and choccy of bully boy tactics is slight melodramatic there, im just curious about your ‘red history’ which on your site is vague – if you don’t want to answer, just say – that is good enough for me

Choccy said...

@Red Devil: to me it's quite obvious from your evasions that you can't answer any of the geography questions I've posed you. They are quite simple ones really for someone who claims to have lived in Manchester most of his life. Even someone like you who is probably able to use Google could have come up with something. Just can't get the staff these days eh Mr Gill? (ah I see you have just found that there's a branch of Asda in Harpurhey, well done that man!).

And regarding "Pick me up on the points I have made. That's what this debate is about". If I do, it just gives you even more opportunities to spout your usual pro-Glazer twaddle whilst disingenuously pretending to put both sides of the argument. No point mate.

1 nil to Choccy and I claim my reward for outing RD.

tier 2 red said...

red devil
Indeed we cant go back to the 50s/60s, but as the leading club in the country we can show leadership and show there is a different way, with a club with supporter representation/one day owned by the fans (look - owned not run by the fans!) we can make a difference.
- give (yes free) tickets away to local schools & youth clubs (do they still call them that)
- subsidise tickets for those in lower income brackets
- start to put right some of the wrongs of the past - like electing Sandy Busby to the board as he should have been till rotten meat Louie screwed over Busby

im sure others would have other worthy suggestions, these things will never happen under the Glazers but with other owners potentially they could.

You should read a Strange Kind of Glory by Eamon Dunphy, great book, it may make you think of United slightly differently to your current viewpoint

The Red Devil said...

@tier2red - Given some of my more "controversial" views on the subject, I hope that you can appreciate why I would not exactly be giving away my address on the internet! I am a United supporter through and through but I am not the bloke with the "United-Kids-Wife in that order" banner.

The wellbeing of my wife and kids comes first.

I am not from a football family. My dad isn't into football really although he says he took me to matches when I was very young.

The first time I went to OT was when I would have been 14 or 15 and we played Chelsea in, I think 1984. It was a 1-1 draw. Jesper Olsen scored.

My schoolteacher said, "The first two boys to put their hands up can come with me to watch United tonight" and me and my mate Steve were first.

Due to working shifts which included late evening work and weekends, it was never worth my while having a ST.

As I say on my site though, I go to OT as often as I can but do to work and family commitments, is not as often as I would like.

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - OK. You win. I wasn't born in Crumpsall Hospital (now NMGH), I wasn't raised in Miles Platting on a street called Johnson Street (might have been Joynson... can't remember now, we moved when I was three). You won't find it on Google maps though because the whole estate was knocked down about twenty years ago.

I then didn't move to Radcliffe and didn't go to Radcliffe Hall primary school before not going to Coney Green high School. I then didn't move to Wales for a few years before not coming back to Manchester about fifteen years ago.

tier 2 red said...

red devil
you ignored my last post about the kind of club we have and the kind of club we could have, or is it just about making money and winning trophies for you?

The Red Devil said...

@tier2red - I have heard of the Dunphy book and I promise you I will read it.

Now, you see. You have done what I have been asking for all along.

No spin. No lies. No propaganda. No sensationalist bullshit.

I said in a post the other day (not to you, I don't think). Don't tell me why the Glazers are bad, tell me why you're better.

That is a far more honest approach to achieving the change you want.

I like the things you say there. I cannot argue against them on face value.

I would still like to see that they can be applied in the cut-throat world that competitive football has become though (and I don't mean that in anyway snidely or nastily).

tier 2 red said...

red devil
I hope you do read it.
Of course they can be applied, United makes more than enough money to subsidise such ideas (and others) especially if it was to be not for profit as I believe it should. Manchester United and the fans is a community, the Glazers are out to make money. We are the ones who invest emotion and money, they invest nothing
I believe what i stated above is similar to what MUST says (albeit without the personal wishlist - perhaps you should think again in your opposition to them.
To paraphrase one famous Englishman,
The Glazers know that he will have to break us with our green and gold or lose the club. If we can stand up to him, all of football may be freed (from LBO takeovers) and the life of football may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands (and cheaper ticket prices).

But if we fail, then the whole of football, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted finance. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the Manchester United and its world wide support last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour

The Red Devil said...

@tier2red - Ok. Shall we leave it at that for now then? Otherwise we're going to go off on a whole new tangent regarding the workability of the fan-based ownership model! :)

The Red Devil said...

@t2r - Btw, I didn't realise Churchill was a Red ;)

Si, East Manchester said...

I implore you all not to be taken in by Red Devil. He's a classic dreary diversion merchant who takes 5 paragraphs to answer a simple question, which once you've ploughed through the piles of nonsense he spouts in response you've forgotten the question anyway and probably lost the will to live...there's others almost identical to him out there(Tooth & Claw in the M.E.N, Tufty the ex-Everton, now Utd fan from Runcorn to name a few...oh and i forgot Eaststand 375) who stuff quite a few of the proper Utd forums which exist with this sort of approach in regard to the current owners.

They are usually easy to spot for other reasons too such as often repeating the same mantra along the lines of "i don't really like the Glazers but there's worse owners out there"...then produce a 10 paragraph essay on why the Glazers should stay and how much better they are than the PLC on nearly every level (yet can't back this up with any hard evidence) but then end it by saying "i don't really like the debt the Glazers have put us in but they are the owners so there's nothing we can do". If you use any derogatory words against them they will immediatly counter with much of the same then call you a child for starting it in the first place.

Having looked at Red Devils blog (which is basically lightweight shite worse than you'd find in The Sun and seems completely fake to me; what Utd fan would refer to Gerrard as "Stevie") the guy is either mad or a paid Glazer PR, no doubt. Put it this way, of the many Utd fans i know and have known since i started going to OT in 1978 none of them fit this guys profile and i only live 5 miles away from this chump (well according to what he says anyway).

There's no doubt that most of his essays are pre-prepared before posting (4 huge ones posted within the space of 2 minutes yesterday lunchtime) and he's posted over 60 times out of 138 comments on this article alone. You have to ask yourself why anyone would go to such lengths on another persons blog while having the time to run his own. As he states he doesn't have the time to go to Utd anywhere near as much as he likes "due to work commitments" but somehow manages to find the time to post prolifically on here.

It's basically pointless entering into debate with these people...all i would say is be wise to the nonsense and best avoid.

The Red Devil said...

@Si - "It's basically pointless entering into debate with these people..."

I dunno. I think myself an tier2red have just had a fairly constructive little discussion.

"Having looked at Red Devils blog (which is basically lightweight shite worse than you'd find in The Sun and seems completely fake to me; what Utd fan would refer to Gerrard as "Stevie""

My Blog is really about providing betting tips on Manchester United matches. If you had put £20 on my tips last season you would have won enough to buy a Season Ticket! How's that for service to the "hardcore support"?

Stevie G? What's wrong with that? :)

"As he states he doesn't have the time to go to Utd anywhere near as much as he likes "due to work commitments" but somehow manages to find the time to post prolifically on here."

Dunno if you've noticed, but we're in the close-season and proper Manchester United news is thin on the ground.

As for my massive posts on here, there is a character limit when your post reaches over 4096 characters or something so I do type them in Wordpad first and then copy/paste them over in chunks one bit at a time. This can give the impression of 3-4 posts within seconds of each other.

Choccy said...

@Si, East Manchester: my point exactly. Hadn't realised he'd posted over 60 times already on this thread. Glad others can see through the mirage that RD seems to lives in.

@Red Devil: well done mate for the brief CV (it took you long enough)! And keep up the good propaganda work, I'm sure Malc and his vile spawn will thank you for it someday.

A REAL Red Devil said...

@ Red Devil
"Despite what people say, I am NOT pro-Glazer as such."

or

"I just prefer to get behind the team which necessarily means supporting the Glazers."

Which one is it?

Si, East Manchester said...

Choccy, as mentioned, most of what he posts is bollocks. He drones on, which will be indefinitely if you enter into conversation with him, until whatever the point is or was will be buried under random personal observations, half truths and the occasional re-entry back into reality (but very little fact) by which time most people will have died of boredom trying to cut thro' it all. His blog is as totally pointless as his posts are on here (e.g. claiming dumb when it comes to what fan ownership of clubs is all about - what?) not that anyone is listening to him on his own blog anyway.

In some ways tho' i'm glad Anders hasn't banned him from here because every time he posts he highlights even more what a buffoon he is. It's just a pity i have to scoot past dozens of posts of his before i can read someone normal who's posted but this particular thread has been difficult to do that on. Poor old Anders will end up with carpal tunnel syndrome having to reply to this guy, personally i'd just ignore him.

If you want a perfect summary of what he is look up the word "Doublethink" on Wikipedia. ;-)

Choccy said...

@Si, East Manchester: recognise and agree with what you're saying. I don't try to engage him in debate for the obvious reasons but I do enjoy a bit of Red Devil baiting though...... after all, it's what "he's" here for. Must be getting some sort of kick-back from somewhere.......

The Red Devil said...

@Si - For someone who accuses me of droning on, you have just taken eight fairly lengthy paragraphs to say absolutely nothing really.

Ray the Crab said...

Didn't Choccy ask you nicely to tell us about your first kneetrembler Red Devil? Come on pal, it's missing from your impressive cv, we're all desperate to know ;-))

The Red Devil said...

Keep going boys. Anders must be very proud of the intelligentsia around here fighting his corner.

Ray The Crab said...

As opposed to your blinding, scorching intelligence eh Red Devil? Give it up pal. Just take on a new identity and resume posting. Let's see if we can spot the difference. Do like your own blog tho', it's really "bad"!

Choccy said...

@Red Devil said: Anders must be very proud of the intelligentsia around here fighting his corner.

You muppet. It's the life and soul of Manchester United Football Club we're ALL fighting for, not just "Anders corner"...... shakes head in abject disbelief........

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - Now now, no need for that.

Just because I blew your attempt to discredit me by proving that I am not a Manc out of the water (whatever the hell that has to do with anything) but whatever.

How does asking a man out for a drink and asking him where he had his first "kneetrembler" aid in your stated aim of fighting for the life and soul of Manchester United?

Anonymous said...

@Si " There's no doubt that most of his essays are pre-prepared before posting (4 huge ones posted within the space of 2 minutes yesterday lunchtime) and he's posted over 60 times out of 138 comments on this article alone."

I've been thinking something similar for some time about our dear Red Devil. Sometimes his comments sound lucid and show a reasonable grasp of the finances. In his other posts the tone of the posts are much different in style with at best only a vague appreciation of the numbers. At worst RD simply ignores the financial logic of the argument.

Also his lack of something intelligent to say (and style of writing) on his own blog is in any case different from the content he writes here and that has led me to wonder if RD is really two people!

He certainly can't be in full time paid employment given his output on this blog. So if he lives within 15 mins of OT exactly what does he do as a job given that as he says he puts "the wellbeing of his children and wife first"? Do they know he is spending so much time writing here rather than working? I would love to know if he is an employee or self employed. If he is self employed that cannot be a genuine statement as he is spending so much time here unless he is being paid to write these interventions. On the other hand that Court of law threat that Red Devil issued before would be worth pursuing to reveal if his employer was aware of the substantial time being spent at different times of the day composing replies on Anders Blog. The veracity of the wellbeing of his wife and children being paramount over MUFC is called into question given the solitary time consuming efforts he maintains he is undertaking.

The Red Devil said...

@ Anonynous - I work from home. I'm self-employed.

Amongst other things, I've been getting paid to cover World Cup matches for a well known company this week (day off from that today).

It's a hard job but someone has to do it.

Apart from that, I run several websites, have a 25% share in an internet based company and do a spot of work for people who want to start their own internet business.

The hours are flexible, the money is good and it means I can spend far too much time posting on things like this - but still earn money.

I have probably just earned some money while typing this.

Great isn't it? :)

Any other completely irrelevant information you would like to know that has absolutely NO bearing on the fact that the Glazers own Manchester United?

Choccy said...

Red Devil said "How does asking a man out for a drink and asking him where he had his first "kneetrembler" aid in your stated aim of fighting for the life and soul of Manchester United?". You're right, it probably doesn't. It's just a bit of off-topic baiting. A bit like your rambling postings if you see what I mean.........? No, you probably don't.

This thread has now probably run it's course unless you spout some more of your shite. Have a nice day!

The Red Devil said...

Sorry, I completely missed this last comment.

"Have a nice day"???

The only people I know who say that work for McDonalds.

That explains a lot.

I doubt I'll post on here much anymore. I'll leave you all to your doom and gloom.

Considering the subject matter of Anders' blog, I thought I might actually find intelligent life here.

With one or two notable exceptions, I've been disappointed.

A shame.

Choccy said...

"Have a nice day"??? Irony dear RD, irony..... shakes head again in disbelief.

The Red Devil said...

@choccy - You know, I was reading through this last night and you know what I came to realise?

That YOU don't actually have anything to say. Your own contribution was some half arsed attempt to prove something about me that was completely irrelevant to the points raised whichever way you want to view it.

So, you sit there making silly claims without foundation and being "ironic".

You, sir, are officially pointless.

Choccy said...

Bit like yourself RD if I may be so bold. You are a classic WUM of the first order and we've all read too many of your pointless diversionary posts on this blog for it not to be true. And read too many equally pointless rejoinders (of which I will hold my hands up for some of them). It's time to stop now before the signal-to-noise ratio deteriorates further.

Think someone mentioned on another thread that because of the tone and sheer number of your posts on here, you come across as being either mad or in the pay of the pro-glazer campaign. I'd go with both of those reasons. And the sooner people stop responding to your drivel, the better.

So finally, here goes.......

Anonymous said...

Fair play to The Red Devil for giving the views of the silent majority of fans

The Red Devil said...

@Choccy - And there goes another one.

What IS your point exactly?

Yet again, nothing to say except baseless accusations.

I don't know if you noticed but I usually posted in response to the sheer number of posts directed at ME.

What was I to do? Ignore them and appear rude or lacking a response?

What I did is similar to what you are doing now, in fact, but at least I came back with something to say.

You're just repeating the same tired accusations.

I'm sorry it didn't work out between us but you're just not my type. Move on.

Patrick said...

What ever happened to the Red Knights?What was there purpose in massivly undervaluing our club/brand?Perhaps Andy could give us the ordinary fans

Patrick said...

post continued...Perhaps andy you could explain there failure to the Ordinary fans in the same detail you have dealt with the Glazers Money issues

Anonymous said...

Patrick, you cant have it both ways, both saying you are not an accountant and able to value things, and then accusing the RKs of 'massively undervaluing the club/brand'.
Why are the the allegedly not pro Glazers so anxious for a buyer to pay twice what the Glazers paid, when every pound higher the price tag, every pound less to get the club back on a competitive footing?

Patrick said...

It does not mater what my valuation yours anders or the red knights its what the Glazers themselves value OUR club at.Perhaps the story of the rejection of a 1.5 billion bid from the Middle East gives us all a sence of what anyone would be expected to pay
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/06/glazers-reject-secret-offer-manchester-united

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the story of the rejection of a 1.5 billion bid from the Middle East gives us a sense of the spin the Glazer PR machine it trying on. Like the 95 million sitting in the bank waiting for Ferguson to find value in the market, it is pure propaganda to con gullible types.

Patrick said...

But perhaps it is the Glazers making public what they value the club at.As said previous its what the Glazers value the club at not what me you anders or anybody else value it at.And the same could be said about the red knights doing there talking in the media instead with the Bankers.Have the Red Knights ever gave a press conference or interview?No?More secreative than the Glazer?

Anonymous said...

Like hicks and gillette, the glazers can value their football clubs at whatever they like, but that does not mean to say any prospective buyer will pay that much. However neither you nor Red Devil ever answer the question of why you are so keen for the Glazers to get such a high price for selling the club. The more a buyer pays, the less there is available to return the club to competitiveness again. Could one or both of you answer that questions, without resorting to nebulous remarks like 'ethical' fairness or similar. Hard business facts please.

Patrick said...

Who ever said i want anybody to pay over the odds for OUR club.All i have pointed out and highlighted is that we are a world leading company/football club/Brand and as a result you would like to think there is a greater value attached to it.As said above the only valuation that matters is that of the Glazer Family,never mind what me you forbes magazine or anybody values it at.I have tried to address your question and now perhaps you could share your views on what went so badly wrong with the Red Knights takeover bid/talk

Anonymous said...

Okay here we go http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/34/soccer-10_Soccer-Team-Valuations_Rank.html
Forbes Value Our club at $1,835

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_is_Manchester_United_worth
Value at$1.453million

http://www.worldfootballinsider.com/Story.aspx?id=33355
Glazer Valuation put at$2.2bn billion
http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/06/07/anti-glazer-figures-show-manchester-united-owners%E2%80%99-net-assets-are-worth-1-1bn-070603/

Mentions that if the Glazers where to sell there American football team Tampa Bay Bucs or even 1st Allied then they could clear most of United’s total debt at a stroke. They would own a debt-free United with massive annual profits. That remains an option to them and the reason why they haven’t done that yet, is, presumably, because they feel they can hold onto both clubs, using United’s money to pay their debt.

The Red Devil said...

@ anonymous "However neither you nor Red Devil ever answer the question of why you are so keen for the Glazers to get such a high price for selling the club."

The problem is, if you think that I have a vested interest in the valuation of Manchester United then it only makes my argument stronger because I don't!

I really don't!

I have said this a hundred times.

I have, however, said that I believe the Glazers have a view to the long term future and that they believe that a couple of hundred million here and there now will be made to look like chicken feed in the next 5-10 years due to the strategies they have put in place regarding revenue generation.

I can't say anymore than that at the moment because I am not privy to the details.

There are two projections for the next five years.

One where we go bump.

One where we go from strength to strength.

I just think that the latter is the more likely and £800m won't even buy you the front door.

Anonymous said...

Again Red Devil you avoid, dodge or simply do not understand the question - why are you so keen for the Glazers to get such a high price for the club?

Irish red said...

Why do you people want rid of the Glazers when we Know next to nothing about the RKs who have disappeared.They(RKs) done there talking through the Media instead of sorting a bid out 1st instead of having to watch it collapse in public.Did they really ever exist???I think not