Date: 26th February 2011 at 3:29am
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Will we be seeing these well loved chaps at OT next season?

Will we be seeing these well loved chaps at OT next season?

Another week goes by and continued speculation about a Qatari takeover of United comes along, with various “sources” saying a bid is being lined up and, with or without the help of the Red Knights, that they are hopeful of being able to secure one of the greatest assets in world football.

Such a takeover would certainly put them on the world stage with a great chance of doing a world of good for their popularity at a time when they have struggled to quell the continued criticism of them being handed the World Cup, and delving into football ownership coupled with the shirt sponsorship of Barcelona would be a worthy attempt at casting the lingering doubts to the back of people’s minds. Of course, it is not simply a case of flexing their financial muscle, but rather the actions that then follow.

Let’s consider a scenario where they did takeover Manchester United. For them to be taken seriously by the fans, they would have to prove that they were not merely seeking Old Trafford to be a glorified piggy bank, but instead show some transparency with the fans that the Glazers never did. Putting the fans first before the financial results would go a long way to securing some popularity.

In truth if such a thing were to take place, given the strength of United’s revenues, transfer funds may not need to come from the new owner’s pockets. However, all of this is simply theorising, and the reason I mention it is because of the release of the latest set of financial records by the Glazer family.

The most significant aspect of these financial results was the statement from the board: “The Board notes recent press speculation regarding a possible bid for Manchester United. The Owners remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club… Manchester United is not for sale and the Owners will not entertain any offers.”

Quite what we should make of this is unclear. There have been plenty of statements before rejecting takeover speculation and reiterating the Glazers’ commitment to United ownership for the forseeable future, but an official board statement suggests that there may be more substance to the rumours than originally thought.

Of course, for all we know there could well be negotiations going on at present, given the complete lack of transparency with the club’s dealings, it would not be at all surprising if the board themselves in part were left in the dark about a possible sale. But when we look deeper into the matter, it becomes clear that a truly ridiculous offer, far beyond the quoted asking price would be needed to prise away their main asset. Given the failings of their main businesses back in the US and the lacklustre performance of their NFL franchise, it is not hard tos ee why they are so keen to keep hold of United especially as financially it appears United is still going strong and continuing to improve.

The main headlines to be drawn is that revenues are up across the board, there has been a marginal improvement in profits before any deductions and the cash balance currently tied to the club is in the region of £134 million as well as a reduction in the overall debt that is tying the club down. Of course to some, this will look fairly strong, any improvements year on year with a high level of revenue is bound to be seen as favourable, but when this applies to the world of football, there could well be ramifications.

United fans will doubtless counter these results with the fact that there simply has not been real investment in the squad at the club and a continued citing of a “lack of value” and the truth of the matter is, revenue and profits in football mean nothing if it is not invested back in the team and allowed to  bring continued success. This is the fear of many fans, and it would be fair to say a realistic one at that. In the short term we may be hearing reassuring noises from the board but one must wonder how long it will be before the team goes on a decline.

Of course, some doubts may be pushed aside if significant funds are made available and improvements to a squad that is not considered among the best of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure are made. As well as this, the situation would be made a lot clearer if we are informed how the Payment In Kind notes were paid off and what effect this will have had on interest payments and on the ability of the club to make a profit.

However, the one conclusion I have come to in this is that, for now, the the Glazers are here to stay. As mentioned before, the club is performing too strongly as an asset for them to entertain many offers, especially as the issues regarding their other dealings Stateside continue to falter in the midst of a recession.

Follow Zayd on twitter @Zayd90


12 responses to “Glazers Issue Statement of Intent”

  1. Jacob says:

    I’m wary of the new takeover. When megabucks are funding the club, players and clubs tend to hold out for ransom and ask exorbitant amounts of money. That’s why Fergie talks about “value” in the market. When you have Chelsea and Man City spending freely and paying over the odds for a not-average-not so world-class player, you wonder if they’re really worth the money in the first place.

    • Zayd says:

      True but then purchases are made that seem to contradict this in the first place. For example, Chris Smalling, 10 million was paid for him and if we are honest at the time people were questioning how it could be so much, luckily the risk paid off and he actually looks to justify the price tag. But then bebe, who could be a success, still makes me wonder how united paid so much who hasn’t really played professional football.

      • Jacob says:

        Why Smalling cost so much is simple; because he’s a homegrown British player. English players cost more to prise them away from their clubs. That’s why Arsenal and Chelsea have more foreigners playing for them then British players. Foreign imports tend to cost less but they usually seem to have more potential and skill then the locals.

        Any hype about British youngsters inevitably results in the parent club demanding a lot of money if any of the bigger clubs want to buy them. I refer you to Charlie Adam, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson, Jack Rodwell, Andy Carroll and our own Wayne Rooney. The list goes on.

        Are they really worth as much as their clubs demand?

  2. Man United 1 (Manchester is RED) says:

    United has invested nearly £200m in players since the Glazer takeover in 2005, we have bought Van der Sar, Park, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Kuszczak, Nani, Anderson, Berbatov, Valencia, Chicharito, Smalling for about £135m. We bought in Larsson on loan, Owen for free, decent youngsters in Possebon, Da Silva twins, Obertan, Diouf and Bebe (yes, Bebe). Yes we bought duds in Flopster and Tosic, but everyone does that so stop with this “United will decline without investment” bs, United will not decline.

  3. Man United 1 (Manchester is RED) says:

    Did I mention that we have won 3 PL titles, 1 CL, 1 FAC, 3 LC, 1 CWC & 3 CS. Sir Alex has said that he will spend this summer and in the past has stated he will spend when replacing Giggs/Scholes, I understand why fans hate the Glazers but it could of been far worse that this. The financies remain strong, the club is in a healthy state, we have a strong squad and are going for a Treble so stop this “we need to invest”, we have done that and will do so without spending stupid money. The future is bright.

    • Zayd says:

      Looking at United’s interest payments you could see why I complain about investment. In fees and interest united have paid 300 million over the years. More than anything spent on players.

  4. Man United 1 (Manchester is RED) says:

    Van der Sar (£2m), Park (£4m), Flopster (£1m), Vidic (£7m), Evra (£5.5m), Carrick (£18.6m), Larsson (loan), Kuszczak (£2.125m), Nani (£17.3m), Anderson (£17m), Hargreaves (£17m), Tevez (loan), Manucho (free), Da Silva twins (£5.2m), Possebon (£3.5m), Berbatov (£30.75m), De Laet (£250k), Tosic (£8m), Owen (free), Valencia (£15m), Obertan (£3m), Diouf (£2m), Smalling (£10m), Chicharito (£6m), Bebe (£7.4m), Lindegaard (£3.5m). Most of these purchases has been a success.

    • Zayd says:

      True enough there has been investmen, but I honestly believe the squad as it is needs refreshment, and with that comes significant investment. A reliance on talent coming through is not a proven formula.

      • Jacob says:

        I agree with Man United 1. Just spending big money doesn’t mean success. Veron a prime example. It’s all about spending that money wisely on the players who want to give their all for the club. Those players doesn’t necessarily have to cost a bomb does it?

        I must say that the upcoming summer window will be an interesting one for us trying to guess which players will come and who will leave.

        • Zayd says:

          True but when interest payments vastly outweigh transfer funds, it becomes a little worrying. I agree though shrewd investment can pay dividends, Evra and Vidic being prime examples.

  5. Man United 1 (Manchester is RED) says:

    Zayd – I hear what your saying, Cleverley, Pogba, Tunnicliffe and others from the ranks should get a chance and are first teamers of the future, but we should also spend some money to bring in a player or 2 aswell in the summer. Me personally, I hope we bring in Alexis Sanchez and maybe Douglas Costa or Steven Defour aswell as handing Tom Cleverley his well deserved first team spot. Sanchez should cost no more than €35m, Defour or Costa at €20m. We should cut loose Hargreaves and maybe Carrick.

    • Zayd says:

      I agree, a huge over haul may not be required, but I would like to see some activity to bolster what I think is a lacking midfield right now.