Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Glazer effect


What is going on here. Now I'm not a Manchester United fan, but I can't help feel worried for the club given that Malcom Glazer has managed to borrow millions of pounds, and we're talking over 500 million, from various banks to buy 75% of the shares. That's instantly made one of the most profitable soccer clubs in the country (probably world) one of the biggest debters.

I know Manchester United are listed on the Stock Exchange which makes them perfectly reasonable targets for such actions, but this guy must have the most amazing business plan to be able to repay not only the interest on the loans, but the loans themselves.

I can understand someone like Roman Abramovich with his billions wanting a toy team - and at least he does show up on Saturday afternoons to cheer Chelski on, but Glazer's intentions trouble me. All I've read so far points to him as someone who will squeeze every penny however he can be it increasing ticket prices, pulling out of the collective TV rights deal, or trying to push United as a global brand. 5 years ago bus shelters in Kuala Lumpar were emblazoned with United's logo and they are already massive across Asia. The rest of the world (not including USA) are already fanatical about footy but have their own teams. And I can't see him pushing them in the US as they already have their own "world" sports.

Not a good week for UK football. Congratulations to the Baggies on staying up. The other 3, we'll see you at Turf Moor next year!!

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