With thanks to Tony Attwood from ‘Untold Arsenal’
For those who didn’t understand the news that Man United’s loans have been traded around the city, here is a simplistic view from an expert (who is unfortunately, an Arsenal fan!)
Manchester United was utterly debt free when the Glaziers came along. They did a leveraged buy out, which meant that the previous shareholders were given a huge sum for their shares, and so walked away with a massive profit.
The Glaziers funded this buy out by borrowing money from Manchester United once they had bought it – so effectively they bought the club for nothing, because all the funding came from within the club.
However the debts are so huge that although some of the debts are guaranteed by assets (the ground, the players, future season ticket sales) much of the debt has no guarantee, and because of this is at a very high rate of interest (17% or more).
The repayments on the debts are so high, that the club is unable to pay them, and so each year the debts get bigger, because they are the debt plus this interest from the previous year – and of course that growing debt requires more interest.
To fund this the club had two strategies – one is the increase in marketing sales (shirts etc) and the other is the increase in the cost of seats. The problem is that while the games are still selling out, some of the increase revenue schemes have come unstuck, which is why the club is being sued by its supporters over the ticketing scheme. Marketing has also come unstuck because of the recession – the number of new shirt sales to be got each year has now reached a level and won’t go up any more.
Worse, the problem with AIG means that some other money is being lost, and it is hard to find another sponsor who will pay as much as AIG.
The problem is: what next? The club is based on spending about £40 million a year in transfer fees, and getting about £10 million back – but it simply doesn’t have the money to do that any more, nor any way of increasing its income. This is why Arsenal feels so good about life – their system is based on a much smaller cost of transfer fees because each year they sell some top players who came in and cost nothing.
Wayne Rooney is a man of two halves. Two Saturdays ago, Rooney was given a red card after his anger took control of himself, and instead of leaving the field right away he went and punched the corner flag. He was in a right mess. Maybe the red card was debatable, but there was no reason for him to act like that.
But this week we saw the other side of Wayne Rooney. He was in top form against Slovakia scoring two goals. Yes, you could argue it was only Slovakia. Still the man was under the spotlight.
Man Utd have found themselves under some spot of bother in the league. They will definitely need somebody to help them as the end of the season draws near. He may be suspended for the next game against Aston Villa, but after that he will be fired up and ready for the next game. Rooney is one of those players who has answered his critics nearly every time, letting his talent on the pitch do the talking. He has got his rewards for his terrific performances for his England after he was their voted player of the year.
Fabio Capello was full of praise for the striker, and has been impressed with the way he has developed as a player.
“He’s different to the other players. I like him and I like the way the other players like him. They always have a good feeling with this player. I’ve spoken with him in the last year about the movement he needs in front of goal because he has such a very big talent.
“He can do everything and I was always sure he would score a lot of goals. He has the talent for that but he needed to have the movement in front of the goal. So I spoke a lot with him and, since then, he has always done what I asked him to do.”
Who else can inspire Man Utd to the finish. Berbatov? Ronaldo? The duo haven’t had the greatest of season and have not played up to their full potential.
It may still be unlikely that Liverpool could win the championship, but they are in great form of late. What Man United need now is the Wayne Rooney we saw on Saturday. If he continues to play like he did, the Kop can kiss goodbye to their title hopes.
Wayne Rooney scored a brace for England in their 4-0 win over Slovakia. Rooney’s both goals came in the last 20 minutes. Ben Foster and Michael Carrick also featured as they were second half substitutes. Carrick played a part in England’s third goal, his pass sent Frank Lampard in on goal.
David Beckham, the former Manchester United midfielder, earned his 109th cap, the most by any outfield player for England. His cross was converted in by Wayne Rooney after 70 minutes.
Rio Ferdinand missed the game due to a back problem but is likely to play the game against Ukraine on Wednesday.
Jonny Evans played a man of the match performance for Northern Ireland as they beat Poland 3-2. Evans header on found the net on 47 minutes.
John O’Shea had an assist in Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Bulgaria. O’Shea set up Richard Dunne early on, but Bulgaria soon equalised.
Darren Fletcher endured a quiet game for Scotland as they were beaten 3-0 by the Netherlands. Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool were among the goals.
Former no.2 Carlos Queiroz continues to struggle as Portugal boss as they dropped two valuable points on their own turf. Portugal were held 0-0 to group one rivals Sweden. Cristiano Ronaldo, who captained the side, had a great chance at the and to win the game but his header was off target. Luis Nani was a unused substitute.
Patrice Evra played the whole 90 minutes for France, who beat Lithuania 1-0 thanks to a stunning Frank Ribery goal.
Carlos Tevez helped Argentina to a 4-0 win over Venezuela. Tevez scored the second goal of the game, and was then substituted after 71 minutes. Meanwhile, South Korea beat Iraq 2-1, Park ji-Sung though was very quiet throughout the game.
It is rare for defenders to ever pick up awards in football, as the majority of them go to midfielders or forwards. John Terry was the last player to be named the writers’ player of the year, but after a superb season at Manchester United this season Nemanja Vidic is surely one of the stronger candidates to consider when deciding the winner at the end of the season.
Vidic was ever-present during a run of 14 consecutive league clean sheets earlier this season which has contributed largely to United’s progress this year.
Vidic has had games where he hasn’t performed, not to mention the 4-1 defeat against Liverpool a fortnight ago, where his costly mistake led to a Liverpool eqauliser. Then, in the same game he made a clumsy challenge on Steven Gerrard. Some believe that if he had not made such mistakes, Man Utd would not have suffered such a bad defeat.
There are some other candidates up for the award, Steven Gerrard the potential favourite. Gerrard has been consistent performer this year, the player who has led from the front and he will no doubt be the main figure in Liverpools fight for the Premier League.
Rio Ferdinand, who has also enjoyed success at the back while partnering Vidic, said earlier this week that he believes that he deserves the award:
“I think he should definitely be up there this year for player of the year. He’s a top player.
“The attacking players normally get the accolades and the adulation, so it would be nice for a defender to win it. JT won it a few years ago but not many centre-halves have won it over the years.
What do you think? Does Vidic deserve to be this years player of the year? If not, who do you think is the right man to win the award? Tell us by leaving a comment.
By Gareth Freeman
Things aren’t looking as rosy as they were a week or two at Old Trafford but everything is still in United’s favour. Rooney getting himself sent off wasn’t the wisest of moves, it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last he does it. Liverpool could even be on top before Ferguson’s side even kick a ball but with a point advantage and a game in hand you wouldn’t go betting on United losing the title just yet.
The players themselves seem to have taken back-to-back defeats in their stride. Patrice Evra has described the defeats as a ‘little accident’ and the Frenchman seems fairly confident of United’s success.
Ryan Giggs has really emerged as a leader this season. His comments are perhaps the most encouraging. In an interview with MUTV Giggs said: “We’ve got to do our own job, not worry about the teams around us. It’s still in our hands.”
The main worry really is Wayne Rooney. As a younger player when he demonstrated his acts of poor discipline it came with the excuse of ‘he’ll grow out of it’. Sadly I no longer think this is the case and if Rooney is a part of the team I think Man United fans will always have to deal with this from time to time. His quality mean it is worth putting up with but when it happens at key times like this it is unbelievably frustrating! On the plus side Carlos Tevez should get a run in the team. I know a lot of United fans aren’t too keen on the Argentine but his work rate can never be questioned and for me he has a lot of quality.
It may not be as comfortable as it once was but I can’t see United failing to win another two games along the way. Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City are the only games left where I could possibly see United slipping up but they’re all at home and I doubt anyone other than United will get much joy at Old Trafford again this season.
The sports betting odds are still firmly in United’s favour and I would imagine that this mini-slump will end when Aston Villa come to Old Trafford on April 5th. Villa have been on a poor run themselves lately and it is probably a good time to play them. They were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool last time out and a defeat like that will surely have rocked their confidence. The best thing United can do now is put those defeats behind them, like Evra said just treat them as a ‘little accident’ and continue their push for the League, Champions League and FA Cup.
Man Utd are known for their great football achievements and success in the game. A team that has won a number of trophies, set and broken records. There is one thing they don’t want to be known for – their attitude. Honestly, it hasn’t been good this year.
On evidence throughout the year, Manchester United do not have the greatest attitude on the pitch. The Red Devils have picked up five red cards in the Premier League this season and a further two in the Super Cup and World Club. United are one of the six teams in the league that have seen their yellow card tally go past 50. Both individuals and team have contributed to that.
Wayne Rooney, however great he may be has to sort out his attitude. The red card he picked up in Saturday’s 2-0 loss away to Fulham was actually the right decision. More on that here. Rooney had no reason to throw the ball in anger and who knows, it could have easily hit the ref. Because of this Wayne Rooney, one of Man Utd top players, will miss the vital game against Villa in under a fortnight’s time. Rooney has had a history of this.
So to will Paul Scholes and Nemanja Vidic who is still serving a two match ban he picked up against Liverpool nine days ago. Between both of them, they have picked up five, yes five of the seven red cards this year.
What about Cristiano Ronaldo. On three different occasions, he has kicked an opponent player without punishment. His short temper was all but visible against Fulham and was lucky not to get a red card.
It’s just not the players. Sir Alex Ferguson is on a tight rope after once again going after the referees. On some occasions, he has been correct. On other, he’s just been plain wrong.
If United don’t get rid of this expect a lack of concentration, suspensions and fines and Man Utd will fight against Liverpool through this final hurdle. If the attitude does not change, then all of the listed above will harm their chances of a third successive Premier League title.