Guest Post: Be careful what you wish for; we could do worse than the Glazers
In times like these, when there are rumours floating around that the Glazers might sell United, it’s easy as a United fan to get carried away and wish for a belated Christmas present – to get rid of the Glazers once and for all. Even if I don’t believe in these rumours, it’s still good to discuss whether it really is that great or not. I’m not very competent when it comes to economics, but I can let you know what I think in terms of ideology.
If we, just for a minute, look past the economics part; the Glazers are pretty good owners, aren’t they? They don’t interfere with Sir Alex, they just let him to what he does best. Sure, there hasn’t been any big signings the past years and that might be the Glazers’ fault. But looking at where we are now, do we really need any?
And then we take a look to the other side of the town, to City. New signings all the time, no patience with managers, and so on… Do we really want that? Do we really want to become City?
Sure, City do have it much better than we do financially speaking. No debts, they can do whatever they want, whilst it’s the exact opposite for us. We have debts and can’t do whatever we want. As always when it’s politics, it comes down to priorities. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have it like we have it now with the Glazers than how City have it with their owners.
United have deserved their success, City have not. United get money through success, City get success through money. If you want a one-sentence description of the main difference between United and City, there you have one. What City (and of course, we shall not forget about Chelsea too) do is against everything I stand for in football. I don’t want United to become a part of that.
Say if Sir Alex retires soon and we have a couple of bad years after that, maybe we finish sixth and seventh for a few years, and we get bought by owners like City’s (not them, but someone like them), and all they would do then is to spend, spend, spend money on players and sack our managers whenever they feel like it. Let’s just say that happens (to be honest, it’s not too unlikely), I’m not sure I would call myself United fan after that. Because, as I said, it’s against everything I stand for in football. And you may disagree, and call me what you want for that, but that’s how I feel.
Regarding the pure economics part with City and United, I copied and paste a summary by @supermomo76 on Twitter (follow him, he’s brilliant):
“You need sustainable success, which means the club has to use its own funds. Look at Chelsea now, no money to spend. Throughout history, no single establishment lasted if wasn’t based on a business model. City has no business model. As for the debt free issue, it’s debatable, because you would then pay taxes around 28% and dividends too. The club’s value is around £1.2b and the debt is £509m (debt to assets ratio %42), which is acceptable. The £23m paid to service the debt/bond would have gone out of the club as dividends anyway.
Having said that, if a new owner comes and pay the debt, don’t you think he would want his investment back too? We have to be realistic. We don’t want to hate the Glazers just for the sake of it. Qataries or any Arabic royal family will destroy United. And this comes from an Arab. The Glazers are astute business family, made their money from scratch they will protect their investment. But others who woke up on oil fields didn’t work for their money and will not care about it at all.”
At last, I want to thank The Gaffer (ManUtd24) for this opportunity to write a guest blog here. It’s been a pleasure and I appreciate it very much. My name is Erik Jonsson and at Twitter you find me with the name “jonssonmufc”.