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Forget transfer gossip, United's future is at stake

So that’s it then. The decision has been made and it’s a final one. Who says so? The Manchester United chief executive David Gill that’s who. In an exclusive interview with The Independent newspaper he defends the Glazer business plan, dismisses the Red Knights and firmly insists that the club is ‘Not For Sale’. That’s it, end of story, any such thoughts are completely rejected out of hand.

In the club’s latest quarterly statement, it was made clear that although “The board noted 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”

The figures in the statement show revenue growth in all areas except those from matchdays. Questions therefore need to be asked as to why they have gone down by £1million compared to the same three month period in the previous year. Overall debt is now a staggering £520m although that figure does not include the payment in kind notes for which the Glazers themselves are responsible and now attract huge interest of 16.25%.

In his interview, Gill makes the claim that he is confident that the heavily criticised Glazer ownership with its debts of £716m, most of which is directly loaded onto the club, could be sustained by United’s profitability. Like most other arguments however, this is far from simply being a black and white one as there are plenty of grey shades in between.

Gill’s comments are sure to fire up the debate with the various Manchester United supporters’ groups. Most of them have been personally critical of  Gill who has been at the club since 1997 and had initially resisted the Glazer takeover. The protests were fuelled by the disclosure that the Glazers had the provision to pay themselves up to £9m a year in fees from the club as well as a debt that costs £45m annually in interest payments alone to service.

There can be no argument however that the facts support Gill when he says of the protestors “They are not going to change their opinion even if we win three Champions League titles in a row. We couldn’t have been much more successful in the last three years. We won the league in 2007, 08 and 09, we were Champions League winners and runners up and we won the Carling Cup twice but they are never going to be happy”

Despite that success, speculation has increasingly grown about the possible offer from the Red Knights group aimed at seizing control of the debt laden club because of concerns about its future. The latest ‘Not for sale’ statement by the Glazers shows that they are now confident of their ability to ride out the protests and the call for a boycott of season tickets that looks certain to accompany any rejection of the Red Knights bid.

The Red Knights plan obviously carries with it some worrying shortcomings but it appears certain that even if it was perfect in every way, it is doomed to fail unless the Glazers can somehow be forced into selling. That seems highly unlikely which leaves a large, dark cloud hanging over the club. For let’s face it, despite Gill’s well rehearsed spin, the whole future of  Manchester United is now at stake.

Is there any way that the Glaziers can be forced into selling the club?

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5 Responses to “Forget transfer gossip, United's future is at stake”

  1. Phil Bell says:

    The Red Knights need to buy the debts. That will give them control.

  2. Frank says:

    Interesting point Phil. My only question is whether the Glazers have any rights to stop the debts from being sold

  3. Phil Bell says:

    Probably the Glazers do have that right but if they default, or look likely to, then that option may be present itself. So sad that the supporters and the club are now in conflict!

  4. Andrew King says:

    It would be no use buying the debt unless the Glazers default, which they won’t. Even if they did the amount of equity in Red Football Joint Venture ltd at stake is limited to 30%. So the Glazers still remain in charge even if they default.

    Despite the protests, most fans don’t seem to care about the owners or the debt. The Glazers need only carry on supplying trophies and the protests will fizzle out. he G&G protest means nothing now and the red knights bid is dead. The boycott won’t work and that means we are stuck with the Glazers. Some might say better the devil you know.

  5. DMac says:

    Some facts to consider…..1.Sir Alex will not last much longer..
    2.This would cause the value to go down
    3.The world economic situation is dreadful.
    4.The club will change owners within 2 years

    It’s all about the money….and brinkmanship…..
    Glazers will sell.They are just passing through.
    But are we really sold on the Red Knights…

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