Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Posts Tagged ‘Glazer’

“Compared with this IPO, Malcolm Glazer’s facial hair seems attractive”

Posted by hakanrylander on August 10, 2012

The Economist today published a brief analysis of the Manchester United IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The gist is in the headline above.

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Always look on the bright side of life

Posted by hakanrylander on October 24, 2011

I have to admit that it’s not easy to see the bright side this particular Monday morning. But after a desperate search I’ve been able to find some positives. One of which might even be important.

Bryan and Avram

1. The Glazers were present at Old Trafford. Hopefully they were as shocked as the rest of us. The result is an indication that in the long run it makes a difference if you pour lots of money into a club or take lots of money out. If this became clearer to our esteemed owners, something good might actually come out of yesterday’s defeat. It’s conceivable that they could speed up efforts to reduce debt by listing the club on the Singapore Stock Exchange, or think twice before taking another £100 million or so out of the club.

2. Mark Clattenburg had an excellent game. Referees often get less credit then they deserve, especially when your own team has been heavily beaten. Full marks to Mr Clattenburg. I couldn’t spot a single serious mistake.

3. Coleen looked colourful at Wayne’s 26th birthday bash at Wings Chinese restaurant last night. City stars Gareth Barry and Joe Hart were also attending. Wayne looked less than cheerful.

4. Chelsea lost to QPR, which reminds me of this gem.




Posted in Manchester United, Match Reports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who are you kidding, Malcolm?

Posted by hakanrylander on February 25, 2011

Manchester United is not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers.”

This statement accompanied today’s release of the second-quarter financial results. All very official. But not true.

So far there hasn’t been even the slightest hint of an emotional connection between the Glazers and Manchester United. This means that an old business truth is still valid in this case; all assets are for sale at a price. It also means that today’s statement is nonsense.

The Entertainer?

For a take-over to happen will need an investor with deep pockets and an even more optimistic outlook than the Glazers on United’s future revenues. Which looks unlikely at this moment. But of course our esteemed owners are willing to do business at some level. The club might not be for sale at £1.5 billion. But if they received an offer of, say, £2.0 billion I can assure you that the owners would have a look at it. They might even entertain it.

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Add to Basket

Posted by hakanrylander on February 10, 2011

I knew that Christian Eriksen was a good player. But I didn’t realise that he was this good! Last night’s game between Denmark and England made me add another name to my Official Summer Shopping List. He impressed me in just about every department; control, composure, vision, set-piece delivery etc. In short, he was the best player on the pitch. And he doesn’t turn 19 until Monday.

Apart from Eriksen, my shopping list for the summer also includes Manuel Neuer and Jack Rodwell. All perfectly possible signings if the Glazers are indeed prepared to splash the cash. But come to think of it, I can’t remember that I’ve ever seen “Glazer” and “splash the cash” in the same sentence before…

Posted in Manchester United, Player Analysis, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I will not praise that purpose not to sell

Posted by hakanrylander on January 2, 2011

The potentially most interesting news of recent weeks is of course the rumour that Qatar Holdings plan a massive takeover bid of United. The Glazers keep insisting that the club is not for sale,but of course it would be if someone was prepared to pay over the odds. And the Qatar group is exactly the kind of buyer our esteemed owners are likely to be looking for.

Even so I don’t get too excited by a rumour that has all the hallmarks of having been invented at a Fleet Street desk (or the Middle East equivalent). It’s not too difficult to imagine that someone has tried to put two and two together. A: You need an awful lot of money to convince the Glazers to sell. B: Some guys from Abu Dhabi are pouring an awful lot of money into City. C: Their wealthy neighbors from Qatar show a lot of interest in football, e.g. Barcelona and the World Cup. D: A bid for United is imminent. Even a humble blogger could have come up with something like that. And the stories circulating don’t contain any quotes or other facts to make them more credible.

But there is one little piece in this jigsaw that keeps nagging me. Why has Sir Alex offered such a lot of support for Qatar’s World Cup bid? When he did so in January 2010 it could be interpreted as nothing more than normal courtesy when visiting the country, but he praised the bid again in November and I don’t see a lot of (if any) footballing reasons for doing so. Might there just possibly be a hidden agenda?

Posted in Financial, Manchester United | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thank Heaven for the Glazers

Posted by hakanrylander on December 6, 2010

General Than Shwe

I certainly never thought I’d write this headline, but the severe misgivings I have about the Glazer regime were sort of put into perspective today by the Wikileaks revelation that Burma junta leader general Than Shwe has been considering a Manchester United buyout. The general was optimistic enough to believe that USD 1 billion would be enough to secure a takover, money that most people think would have been better spent relieving some of the problems of the victims of the cyclone Nargis that devastated Burma.  The mooted price tag was the same as the aid bill to cover the most urgent food, agriculture and housing for three years after the cyclone, as estimated by international agencies including the UN.

Full story in the Guardian.

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The five reasons why Rooney wants to leave

Posted by hakanrylander on October 21, 2010

Money. When a professional footballer wants to change clubs he normally claims that this is to “fulfil a dream”, “take the next step”, “get a new challenge” etc. In reality, money is always part of the motivation. More often than not it’s the main reason why a player wants a move. I don’t think Rooney is any different in this respect. As he’s one of the best players in the world, it’s not difficult to imagine that he gets frustrated when across town Yaya Touré earns twice as much.

Form. In the previous paragraph I refered to Rooney as one of the best players in the world. But in fact he hasn’t played anywhere near that level for the last six months, neither for United nor England. On form he deserves to be on the bench as both Berbatov and Hernandez have looked better players recently. As what was supposedly a temporary glitch has turned into the longest slump of his career, many of us have become increasingly worried. None more so than Rooney himself. Since the World Cup it’s likely that he’s given some serious thought to which way his professional career is heading. One conclusion might have been that a change of clubs could help him find his feet again.

The Glazers. The owners of the top clubs in Europe tend to put an awful lot of money into the club, or at least not take anything out. The Glazers on the other hand take countless millions out of the club. This has now made it obvious that United find it very hard to compete for the best players. It’s no wonder that Rooney does not believe that United is a club in ascendency. Does anyone?

His private life. Very difficult to know how important this aspect is. It has probably helped destabilize Rooney, but I still think it’s only a minor factor behind his transfer request.

Paul Stretford. Rooney’s agent orchestrated a very similar move in 2004. Read this highly interesting article by David Conn. I think Stretford is at it again.

Posted in Manchester United, Player Analysis, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Another Glazer ship about to sink?

Posted by hakanrylander on June 9, 2010

The leading business site Forbes reports that the value of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is falling, and that the owners (the Glazers) “need to repair their ship before it sinks”. Fans are angry at the lack of money being spent on players and the season ticket waiting list has “essentially evaporated”. This comes just days after Andersred’s brilliant analysis of the severe problems in the family’s real estate business First Allied Corporation, where half the shopping centres risk going bust.

The big question is how these problems will affect the Glazers’ ownership of United. It might make them even more determined (or desperate) to hang on to United and the cash flow the club generates, but then again it might make them more open to offers that would see them leave United with a huge profit. Let’s hope for the latter.

Posted in Financial, Manchester United | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Unofficial Summer Shopping List

Posted by hakanrylander on May 19, 2010

You don’t need to be an expert in neither football nor finance to read between the lines this morning. In “unrelated”(!?) developments the Glazers face an interest rate hike on the already costly PIK-loans, while Sir Alex claims that he’s happy with the balance of the squad and that there may be only one signing this summer. The rate hike increases the pressure on the Glazers to take even more money out of United to pay off the loans. This in turn means that the transfer budget for this summer will be even tighter than most of us anticipated. I expected Ferguson to make two important signings, but my summer shopping list has now been revised to include just one name.

Goalkeeper. There’s no question that we soon need a long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar, but this won’t happen this summer and I think we’re allright for next season with VDS, Kuszczak and Amos. My only concern is that my prefered choice to replace VDS, Manuel Neuer, will move to Bayern Munich if we don’t snap him up this summer.

Defence. No desperate need for new signings even if I would love a world-class right-back (Lahm, Maicon) and some doubts remain about the fitness of Ferdinand and Vidic’s (wife’s) attitude to life in Manchester.

Midfield. Scholes and Giggs surely enter their last season and there are plenty of questionmarks over Hargreaves, Anderson and Carrick. This means that if money was available we should go for Jack Rodwell. I believe he will be a key player for England in the next decade. A perfect long-term signing, but if the owners only allow one new player it will have to be someone who will offer more immediate support for Rooney.

Attack. Ideally, the player we look for should be able to play alongside Rooney, just behind him as well as wide. And also be able to play up front when Rooney is missing. He also needs to be both goalscorer and playmaker, and be good enough to really make a difference, in short world-class. This, of course, limits the choice somewhat and takes us into a price-bracket where the Glazers might not be at all comfortable. I believe that the player who best fits this description, and might be available, is Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid. You have an opportunity to scout him in the Spanish Cup Final tonight.

Posted in Financial, Manchester United, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Negotiations have started

Posted by hakanrylander on May 7, 2010

Yesterday all three of my favourite newspapers (Guardian, Telegraph and The Times) were contacted by “a source close to the Glazers” and told that the family have rejected numerous offers for the club. One of those offers amounted to £1.5 billion from a Middle Eastern bidder. The source also insisted that the family is not interested in selling “at any price”.

This is of course rubbish. In the world of business all assets are for sale at a price. The only exceptions are cases where there is a strong emotional bond between owners and asset. I don’t believe for a minute that such a bond exists between the Glazers and Manchester United. If anything, the coordinated leak proves that the Glazers are indeed prepared to sell and have started public negotiations by indicating that they will want a lot more that £1.5 billion.

The rejection of a seemingly generous offer of £1.5 billion has been interpreted as stubborness. I think it’s got more to do with business logic. The family seem convinced, rightly in my view, that the club’s income could soar in the next decade by developments such as individual TV-deals for the big clubs, a European Super League, new broadband-based ways of selling the “product” etc.

My estimate (well, “guess” is probably a more appropriate word tbh) is that it will take a bid in excess of £2 billion to convince the Glazers to sell. I don’t think the Red Knights are prepared to pay that much. But someone in the Middle East or China might be. I look upon today’s stories in the Guardian, the Telegraph and The Times as the Glazers’ opening gambit to those potential buyers.

Posted in Financial, Manchester United | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »