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United In Crisis & Partly Blame Manchester City

Manchester United are up to their necks in debt, no secret there I'm afraid, but an additional crisis has recently reared its ugly head.

Sir Alex Ferguson

The mouthy Scot has recently turned 68-years-old and in a polite way, I have to say he's beginning to show his age. His future at Old Trafford is secure for now but what happens when he finally calls it a day?

There lays the problem and yes, we have to return to the clubs finances before we can answer the above.

It appears the Glazer family may have to refinance the club's £700m debt but how on earth can they do that when the world's banks are reluctant to sink good money after bad?

The Independent has seen a copy of a 322-page document in which Manchester United admit to potential investors that replacing Ferguson will be one of their greatest challenges.

Among the 15 pages of 'risk factors' the club outline an issue when it comes to replacing Fergie. They add...

'Any successor to our manager may not be as successful as he has been.'

Other concerns include...

* The rising power of Manchester City. United admit that their continued success, especially in domestic football, is under pressure from clubs that have the backing of wealthy owners.

* On page 17 of the document, United say...'We face strong competition from other football clubs in England and Europe. In the Premier League, recent investment from wealthy team owners has led to teams with strong financial backing.'

* The prospect of Uefa's new 'financial fair play' rules prohibiting clubs such as United from participating in the Champions League if they accrue large debts or persistently spend more than they earn.

The document says...'There is a risk that, in conjunction with increasing player salaries and transfer fees, the financial fair play initiative could limit our ability to acquire or retain top players and, therefore, adversely affect the performance of our first team.'

* That United's popularity may drop 'in certain countries or regions' if they do not sign high-profile stars from commercially-important regions such as the Far East. This appears to be an acknowledgement of the popularity in Korea that they have earned from the signing of Park Ji-sung.

* The 'behaviour' of players. As well as the admission that United are 'highly dependent' on the performance of their players, they also say that success is also dependent on 'to a lesser degree, the behaviour of players and staff on and off the pitch.'

* Spiralling wages for players. United's wage bill for players and staff rose by £28.8m to £121.1m for the last year. On page 16 of the document, United say...

'Over the past three years, salaries for players and coaching staff have increased significantly. If there is a continued increase in the level of salaries paid to top players and coaching staff in general, we may be required to increase the salaries we pay to avoid losing key members of the playing and coaching staff. Further increases in salaries may adversely affect our results of operations.'

I don't know about you but I have a feeling Old Trafford is on the verge of imploding. The club cannot sustain such idiotic owners continually coming along and taking £10m here and £10m there. But hey, do I care?

Thank the Lord we (City) have owners who care about the club and are more than happy to invest in the infrastructure. This time next year we might be saying RIP Manchester United.

If you want to have your say, feel free to add your comments in the section directly below this article.

To read the article in full, CLICK HERE.

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Tudor Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 13 2010

Time: 1:27PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Manure ruined the transfer market for everyone when they accepted 80m for tranaldo. Price inflation and "lack of value" in the market followed that single transfer, so I'd like to know who exactly is ruining football. P.S. Heard the one about the financial mess that is Leeds United? Apparently they had to sell their training ground and rent it back off of their owners. Not even Manure would do that.... :-P
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 13:35:00

"Manure ruined the transfer market for everyone when they accepted 80m for tranaldo." What a stupid comment. If u guys had've signed Kaka for 100 mil or whatever it was, would it be right then to accuse Milan of ruining the transfer market??
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 13:49:00

Camel Gob signed for the rags 8 years ago for 30 million. That was alright for them then as was breaking all transfer records repeatedly down the years. Pallister, Yorke....lest we forget...
Johnny Baguette
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13/01/2010 13:55:00

A taste of exactly what they have dished out to the rest of the football clubs when they just came calling for the best players and now they are not able to buy all the players because there are others in the market ready to compete, all this goes to making a fairer league and more exciting for the fans, instead of the usual suspects.
Buzz Lightyear
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13/01/2010 14:02:00

2017. If you know how to read their financial commitments you will find that that is the year when all their debt has to be repayed. So the cockneys have 7 years to find another team to 'support'.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 14:29:00

We've broke 30 million once... Robinho.. and that was more a statement of intent than anything. Rags broke it with Berbaflop.. Camel Gob too... United have been 'inflating' the market for years.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 14:51:00

good post jackblue lmao.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 15:38:00

They won't die, the club IS to big of a name to go this way, but it is heading for implosion, and years and years of mediocrity. Wonder how many will stay loyal when this happens?
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 15:46:00

Perhaps as a gesture of goodwill, we could have a bit of a charity do for the hard up neighbours down the road? A bit like a harvest festival, I've got some old cans and stuff at the back of my pantry I'm willing to donate, rice pudding, pilchards in tomato sauce, that type of thing - if we all chip in we could probably raise enough for a minibus - and if we really try hard, one with windows to lick.
It's Grim Oop North
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13/01/2010 15:53:00

Did anyone have sympathy with leeds when they nosed dived and said they were too big to go down. If you mismanage a Club and mispend funds at your disposal, what are you expecting, The government to bail them out. Platini should be aware of clubs like the rags, who before the glazers came were commercially viable and made money hand over fist, but have since been burdened with the Glazers debts.
Buzz Lightyear
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13/01/2010 16:38:00

It's Grim Up North - I believe I may be able to contribute a cup of sugar, if that will help (regular boring white sugar mind you)
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 16:49:00

Thanks BlueWolfie, look after the pennies, and the billions of pounds in debt will look after themselves, as the old saying goes.
It's Grim Oop North
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13/01/2010 16:51:00

Sort of ironic and just rewards don't you think? The Reds swung around their financial might for years and used it to pry many promising up and coming players off of lessor funded teams (Rooney from Everton glaringly comes to mind), and now they are feeling the turn of the table. I admit though, most fot he Reds financial success came from building their team the right way and for the most poart, they didn't spend more than they earned. The Glazers appear to have rightly bungled the handling of the Reds fincances. Potentially this team was the goose that laid the golden egg and if the Glazers would have done it right, they should have been making a nice fat profit off the Reds every single year. Instead the profits can't fund the service payments for the interest incrued on the debt. They are rapidly going backwards now. Who in their right mind would sign up for 14% interest to refinance part of that huge debt? What were the Glazers thining? Funny, I don't think the Galzers' US based sports franchises have suffered a similar handling of their finacial practices. Is that due to franchise rules in place to keep then from running at an impossible debt to profit ratio? Sweet revenge for many of the teams in the FA. I am sure Leeds is tickled, if not sympathizing.
State-side City Fan
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13/01/2010 17:07:00

Sweet sweet music to my ears.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 18:14:00

Altogether now - "Sell all your junk bond, you couldn't sell all your junk bonds...". But apparently they can sell your training ground!
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 19:43:00

imagine it, The headline in The Times 31 May 2020..... the play off final Manchester united v Stalybridge Celtic At Wembley for the right to go to league division 1, with Liverpool and Chester, (who were promoted last year,) and liverpool who had 1 year in the lower league,after relegation, while Mufc have had 4 years in the 3rd tier of English football, and runner's up in Johnstons paint trophy last year, a far cry from their hey days, and Still not payed the debt that the Glazer's have run up, it now stands at 1,000,000,000 million and has no way of being paid, with crowds of 4000/5000 per match these days... it can happen.... hopefully.....
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 20:07:00

I feel no sorrow for the rags. God bless Sheikh Mansor. God bless the great work being done by the glazers.
Super City Slicker
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14/01/2010 00:33:00

When the price of debt was cheap the Man Utd model worked fine. Buy a club with other peoples money and then milk it for a dividend and hope you can add value and sell on. When times are harder the model does not work and selling becomes very hard. So Man U will sell the training ground and Old Trafford and lease back. It is only a matter of time, and if results dont improve this will happen sooner rather than later.
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 04:21:00

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14/01/2010 10:09:00

I hope they have to sell the swamp to a greedy property developer who will then lease it back to them till they spend all the proceeds on rent and have to relocate (maybe even to a site in Manchester!). I'd probably buy an appartment on the development and ***** on the lawn every night. happy days.
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 19:46:00

i for one take no great pleasure in the demise of manchester united... ooops have to go i,v just cum again
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 20:37:00


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