So its finally come to this. After years of being told that the debt isn’t a problem and we can still compete in the market by Sir Alex and David Gill, the truth has finally come out. It’s something that we all have known and whilst they would not dare admit it in public, both Sir Alex and Gill have known it as well – the debt is hampering our progress.
I couldn’t tell you anything about what this stock flotation means for our club and how it works (there’ll be a link for that at the end of the page), but for anyone who wants to know how it feels to have your club run by the Glazers, you’ve come to the right place.
The last few years have been frustrating. Since we lost to Barcelona in 2009, we’ve been crying out for a world class midfielder. Yet, all we hear back is about the lack of value in the market. So instead of Ozil, we got Bebe; instead of Benzema, we got Owen; instead of Ribery, we got Obertan. We’ve also missed out on David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, Samir Nasri, Eden Hazard and probable Luka Modric. We’ve often come close, or paid the required fee for these players, but wages have killed us. Samir Nasri agreed to sign for us before City came in with a higher wage packet. Did anyone not find it odd that Eden Hazard chose Chelsea over us, even though they didn’t have a named manager at the time?
The game has moved on. World class players want high wages they feel they deserve along with a credible chance of winning silverware. Robin Van Persie wants to leave Arsenal – despite Arsenal sticking with him throughout his numerous injuries – and you can’t blame him. Can Arsenal offer him the wage and chance to win silverware as Manchester City can? Unfortunately not. To dig our heels in and remain ‘old school’ is ignorant and stubborn, and we will see our club go obsolete. Whilst we shouldn’t bend ourselves over the table for players, we should allow leeway and not be too stingy to not offer a high wage. It’s not every player’s dream to play for Manchester United.
Not to say we haven’t signed any good players over the last few years. David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young have all been good signings. You won’t hear anyone complain about Valencia getting the number seven shirt and that’s a testament to his ability. Shinji Kagawa also looks set to be another astute buy.
However, the lack of world class players is worrying. Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic are the only two indisputable world class players we have. Whilst I’ll argue that Nani is in that bracket, others will disagree. We have a lot of potentially world class players, with de Gea, Jones, Smalling, da Silva, Welbeck and Cleverley have all showed fantastic potential thus far, but we all know that they might not all progress into world class talent. Just look at Anderson.
It’s sad and depressing that the biggest club in football can’t go out and spend big. However, therein lies our problem. We are the biggest club in football. Manchester United is famous throughout the world, we’re not only a football club, but we’re also a brand. The Glazers have been using the brand Manchester United, showing little interest in the football side of the club. You can’t argue that their not shrewd businessmen, they have done a lot to increase the commercial revenue the club takes in. The fact that they’re hopeful in putting the club on the New York stock exchange, with a view of not paying any dividends or losing any of their voting rights and raising millions of dollars to pay of their debts is incredible. However, someone has to take the short end of the stick and that’s where we come in, the fans.
Ticket prices since the Glazer’s have come in have risen, we’ve failed to sign many top class players and we’ve been subjected to constant mocking by opposition fans due to our debt. If it wasn’t for Sir Alex Ferguson, we would be fucked. We have no control. We can try protest and boycott season tickets, but I guarantee someone else would take them. That’s the problem with a club this big. The economically downturn means that buying season tickets and boycotting the games is not an option either.
What the Glazer’s have failed to realize is that we fans have an emotional attachment to the club, every season we go through a smorgasbord of emotions in the hope of winning trophies and seeing great football. People were devastated after we finished second to City this season, do you think people would be devastated if Google finished below Yahoo? No they wouldn’t. People would just switch their search engines if they believed Yahoo became better than Google. Fans can’t switch though (proper fans anyway), once we follow a club, there’s no changing our mind or turning back.
The Glazers have been a curse to the club. Weighing us down for seven years and unfortunately for more years to come. Some argue that at least they stay out of the way and let the manager get on with his job and this is partially true. But, aren’t the lack of transfer funds and available wages affecting the manager’s job?
We don’t want our club to be taken over by a ‘sugar daddy’ and become like City. All we want is the debt gone, our club run by people who care for it and it’s fans and that the fans can have some input into the workings of the club. What we don’t want is our club to be relocated to the Cayman Islands in the hope of raising money to pay off a huge debt.
Unfortunately though, that’s what we have to deal with.
Here’s an article that goes through the financial side of all this and its hopefully positive effects: