BBC BLOGS - David Bond
« Previous | Main | Next »

What next for the Red Knights?

Post categories:

David Bond | 10:57 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Red Knights may have put their charge for Manchester United on hold for now but their announcement on Wednesday is unlikely to mark the end of the controversy surrounding the Glazers' ownership of the Premier League club.

While it is undoubtedly true that the American family's £1.5bn asking price has deterred a significant number of potential investors, senior figures in the Red Knights campaign, including the Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill, insist they will not give up.

Having amassed around 70 wealthy backers, the Red Knights are now down to about 25. But they will not do anything until after the World Cup and probably not until after the new season kicks off.

Yellow and green scarves at Old Trafford
Fans have worn yellow and green scarves to Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer Family's ownership

Three months after the story first emerged, many will question whether these mysterious, publicity-shy Knights exist at all. And if they do, can they ever overcome the difficulties of pulling together a group of seriously rich people - with all the egos that involves - to make a bid which, in the end, is supposed to be philanthropic?

Sources close to the Glazer family believe the whole thing has been a publicity stunt. But, in one sense, it has been an effective one.

Shaken by the green and gold campaign from the supporters inside Old Trafford and the Red Knights in the City, the Glazers have had to mount a PR offensive in an effort to deflect the barrage of criticism over the club's debt mountain.

Last week's interview in the Independent with chief executive David Gill, a man who usually shuns all newspaper requests and sticks to radio and press conferences, was the clearest sign yet that the club and the Glazers are rattled.

Equally, just because the Glazers have increased commercial revenue, it doesn't mean the concerns over the £700m-plus debt will melt away. The shocking £40m cost for an interest rate swap - revealed in last week's quarterly accounts - is a classic example.

And next week a Panorama investigation into the Glazers' US companies is expected to reveal even more worrying details about the scale of their debts. A Glazer family spokesman says they do have debts of at least £1bn but that they have assets worth more than double that.

So what next for the Red Knights?

They will watch the next quarterly results, due in September, closely to see what United's latest debt repayments are.

Season ticket sales - said by the Knights to be going badly for this crucial time of the year, a claim denied by the club - will also be a key indicator of the mood among fans. The Red Knights are at pains to point out they do not want to see a boycott.

Finally, and crucially, they will look for proof of whether the club is really able to compete in the transfer market while carrying such massive debts. There is almost £100m of cash reserves in the club supposedly available to manager Sir Alex Ferguson but the question is, will he spend it?

The Red Knights may go quiet but the scrutiny of the Glazers will not go away.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It's simple - keep up the green and gold pressure. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.

  • Comment number 2.

    Sadly fans have no chance against the Sky Premier League created Greed is good league monster.

  • Comment number 3.

    Having the glazers as owners has brought no benefits to the club.The club dont really care about the fans its only when seat sales go down that they start to get worried,i know a lot of people are considering selling on their season tickets this year down to the fact they are disgusted with whats going on here at old trafford.

  • Comment number 4.

    Like a lot of things in life , including comedy and business decisions, its all a matter of timing. The red knights will wait for the optimum moment. They are just 'jousting 'around the edges at present, and getting reaction from the Man U Board via Gill and other spokesmen.
    The fans support is invaluable to the red knights as they are the end customers. Remember, patience is a virtue in situations like this. Time will tell, as they say

  • Comment number 5.

    There's been a belief - not backed by any accounts because they don't publish in the US - that the Glazers property business is in dire trouble. They work at the low end of the market, in strip malls where the industry average empty rate has been up about 20%. Anecdotally why would they be borrowing money off United and not paying down the PiK notes if this were not the case?

    There's a real chance the Glazers finances will become distressed in the near future and the price of the club will come down...

  • Comment number 6.

    #3 Darktrain wrote: "Having the glazers as owners has brought no benefits to the club.The club dont really care about the fans its only when seat sales go down that they start to get worried,i know a lot of people are considering selling on their season tickets this year down to the fact they are disgusted with whats going on here at old trafford."

    I'm not suprised you feel that way. For every fan who stops going, there are many more to take that seat in the stand and that is the way the Glazers will see the situation.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    The Glazers are banking on growth in commercial and merchandising revenue from China, India, the Middle East, North America and Australasia.

    Even if Manchester-based fans stopped attending matches, the seats will be filled by "tourists" from these other parts of the world, and from other parts of Britain.

    Manchester United ceased being a "Manchester" club quite some time ago.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/manchester-united-and-liverpool-an-alternative-financial-plan/
    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/the-future-of-newton-heath/
    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/financial-stability-v-expensive-signings/

  • Comment number 9.

    If they want to give up and look for another one to buy, I hear there's one for sale not too far away...

    http://sportales.com/sports/kopstuff-3610-liverpool-manager-rafa-benitez-on-his-way-out-of-anfield-in-mass-reds-exodus/

  • Comment number 10.

    Mr Bond, 4 of your last 8 articles have been on the battle for the soul of the "Red Devils".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidbond/david_bond/

    You might like to consider a piece on the tighter regulations in the Conference on debt. Salisbury City are appealing against the decision to relegate them by two levels for failing to pay their creditors in full, even though the creditors have accepted a CVA under applicable company laws. Do you think the regulation is draconian, or should it be adopted by the Premier League and the Football League?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/s/salisbury/8694467.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/s/salisbury/8701399.stm

  • Comment number 11.

    I might not be alone in thinking the idea behind the whole thing was, if not to actually buy the club, to scare the Glazers into taking a more proactive role, be friendlier to the fans and maybe invest some of that Ronaldo money we've been hearing about. Sadly I think with all the crippling debt, it will never happen. The Glazers will reduce the debt slowly, skim off the top and leave the next owner to clear up the mess.

  • Comment number 12.

    A Red and a Realist.........

    Will the MUST supporters ever understand.......the Red Knights dont have and NEVER will have that much cash circa £1.5 billion, to rescue the "so-called" debt ridden Manchester United and once they "have" rescued it, then they need to keep it running.
    How do they expect to do that......reduce the price of the season tickets and merchandise......I DONT THINK SO!!
    Face the truth, Manchester United is the BIGGEST football institute in the world and whoever owns them will make loads of money out of them, just like the Glazers are doing NOW!
    Dont renew your season tickets and see how United suffer.......THEY WONT!!!
    The Glazers will come up with another idea, thats what SUCESSFUL businessmen do.
    Dont think cos you make a lot of noise and wear moody coloured scarfes that you scare them.......they dont care about you.
    Dont take it personally, its business.....to them!
    The Glazers can afford to pay of their debts, but use their debts to finance their business.....makes good business sense to me.
    How many of us have re-mortgaged our homes to improve our lives???
    Why use you own money, when you can use someone elses?

    It may be the club you support, but it aint to them......they have no allegiance to Manchester United whatsoever.
    United have been very sucessful over the last few years, more sucessful than any other English club, with the Glazers at the helm......I am struggling to see what the problem is?

    In SAF we have the greatest manager of modern times in this country......with more morales than most men.
    Dont you think that SAF would have walked if he felt United were being underminded by the Glazers?
    He has worked with the Glazers and produced yet another sucessful United team for you all to enjoy watching.....and will continue next season.

    I had to give up my season ticket through unemployment, not because I didnt like the owner........if I had the money, I WOULD be at Old Trafford every week, as I have been in over the last 30 years!

    Let it go and enjoy the ride......

    THE GLAZERS WILL LEAVE WHEN THEY ARE READY AND NOT BEFORE!!!!!!

    WB Red till dead........

  • Comment number 13.

    7 - And what about the thousands of United fans in Manchester or those who's family have followed the club for generations. Are we supposed to just give up and watch our club wither away? Take your stereotypical nonsense elsewhere.

    11 - Get your head out of Glazer's backside, they are pillaging the club for money because of the debts they loaded on it. Net transfer spend of 6m in 5 years of their ownership, 40% increase in ticket prices despite vast increases in income from other sources. 700m of debt which isnt being paid off, the club is struggling to even pay the interest and was only able to turn a profit last season by selling a player for £80m and playing as many fixtures as they possibly could bar the FA cup final. This is not something that should be ignored.

    The whole idea of a takeover is the fans will build up a share to veto any further pillaging of the clubs cash and assets. The plc made United a successful business with significantly lower ticket prices and considerably higher net investment in players.

    The Glazers are such successful business men that they are taking money from United to save their failing business interests in the USA.

    The level of debt at United is not good business it is reckless as the club is not meeting the interest payments in full across the debts so it's not like a mortgage at all.

    You say as long as the team is winning everything is ok? Not when it's losing 500m a year over 5 years that could be used to strengthen the side, develop the stadium and stop ticket prices going overboard. Compare Barcelona and United and how they've responded to winning in the transfer market.

    As for Fergie, his personal greed is what caused this whole scenario in the first place through his personal problems with Magnier and McManus. He would be a hypocrite to speak out against a regime that took power from this and as long as he's getting his fat pay cheque does he really mind having to make do in the transfer market and lie for the Glazers? When he retires its someone else's problem.

    Fortunately when that day comes and the success dries up there will be plenty of us here to rescue the club from the ashes. If you've been going for 30 years then I'd expect you to see the club means more to people than just trophies.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sorry 11 that was a response to 12

  • Comment number 15.

    12 said "United have been very sucessful over the last few years, more sucessful than any other English club, with the Glazers at the helm......I am struggling to see what the problem is?"

    My problem is the big hike in ticket prices (up until this year) and the enforced purchase of cup match tickets over the last few years. Having scraped the money together last year I just can't afford it this year. We may be winning trophies regularly but that's far less important than being able to afford to go.

  • Comment number 16.

    The Red Knights should buy Liverpool.

  • Comment number 17.

    The simple truth is as long as the 'Old Trafford' team is relatively successful the fans will put up with most things. Waving Green & Gold scarves is hardly revolutionary even if done with the best of intentions. Was there a run in green and gold wool in Manchester - someone did well!?

    If supporters were really serious there is a club called FC United in Manchester that was set up in 2005 after the Glaziers took control of M.U. that they could support (cheaper at the moment too) - maybe the Red Knights might throw this lot a bob or two? Would take a while, but with real money backers they might prove to be more than a little fly in the ear and what's in a name anyay...heh (Green &Gold) Newton Heath?

  • Comment number 18.

    13. At 4:18pm on 03 Jun 2010, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:

    As for Fergie, his personal greed is what caused this whole scenario in the first place through his personal problems with Magnier and McManus. He would be a hypocrite to speak out against a regime that took power from this and as long as he's getting his fat pay cheque does he really mind having to make do in the transfer market and lie for the Glazers? When he retires its someone else's problem.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't talk utter rubbish.

    Fergie's 'greed'? tell you what mate, without Ferguson it might have not been 27 years without the league title, it would have been 40 years plus and counting!

    You've taken the last 20 years of success and the global growth of Man Utd as a club and 'brand' for granted.

    Once you're a plc, you are for sale. This has nothing to do with Magnier and McManus and bleeding racehorses.

    The Glazers saw an potential investment in english football, just as Randy Lerner and Hicks & Gillett did. Once they had shares in the club they were always going to consider a buy-out.

    Blaming Ferguson because you don't like the owners is an absolute nonsense- you expect him to quit the club and team he has built? Turn his back and cut off his nose to spite his face?

    2 Champions League finals in 3 years and you are still ungrateful?

    Under the Glazers you have bought the likes of- Van der Sar, Vidic, Evra, Park, Anderson, Hargreaves, Nani, Berbatov- the last four of which cost the club £75m- still ungrateful? Still think Ferguson should be complaining about funds or complaining about his bosses?

    This is unreal- if ill-thought out and spiteful arguments like this are at the root of the green and gold campaign then quite frankly no wonder the campaign is failing. As David Gill said, do you really know what it is that you're campaigning for?

    One last question - if the Glazers do sell have you thought about who has control of the club after them? Do you want Saudis running the club? Do you think some kind of fans committee running Man Utd is the best thing for the club?

    Sometimes people with the best intentions can run a club badly - think about that.

    You need people qualified to run all aspects of a football club, not just a group of fans who can't agree on anything.

  • Comment number 19.

    13. At 4:18pm on 03 Jun 2010, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:
    Fortunately when that day comes and the success dries up there will be plenty of us here to rescue the club from the ashes. If you've been going for 30 years then I'd expect you to see the club means more to people than just trophies.

    Compare Barcelona and United and how they've responded to winning in the transfer market.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another thing, you start talking about being a true fan for 30 years and slating the 'plastics' and how it means more to you than just trophies.

    Then you make spiteful comments about your greatest ever manager, and you apparently seem to be arguing that Man Utd should be spending multi-millions on new players. (How well did that work out by the way? You spending £30m on Berbatov and Barca buying Ibrahimovic?)

    You claim to be a true fan, but seemingly have no faith in your manager, and no faith in the the young players he has brought into the club and is trying to develop into a new team (Hernandez, Smalling, Nani, Anderson etc)

    For someone who claims to be a supporter, you don't do much supporting. Are you the typical Man Utd supporter? No wonder Ferguson and Gill are getting tired of you lot these days.

  • Comment number 20.

    I applaud Subtteranean for his posts #18 and #19.

    Although I sympathise with those fans who are simply just worried that they will be out-priced by the increase in ticket sales. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done - business will always be business.

  • Comment number 21.

    I love people complaining about ticket prices, its laughable. Uniteds ticket prices are still WAY lower than Chelsea and Arsenal for example. They are by far the most successful club of the last 2 decades, and previously ticket prices were too low.

    Supply and demand. There is a surplus of demand and limited supply. Im sure they could sell 100,000 tickets a week. Thus they can raise the price until people refuse to pay. But clearly this limit has not been reached as OT is still sold out EVERY week. They could rise the prices another 25% and i bet you would still sell out. Get oer it!

    If you dont like it, take your support elsewhere. FC Manchester was set up for this purpose i believe - but for many (not all) fickle GLORY HUNTING fans, they couldn't possibly stop supporting United for a team that won less! This is the be all and end all, the glory supporters will buy the tickets regardless.

    I do feel sorry for the born and bred Mancs, who follow their team for the right reasons - ie not just because they are the best. The rest of you from Plymouth, Norwich, Carlisle and wherever else, how about you follow your local team?

  • Comment number 22.

    21.I am season ticket holder of some 30 years.Last season there were home league games that were not sold out and there were empty seats at most games.The days of 100,000 people trying to get tickets are over.

  • Comment number 23.

    Just passing this blog bored I can't help but notice how unrealistic the Red Knights aims are. I don't know the entire situation but it seems that they are trying to pressure the Glazers into selling by wearing Green and Gold scarves? and by somewhat encouraging fans to abandon their season tickets when lets face it they must be impossible to get. If the Glazers are scamming all this money off Man Utd why would they sell the club when they are getting minted off it. :S

  • Comment number 24.

    Most of the fans involved in the green and gold protest are ignorant to the financial facts about how the club is being run. They just see debt and think bad bad bad. Now, I'm not saying its good but when the club was listed way back in 96 then it was always likely to change hands and be sold to the highest bidder at some stage.
    The club is financed based on the yearly revenues being more than enough to cover the interest payments. Basically the club is paying for itself.
    Its tough luck if supporters have a problem with this - Ferguson doesn't!
    There is money available and if the 'right' player wants to come to Manchester United Ferguson will spend it.
    Benzema didnt want to come, Villa didnt want to come etc etc.
    If united HAD signed (for arguments sake) Benzema or spent 30million on a midfielder, would the protests stop??
    Why not?
    If Ferguson spends money, thereby proving that there is money to be spent, what are the arguments founded on then??
    I'll tell you what - Debt that is covered by the clubs revenues! Hello! This is business!
    Wake up and step into the real world!
    Football is a business now and the Glazers are business men.
    They are not going to bankrupt themselves and they realise that to be competitive (and successful) money must be made available for transfers - and so it will be.
    Petty protests by fans who dont fully understand whats going on is just plain stupid and it will eventually effect the players.
    Then the real problems will start......

  • Comment number 25.

    Sorry number #22, but even though these seats near you may have been empty, the probability is that they were sold anyway!

    Utds capacity is 75,957, and the average last year was 74,864. Thats 1,000 'empty' seats, but you must take into account things such as segregation sections, away support not selling their allocation AND some fans not passing through the turnstiles as something came up, even though they had a ticket. I believe the attendance is based on numbers through the turnstile? I may be wrong on that, please correct me if i am.

    Regardless, lets say the ground was not full by 1%, but the Glazers increased ticket prices by 20% - do you think it made business sense! Erm, yes.

    They could increase by 50% and i still bet they would get 60,000 average as games against the big clubs will always sell out, regardless of price

  • Comment number 26.

    Bellion - Wonderland

    United are NOT in immediate trouble as you would have many believe from your post.

    The Glazers are NOT reckless as you have stated.

    The debt IS being covered by the clubs revenues.

    I could go on but i'll stop.

    I think you need to familiarise yourself with the financial facts.

  • Comment number 27.

    BTW how much is your season ticket price? To watch Leeds in decent seats last year in Div 1 cost the best part of 600quid. How much more was your season ticket? Im very interested - will it be value for money compared to this.....

  • Comment number 28.

    Why don't you all stop whinging and get behind the Owners and Sir Alex. United have always been a huge club. Now they are the biggest club and the highest valued club in the world. Football is a business. We have the best manager in the world who has backed the owners.

  • Comment number 29.

    United need to invest in quite a few high profile, experienced, proven players (particularly strikers) this summer. What happened to the £80million from Ronaldo??
    Berbatov is and always has been an expensive mistake.
    Owen is past it.
    Sir Alex needs to re-invent the squad again AND quickly - otherwise Chelsea will continue to win the Premiership and the blue half of Manchester may start to overtake the red half.

  • Comment number 30.

    I put the comment below on Phil McNulty's blog back in March, after United had beaten Milan at OT. I haven't seen anything recently, despite the passion of MUST and Duncan Drasdo's emails, to alter my view. I'm not pro-Glazer - I don't like what they have done any more than the next United fan - I just don't know that the Red Knights could make a difference:


    "The point I wish to make is about the protests. I'm for it and am even part of it with the green and gold - btu I'm beginning to question why. United danced with the devil when we were on the stock exchange and I don't really blame Martin Edwards for that, what else was he supposed to do with a club that Michael Knighton nearly bought for £30m a few years previously?!

    On the stock exchange we could be bought - and we were. Alright, I'm gobsmacked that someone can buy us with no money, ie borrowing it, and then say thanks, you can have this debt now - but that is where we are. If anyone else buys United, the debt will still be there, so what do we really want with Red Knights or any other band of money makers that comes along? Unless we get some Sheikh Yerboutti come along and wipe the debt out with a stroke of a pen, I repeat, it will still be there as a millstone around the club's neck, partially (or hugely, without the same success) compromising transfer activity. But do we want to be a billionaire's plaything and line up with the Chelsea's and City's that we so readily criticise?

    Sir Alex Ferguson says that the Glazer's are good owners. Alright, he's harldy likely to say otherwise - but he could say nothing if he felt differently. None of us FULLY know quite how, exactly, the debt compromises who Fergie can, would or will buy. But as eggs are eggs, that won't change with some Red Knight, Red Baron or Baron Knight in charge.

    I know that the Glazer's have pulled a good few million out of the club so that they can enjoy their lifestyles at the fan's expense, but let's not kid ourselves that the anyone else would do it out of philanthropic largesse. So now that we've danced with the devil, do we stick with the one we know or prostitute the club to the next bunch that want to feather their collective nest?

    I'm all for we fans showing what we think and exerting some influence, if we can, over how the club is run. If the green and gold allows a better communication and forum to develop, or even just shows the owners that they are dealing with a living breathing animal and not just a commodity then I think it will have been a massive achievement. But I also temper that with the thought that we need to be careful what we wish for.

  • Comment number 31.

    12 - In SAF we have the greatest manager of modern times in this country......with more morales than most men.
    Dont you think that SAF would have walked if he felt United were being underminded by the Glazers?
    He has worked with the Glazers and produced yet another sucessful United team for you all to enjoy watching.....and will continue next season.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A great Manager, yes, but morales (sic)? There are four million reasons a year why SAF supports the Glazers. Socialist, my ar*e.


    13 - Bellion Wonderland. Well said.



    24 - simsey33 - There is money available and if the 'right' player wants to come to Manchester United Ferguson will spend it.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How do you know this? Is it because 'Safe Hands' Gill told you so? Jesus wept.


    26 - simsey33 - I think you have surpassed the naivety of your previous post with this one. It would help me greatly if you gave reasons for your statements - just stating poorly formed opinions is not convincing enough for me.


    28 - manuedinburgh - SAF has backed the owners, has he? Would you not question that, or do you believe everything he says? He gets paid four million pounds a year, do you think that may colour his judgement a tad?


  • Comment number 32.

    Phil - re prices.

    My season ticket costs £646 and my lad's is £190. We're in the Stretford End and they are cracking seats. I know you are going to say that they are a bargain and to some extent they are but I have a few arguments:
    1. They've gone up considerably over the last few years.
    2. The compulsory cup scheme forces you to buy an additional 8 - 12 games a season. Admittedly you would go to the majority anyway but to have the choice taken away is wrong.
    3. What we pay is a drop in the ocean to the TV rights money anyway. It takes 150+ season tickets to pay Rooney's wage for a week! I struggle to find near on £900 yet for me and 150 others, that burden is gone in the blink of an eye on one players wage for one week. It is about time the fans benefited from the billions pumped into the game, not just the players. Premiership tickets should be (say) £20 / £5 across the board.

    I've been going 32 years through a lot of 'thin' as well as some wonderful 'thick' but I know one day I will be priced out. I followed United home and away with Dave Sexton for God's sake. I don't bother with 'Green & Gold', I still wear 'Red, White & Black', always will. I can't influence what go's on behind the scenes but I do detest the 'club' however I love my 'team' and will roar them on until my dying breath. I don't give them a single penny besides my season tickets, not a penny. Those 11 shirts on the pitch is all that matters to me. They have given me some wonderful memories that cannot be equalled.

  • Comment number 33.

    32 - Salford Red from the Height. Your post encapsulates what it is to be a true red. You have made your decisions based on what is right for you and for that you should be applauded.

  • Comment number 34.

    I think that the Red Knights campaign will never actually achieve their goal. Despite the Glazers being unpopular, they do appear to have a game plan. Some of the things they do may appear to be strange at times, but it is clear that if they want to make money in the long term then United must continue to be successful.


    http://www.worldfootballcolumns.com

  • Comment number 35.

    The Manchester Guardian reported the following on Monday, 13 January 1902:

    “Attention was directed to the Second League by the unusual experience of Newton Heath. The club is financially in a bad way. A winding up order to meet a debt of £242 precipitated matters last week and no arrangements could be made for playing the game fixed for Saturday. One hears that a new club will be formed out of the ashes of the old one, but this has not been decided definitely.”

    Statto.com confirms that Newton Heath/Manchester United did not play a game on Saturday, 11 Jan 1902. It looks like they were scheduled to play Middlesbrough (the only other club in the then Second Division that did not play that Saturday). Newton Heath/Manchester United played the previous Saturday (4 Jan 1902), and the following Saturday (18 Jan 1902). (statto.com use the name “Manchester United”, even for earlier seasons).

    It would appear that a winding up order was made against Newton Heath sometime in the week of 6 Jan 1902. Newton Heath failed to fulfil their fixture on Saturday, 11 Jan 1902. A new club, Manchester United, was formed sometime between 11 and 18 Jan 1902, and took over the remainder of Newton Heath’s fixtures!

    The game against Middlesbrough was played on Monday, 7 April 1902.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/clubs-re-named-re-formed-or-merged-or-new-club/#comment-637

  • Comment number 36.

    They made so much money selling the scarfs on a dream it will be bad business not to carry on.

  • Comment number 37.

    The Glazers are typical of their breed of property developers, who will mortgage everything in order to do the next deal. It's clear from the revelations about the shopping centre mortgages that they put none of their personal cash into the Man U deal, it was all money borrowed one way or another against the club itself and their other business assets. Hence they have no real personal downside in taking the risks, and the bankers are lured into it by the glamour of the deal and the hypnotic lure of ever-increasing asset values.
    This kind of thing goes on all the time, albeit usually on a smaller scale, and is eventually found out only "when the tide goes out" to use Warren Buffet's phrase.
    Think Canary Wharf in the early 90's for the last big example of similar North American excess in the UK, with similar consequences.
    When the "next deal" is as high-profile as Man U, the public outcry is (rightly) louder. If they'd simply done another big property deal, financed the same way, they would barely make the headlines.
    The Glazers will go bust, sooner rather than later, and the club will become a pawn in the game of the banks seeking to minimise their losses. These things don't happen overnight, but the die is cast and it's only a matter of time.
    The Green & Golds should be setting a strategy accordingly.

  • Comment number 38.

    Bill and Gilmour9 are right. Keep supporting our beloved Reds, but keep the green and gold pressure on, keep our nerve and our spirits up, keep making our point in a proper way and STAY UNITED. We will defeat Glazers eventually. Glazers-get out of our club.

  • Comment number 39.

    im not usre turning a one headed monster in to a 10 headed monster is going to help, let alone half of these red knight clowns are not used to this level of limelight and trust they have already started arguing amongst each other hwat happens when that is a norm in the boardroom! Whatever happens United will always be United and if your scared of losing a few seasons or even decades, then go support someone else! united for life, thick or thin, rich or poor! Glory hunters can now go watch Citys team of 10 mercenaries up front and micah in defence!

  • Comment number 40.

    p.s. Green and Gold????? never heard it called that before, and lets stick to tradition and keep it called Newton Heath Colours! make me sick calling it anything else as its United fans trying to erase tradition in our club!

  • Comment number 41.

    All United season ticket holders who wear Norwich City scarves around their necks would, if they had any principles, simply REFUSE to renew their season tickets until the Glaziers are out. They won't, though. Preferring instead to feed the hand that (supposedly) bites them and then moan about it afterwards.

    Well it's too late because, guess what, YOU'VE ALREADY GIVEN YOUR MONEY TO THE GLAZIERS AND HAVE THEREFORE FORFEITED THE RIGHT TO BLEAT ABOUT IT!



 

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.