Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Why The Glazers Should Sell United NOW
Anyone that has ever run a business, or had the responsibility of managing large sums of money, will tell you that at many points of these roles you will be deemed as unpopular. This is because you have to make horrible decisions that effect many people, and generally these people will not like them.
Buying the keys to the door of Old Trafford was always going to be a tricky affair for the Glazer family. Despite having extensive knowledge of sports franchise ownership and the marketing behind that which makes a company rich, they didn't take into account the fickle attitude of the English football fan. A foreigner owning United? Mancs would rather have a Scouser as chairman. And the fact that they originate from a country that we perceive to not be of the 'global football family' we straight away condemn them to hell...or Tampa Bay...or Disney World.
Malcolm Glazer was never gonna be able to charm his way into the United Faithful's hearts. An old decrepit weird looking gentleman, who openly has no interest in supporting the football club in the way we expect a man to support a football club (note: Geordies loved Mike Ashley when he first donned a black and white shirt and rehired their Godhead Keegan...look what happened there)
Personally i have and still do not care who owns the club. Having been born into the Martin Edwards era of club ownership, i had seen that they first and foremost cared about money and secondly about the fans. This is the commercial and corporate world that football sits in today. But back to the point of this article...
The Glazers should prepare to sell the club now. One thing that people do not recognise that at the end of the day Manchester United is an asset in the global business of the Glazer family. And the truth is that it is them that pay the bills...not the fans. Yes we contribute with our shirt sales, season tickets, etc etc but they control the purse..for example i am wearing a Nike shirt - does it mean i should have a say in their financing? Its of no interest to them to make a loss at the football club. Currently with their several hundred million pounds of debt, they could still make a massive profit on what they purchased the club for. No doubt in my mind that there will be an Arab or a Russian or maybe an Indian or Chinese-man who has a couple of spare billion that they would lose in order to have the worlds most expensive seat at The Theatre of Dreams.
The Glazers are fighting a losing battle. Business is not about popularity, but its long term popularity which fills the coffers. In a new world, where cash has become king once again, a cash bid of £1.5 billion would see them make a very handsome profit..and they could escape this stupid world where eleven blokes on a football pitch generates so much fuss.
It will always be beyond me why supporters take so much interest on what goes on behind the scenes in the politics of a football club. Fans wish to be part of some sort of 'family' and therefore think they have some emotional connection to absolutely everything. So when United sign a new player, its actually them who signs the player. Not the people who actually control the finances. But ACTUALLY THEM. Its incredibly short sighted beyond belief. I am 100% passionate about my team. But i can understand that someone has to balance the books, pay the team, buy the biscuits. And id rather have little knowledge about all that. I want the men on the pitch to perform and that is final. If the owner cant buy players then i will rise up against them, because that is the only responsibility that they have on the sporting side. The rest of the profit, well they can stuff it. If it ain't an American getting rich it will be someone else. Does that matter if they are from Salford or San Diego?
It wont be long before the Yanks have gone. In a World Cup year the planet goes football crazy. With many markets now coming out of recession, many playboy billionaires may think its time for them and their pals to gather together, in that magic word we always hear in football ownership..'consortium'..and get their grubby mits on our team. It is at that point i will judge Malcolm Glazer. And i will judge him on how many trophies he has or hasn't won, and what players he bought and sold. Because at the end of the day, Alex Ferguson doesn't have a magic wand. The man picks the team, but without the right owner backing him he is totally prostrate. The boss says the Glazers have done him good so far and that is good enough for me....for now.
Just think we could have ended up with Hicks and Gillett. Now that would have been worth crying about.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'