Welcome to Tuesday. Rainy Tuesday. Very un-Olympic!
First on my agenda is a little bit around the world of football and finance. United are set for an IPO and the fans trusts around the clubs are absolutely outraged. As we’ve touched on before on Le Grove, UEFA have been very quick to stop incredibly rich people ploughing money into clubs, not so quick to stop them pillaging national institutions for all they’re worth. I read a really interesting letter about the United situation here, take a look. The mess that’s going on there verges on criminal.
‘We have more than $1 billion of debt due within the next 220 weeks that we have no means of repaying. All the assets of the club have been mortgaged against these debts, including our training ground and even our interest in a small freight warehouse.’
Since July 2008, we have paid $792m in interest and other finance costs which is more than Sir Alex Ferguson, our distinguished manager, has paid for all the players he has purchased during the past 20 years.
Our legal structure ensures the Glazer family, our main shareholder, will maintain absolute control over the company after the offering. Between 2001 and 2009 our club paid the Glazers a total of $25m in fees and gave them a $15m loan.
The competition for player and management talent in the Premier League is intense and our rival owners includes Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern sovereigns, Indian chicken farmers and American hedge fund managers. Some of these have access to cash — which, unless this offering is successful, we do not.
Our business model is to help the Glazer family, our controlling shareholder, stay one step ahead of the banks. We employ a variety of approaches to achieve this including:
- Raising ticket prices. Between 2005 and 2011 we were able to raise the average ticket price by almost 6% a year, which was almost double the rate of inflation in the UK during the same period.
- Increasing sponsorship revenue. Guests of our corporate sponsors, such as Nike, DHL, Aon or Turkish Airlines, will soon be able to view our players’ private training sessions. We used to conduct these activities in strict privacy.
- Boosting merchandise sales. Our new team shirts (which differ for home and away games) sell for $85. We sell many other branded products including car air fresheners, short nighties for women, four-poster bed canopies and a special men’s fragrance — Eau de Sport.
Ouch, ouch and ouch!
I don’t have too much sympathy for the bottom three bullet points because Arsenal are in the same situation. However, what it does show is that the the only people who suffer out of calamities like this are the fans. Because of the United fans loyalty, the Glazers are quids in. It makes me sick, even if it is United. $792million in debt servicing costs and they’re all taking loans out of the club.
Disgusting fat pigs in a huge money trough.
It begs the question of Stan Kroenke of Arsenal. He doesn’t appear to be taking money out of the club at the moment. But from what I understand, he hasn’t purchased his shares with cash. Where is he going to get the money from? Is it by not spending the cash we generate every season? Will he eventually pull a move like the Glazers? Who knows… football is like the wild west at the moment and it doesn’t seem like anyone is taking control. Arsenal maybe boring, but for the time being, boring is good.
Another story linked to wild west investment is the Cazorla story. According to reports, they have until today to pay up their debts or they face a bleak future. Rumours are strong that we’ll have a deal tied up for Cazorla by the end of the week. That’s a very exciting move, especially with all the fear mongering going on around Jack Wilshere’s injury. I still maintain that Wenger is over estimating his return date. If Jack starts training in 2 weeks, that’s an awfully long time to wait to return to fitness even with kid gloves. Anyway, I’d rather have him back fit late for a whole season than see him mismanaged like it seems he has been.
In outbound news, Juventus are prepared to make a mega offer to take Robin to Italy. They’ll pay him £190k after tax and they’ll slip us a cool £20million. If he wants to go to Italy, that suits me. I’d take that over United and City any day. I still find it crazy he’d consider it. I find it crazy an Italian club can make such an investment. No one watches their league and with the state of their economy, I’d personally find it pretty crass if my team were playing a foreign national money like that. I’m not Italian though. Italian’s might love all that.
Finally, a bit of topic, but I read about the boy who brought Tom Daley’s dad into a mean tweet yesterday. Shocking I know. I get abuse on Twitter all day. Far more vicious. But it’s ok, I’m not a diver. Anyway, Twitter went into a bit of a outrage and this morning, I read with utter disgust that Dorset Police had arrested the boy in connection with the tweet.
What has he been arrested for? This…
‘You let your dad down I hope you know that’
Are you f*cking kidding me? How would that stand up in court? Are we now a country so pathetically sensitive that saying something mean to someone on Twitter is an arrestable offence? Grow up Britain. Take a look back through the history of freedom of speech. Look at what your country stands for before you back such an outrageous arrest. Look at what the rest of the world respects you for. By actively encouraging tighter laws on what we can say online, you’re encouraging people in power to chip away at your civil liberties. What happens next. We start arresting people for saying mean things about the political parties? How far do you want this to go?
Update: The Times article I read on this didn’t allude to the fact this boy may have been racist to others, as some on Twitter have mentioned. If that’s the case, then at least he’s broken a law of sorts. From the quotes attributed to the Police, it seems he’s bee arrested for what he said to Tom, let’s see how this pans out.
Update 2: This is probably why he was arrested. This wasn’t in the Times this morning. ARTICLE
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Anyway, go Arsenal. No one call me a c*nt today. I’ll be grassing you up if you.