Sell me the Glazers: Positive Arguments for Glazer ownership

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Lentwood, May 14, 2019 at 08:05.

  1. May 14, 2019 at 08:05
    #1

    Lentwood Full Member

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    We undoubtedly live in an era of misinformation. It's possible to post statistics that are just plainly false or taken way out of context on the Internet/social media and have them spread like wildfire. It's also possible to read an article about the same subject by two respected journalists who have totally contrasting opinions and arguments.

    On RedCafe, we see a clear divide at the moment. It seems that the majority of posters, myself included, are strongly against the Glazer ownership of Manchester United, for reasons I will outline later. However, for reasons I currently cannot comprehend, there are still posters out there who defend the Glazers. Now, as I like to think I am person of reasonable mind who can be convinced by logical arguments, I am slightly confused. There are some clearly intelligent, passionate United fans on this forum who argue that the Glazers are good owners are/or have been a net positive for the club. Currently, I cannot fathom one single reason why anybody would want to defend these people, but since there exist posters in vast numbers who still do, it got me thinking.....am I wrong about the Glazers?

    I do not want this to turn into another thread of mindless squabbling - we have plenty of those! What I would like is for posters to present some logically solid and factual arguments supporting the Glazer ownership of the club. As I have already clearly stated, I am sceptical. My view, for clarity and fairness, are thus;

    Funding

    The Glazers HAVE spent money. It is impossible to argue that they haven't. In real terms, we are one of the biggest spending clubs in football. However, I would still respond to this by saying;

    A) This is the result of years of under-investment during SAFs final 8-10yrs followed by a period of panic-buying shortly after TV revenue increased by 66%, leading to huge transfer inflation. This is evidenced, in my mind, by the fact that between 2005-2010, Utd had a positive net spend. This 'coincides' exactly with the period whereby the riskiest, highest-interest loans (PIK) where leveraged on the club. Furthermore, if the Glazers had any foresight and where the great businessmen we are told they are - why did they not foresee that every single PL club in England becoming roughly 50% richer overnight would cause a huge increase in transfer fees? That's basic Yr.10 Economics. We are now faced with having to replace the majority of our squad in a bull market.

    B) The Glazers haven't spent any of their OWN money. They have spent the bare minimum of the clubs operating profits they feel necessary to maintain Top 4 status. Again, this can be evidenced by the fact that we have only really seen a large upturn in our net spending after we have missed out on Top 4. Some posters claim that we didn't spend under SAF because we didn't need to...I am sorry but this argument just does not wash with me - that's not how ANY top organisation should operate in ANY industry. It was obvious to United fans everywhere that the quality of players coming IN to the club was significantly lower than the players who one by one retired or left under SAF/the Glazers. By the time Moyes took over, Paul Scholes at 37 had just come out of retirement to help us win one final title, Rio & Vidic where both crippled by serious injuries, Evra was entering his 30's, as where the likes of Carrick, Fletcher and RvP. Rooney was clearly in decline (SAF tried to tee up his departure before leaving) and Giggs was still playing CM at 40! Not to mention we had sold our best player to a major European rival and never really replaced him. Nobody can tell me that someone somewhere on the footballing-side did not identify this as a potential problem.

    Commercial

    A common argument that I keep hearing from the pro-Glazer posters is that they have increased our commercial revenues massively and therefore allowed us to increase our transfer spending as a result, even if they haven't put in any of their own personal dollars. Again, I think once you scratch the surface of this argument, it's not that strong. Firstly, United have ALWAYS been a very forward-thinking club in terms of exploring commercial opportunities of the pitch and, particularly in the PL era, could count on a large global fan base to support this. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall United were one of the first to open an official megastore, where one of the first to go on far-flung pre-season tours and were one of the first to really start trying to broaden their appeal to emerging footballing markets. This evidently did not arrive with the Glazers in 2005.

    Now, I am certain that if you look at our financials, commercial revenues, operating profits etc...will have increased significantly since 2005. However, how much of this is really directly attributable to the Glazers? As I have already said, every club in the PL has become SIGNIFICANTLY richer in the last few years alone, mainly owing to TV deals which are negotiated collectively. Also, the globalisation of football was happening well before the Glazer buyout. Targeting the Far East and the US was not a brilliant business strategy developed and implemented by the Glazer family...it was already happening and United were possibly uniquely placed to take advantage!

    It would be very interesting to compare United's percentage growth with percentage growth at some of the other established, non oil-owned PL clubs such as Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton. Are United substantially better off off the pitch because of the Glazers? I'm not sure there is strong evidence to suggest that. I do freely admit this is not an area I have looked into in great detail (partly the reason for this thread) therefore, I welcome statistics to prove that they HAVE directly been responsible for increased revenues etc...but please don't just say 'commercial revenue from sponsorships has doubled' etc....because unless you demonstrate this is above the norm and attributable to the Glazers, I'll just respond by saying that would have happened anyway

    Football

    Since the Glazers took over, our on-pitch performances have declined significantly after an initial peak shortly after they arrived. I think it is impossible to argue otherwise. At 29yrs of age, I can honestly say that this is the worst, most disorganised, least inspiring collection of Manchester United players I have ever seen (yes I remember the 'Djemba-Djemba years'). Pre-Glazers, United had never finished outside of the top 3 in the PL, in the last few seasons alone we have finished 6th three times, 5th and 4th, with last season's remote 2nd representing our best return. Now, of course, you cannot necessarily argue that this is all on the Glazers. The retirement of a long-serving legendary manager is likely to effect any club, as would the rise of the oil-funded clubs. However, whilst they don't appear to meddle in footballing matters, they are ultimately responsible for appointing the people that DO organise football matters. I am not going to name any names here as I don't want this thread to be totally derailed but CLEARLY whoever is making footballing decisions at Manchester United has been making some pretty bad ones lately. We're not just talking about dubious managerial appointments, I am also referring to decisions such as sanctioning giving a 29yo a 5yr contract worth almost double any of his teammates...I mean...again, a Yr.10 Economics student could have explained why 'taking on' a new employee at double the salary of his co-workers might cause problems, not to mention the fact that at 33/34 years of age this player would be worth virtually nothing and still be picking up huge wages! Of course, some people will lay this at Jose's door....that's fine, we will never know, Jose may have demanded that we sign Sanchez at any cost, but even allowing for that, surely it's on the SMT to say 'no'?

    So, just as a reminder - please let's not just have this turn into another spiteful 'tit for tat' thread. Let's have some quality arguments put forward backed up by evidence and logic. I am genuinely hoping to learn something. I may not change my mind but balanced arguments are important and I am genuinely interested to know whether the Glazer-ownership has had ANY positive repercussions?
  2. May 14, 2019 at 08:07
    #2

    Verminator Full Member

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    No.
  3. May 14, 2019 at 08:13
    #3

    Greck Full Member

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    I don't care to sell them to the devil but I can't deny their American capitalistic style of aggressively monetizing the brand has immensely helped us realise our commercial potential. For example the practice of getting us an official sponsor in every industry, in every country turned our international status from a theoretical value in forbes articles to actual money in the bank. It seems like common sense now but it wasn't always the case. Without it we wouldn't have a shot in hell of being able to financially compete with these state funded clubs
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 08:19
  4. May 14, 2019 at 08:29
    #4

    Mcking Full Member

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    Pre-Glazers we never finished outside top 3 because we had Fergie. The manager represents the owners. If you have a decent manager, you look good, but if you have a mediocre manager, you look clueless.
  5. May 14, 2019 at 08:30
    #5

    clarkydaz Full Member

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    They aint going away but they have completley neglected the football club and turned us into mcdonalds. The clubs name has allowed them to burn eyewatering amounts of money and not have to answer for it

    Other clubs have got their house in order and left us behind
  6. May 14, 2019 at 08:31
    #6

    Grylte "nothing wrong with some friendly incest, bro"

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    Positive?
    They're not Saudis.
  7. May 14, 2019 at 08:39
    #7

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    Their physical beauty, for a start. They have lovely heads on them
  8. May 14, 2019 at 08:53
    #8

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    Would be lovely if life were simple as this. The relationships within the club, the whole elaborate set up of coaching, fitness, scouting, and the interface with the business end all filters through to the on pitch performance.

    By the end of Ferguson’s reign the Glazers were in charge. That’s when the papering over cracks started. Not saying everything was perfect before- a major rebuild post SAF was going to be needed anyway. But these people are wrong, wrong, wrong for United. The old board knew that. OGS at the time knew that. The (real) supporters at the time knew that. It was a hostile takeover. Lest anyone forgets: These people are enemies of the club.
  9. May 14, 2019 at 08:54
    #9

    SirAF Ageist

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    /tread.
  10. May 14, 2019 at 08:57
    #10

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    The glazers spending money means nothing. It's not their money.

    I'm not going to give them credit for allowing us to spend a fraction of the money we ourselves generate.

    Think of how much better off we'd have been if we'd acted like the biggest club in the world from 09 to 13. Instead of just relying on Fergie being a genius and winning us big trophies with the likes of Ashley Young and Jones and Cleverly. Penny pinching.
  11. May 14, 2019 at 08:59
    #11

    Saf94 Full Member

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    A fraction of our money? How much money do you think we make? We spent like 150m a year until last summer (where we were clearly willing to spend when we put in a 95m bid for Koulibaliy). We only make 600m a year and most of that goes on wages and other overheads. We could realistically only spend 150m/200m until we run out of money
  12. May 14, 2019 at 09:00
    #12

    Lentwood Full Member

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    Good point. How successful have Barcelona, Real, Bayern, Liverpool and Arsenal been in achieving this? Where we the first, or did we do anything unique? Going back the OP, I am trying to understand 'is this a strategy the Glazers invented or showed skill/leadership to implement or was it inevitable and happening everywhere?
  13. May 14, 2019 at 09:00
    #13

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    They only started releasing the funds after Fergie by which time we were already falling behind our rivals.

    If they'd have allowed Fergie to spend some money after 2009, I don't think we'd be in this mess now.
  14. May 14, 2019 at 09:02
    #14

    SirAF Ageist

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    I think that’s obvious. I mean, United were heavily linked to Benzema and Ribery back in 2009 but ended up with Owen (free transfer), Valencia and Obertan..
  15. May 14, 2019 at 09:03
    #15

    Tiber Full Member

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    Pointless thread.

    They own the club. We are stuck with them. The end.
  16. May 14, 2019 at 09:04
    #16

    JEredDevil New Member

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    Our club is valued at $4 billion. Thats about the same as the GDP of Malta, where we probably might be going to next season
  17. May 14, 2019 at 09:16
    #17

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    Exactly.

    Fergie is the greatest manager ever and would have us challenging for titles even now with this shit squad. I honestly believe that.

    But once we lost his genius we were left exposed and the shittiness of the squad was revealed. It's been made worse by three failed managers since of course.

    But I think the root of our current problems go back to the summer of 2009 and that's on the Glazers. Fergie was never concerned with value or penny pinching pre Glazers.
  18. May 14, 2019 at 09:19
    #18

    Judge Red Don't Call Me Douglas

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    They’re ever so nice to their employees. They pay them handsomely for doing feck all.
  19. May 14, 2019 at 09:24
    #19

    Djemba-Djemba Full Member

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    If you're an average player getting to Utd must be the ultimate dream.

    Huge money, big crowds every week, massive bump in social media followers.

    And you don't have to win many games, or score many goals or play well in any way and you still get kept around for a minimum 6 or 7 years.
  20. May 14, 2019 at 09:37
    #20

    Lebowski Full Member

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    Good post.

    One of the things that always struck me as strange about the Caf ever since I joined was how there appeared to be a group of posters who seem to never miss an opportunity to jump to the Glazer's defence.

    I get that Redissue style opposition is too militant for some, I also understand if you have resigned yourself to the fact that they will be here until they decide to sell and concentrate on less futile pursuits for your own sanity. Indifference I can understand, resignation to the status quo for your own mental sanity too... However, there seems to be some posters who responded to our bitterly opposed, totally unneeded and unwanted takeover by rolling out the red carpet and arguing why they have been a net positive for United.

    I don't want to create some 'which turncoat enemy sympathiser is going to be brave enough to put their head above the parapet!!?' mentality... we're all United fans and the infighting and total exit of some of our most dedicated supporters has been one of the worst things about their takeover, so far be it for me to try and make it worse. It just always surprised me that some fans felt like this.

    There's been some good research on this and the conclusion drawn from either the Deloitte study, Forbes lists or the KPMG paper don't put the Glazers in a particularly positive light.

    E.g.
    United topped the Deloitte list every year from inception (1997/98) to the point the Glazer's took over. Usually around 10-30% higher than the second place club. After the takeover we lost top spot to Real Madrid for the first time, and then Barcelona overtook us the following year. Until 2018. We were falling further behind Barca and Real until the explosion of the PL TV rights.

    In Forbes' annual list of club by estimated net worth (which only started after the takeover in 2007), the picture is similar - constantly the most valuable club until Barcelona and Real Madrid overtake us in 2013, regaining top spot when the PL TV rights money kicks in.

    % increase is also telling- United's value increased by 183.75% since 2007. In the same period Barcelona saw a 659.81% increase, Bayern 265.51% and Real Madrid 294.59%.

    % increase to other PL clubs: United's 183.75% growth since 2007 is just higher than Arsenal's (144.60%) and far lower than Liverpool (328.19%) and Chelsea (283.98%). As you would expect, City's 1089.42% growth is the highest in the league.

    I wouldn't use the above to argue that the Glazers have been terrible for us commercially, but like you said - the rise is more down to the explosion in the global popularity and television deals rather than something that only they could bring to the club. Plus other clubs (with admittedly lower starting points) have grown more and still managed to set up a structure to bring in more on the field success.
  21. May 14, 2019 at 09:56
    #21

    Chicharo Full Member

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    Best possible comment.
    We need 10 players to be in the position to fight for the trophy. Literally
  22. May 14, 2019 at 10:17
    #22

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Good luck trying to be non biased against an ever moving goal post.
  23. May 14, 2019 at 10:21
    #23

    Enigma_87 You know who

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    What's the point of this thread?
  24. May 14, 2019 at 10:27
    #24

    Bastian Full Member

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    The only positive has been mentioned I see.
  25. May 14, 2019 at 10:29
    #25

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Plc is much worse.

    If saf 26 years tenure under glazer I'd wager he'd have won more. We're skint under plc
  26. May 14, 2019 at 10:34
    #26

    Denis79 Full Member

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  27. May 14, 2019 at 10:34
    #27

    Roboc7 Full Member

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    The only positive is at some point they will sell. Think we are now in the worst and final phase of the Glazer ownership for next 5 years or so. Essentially them waiting for right time to sell when they have milked every last drop.

    The lack of any direction in terms of an actual football club will see us stay rudderless just trying to do enough to get top four every other year. A club the size of Utd should be looking to update or even build a new stadium but Old Trafford will only be patched up.

    Everything will start catching up with them, empty seats at Old Trafford will become the norm, corporates will have better places to go, sponsorship deals wont be market leading and that’s probably all not far away.
  28. May 14, 2019 at 10:37
    #28

    AgentP Full Member

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    They are the reason we are in this mess. We should have invested massively under Fergie and made this club more competitive in Europe. The lack of investment after Ronaldo's transfer is the crucial turning point in our history that has brought us to where we are now.

    Just think, we could have bought Aguero and Hazard if we were willing to pay. The rest of the transfers that we failed to make, I'll forgive. But these two were going to be superstars. Everyone knew it. From their first season, they have been brilliant.

    We need owners who want to make this club the number one football team in the world. Not people who use our club to pay their debts and to use it as a pure money making business. Why did our board even agree to sell to these fools. Did they know beforehand that they'll be putting all their debts on the club? Or was that something that the previous owners didn't expect?
  29. May 14, 2019 at 10:58
    #29

    Maticmaker Full Member

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    The most positive argument for the Glazer ownership is that they are the current owners!

    The Glazers had a plan for the club when they used normal business practice to purchase the 'asset'. It was all based around the serial success of SAF. Whilst he was in place they could 'grow the asset' and they did from £0.8B to at one time £2.0 B (now fallen back to around £1.8B). The purchasing arrangements meant large interest re-payments, which they have diligently started to reduce. Whilst a man of success/stature like SAF was in charge he could leave the CEO to make money and had enough kudos to be able to keep him away from the football side.

    The single mistake the owners made was not having a properly 'due diligence approach' to planning for succession. They made the ultimate mistake in such circumstances of letting the existing manager choose his successor, which on all sorts of levels very rarely works, in any business, let alone one completely tied up with the success of one product, a continuously winning football club. Since then the lack of due diligence is now coming back to bite them and they are probably now into something of a 'tailspin'

    They can bail out and take a loss or they can stick at it, which one will they choose?
  30. May 14, 2019 at 11:03
    #30

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Fergie didnt like their agent. Stop pinning everything on the glazer. They have shown that they are willing to break the bank for United. When they break the bank you move the goalpost to it's all about money for them. When they spend 200m on a year the goalpost is moved to "it's the clubs money".

    They bought dross, but they're not skint.
  31. May 14, 2019 at 11:05
    #31

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    They didn't buy the dross...unless you're referring to the club!
  32. May 14, 2019 at 11:07
    #32

    Skills Snitch

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    They're quite hands off. If we finally get the on-field stuff right, they're perfect as the club will just be left on its own devices to do it's own thing.
  33. May 14, 2019 at 11:09
    #33

    NinjaFletch Full Member

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    United fans

    'Why are we shit? Sack Solskjaer, sell Giggs, pulp Rashford'

    Also United fans:

    'I love the money sucking parasitic leeches that are in charge of our club, wooo the Glazers'
  34. May 14, 2019 at 11:09
    #34

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    This is why it's hard to do this kind of thread. Both sides has their mind set.
  35. May 14, 2019 at 11:27
    #35

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    I dont think anything would have changed if they let Sir Alex spend more in his later years. We won 5 of 7 titles between 06/07 and 12/13 when he retired. Missed out on the other 2 by GD and 1 point. Reached 3 CL finals, won 1. Nobody wins every single year, allowing us to spend a bit more per year would've had us playing nicer football but I doubt itd change much in actual results. At a certain point, it's just motivation, and that was the reason for our collapse in 11/12 IMO.

    Also its delusional to think we wouldnt be in this mess if we spent more 10 years ago. Every club would feel the impact of losing someone like Sir Alex, and there was always going to be a massive rebuild job, restructuring so future managers can handle it, etc.. Now of course, we have botched the rebuild post Sir Alex completely, but that isn't due to not spending enough. We've spent almost as much as anyone on transfers and wages. They're at fault for certain things (decisions like Woodward having so much power but being a joke, or not implementing a proper structure for future transition earlier), but it just seems like an easy target when in reality I doubt they get too involved apart from the actual spending (where in terms of numbers, we haven't held back post Sir Alex).

    Not saying they're perfect, but nobody mentions the owners when they spend £150-200m per season and you do it successfully and you continuously improve. The fact that it's been spent poorly I wouldn't say is on them.
  36. May 14, 2019 at 11:33
    #36

    Lebowski Full Member

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    I'm curious as to what led you to that conclusion?

    The PLC had no haemorrhaging debt to repay, just dividends. Dividends are far more flexible as you only pay them if the company makes profit, and you can choose how much to take and how much to reinvest.

    In terms of the 'Fergie would have won more under the Glazers than the PLC' I think the facts point to the opposite.

    We broke transfer records time after time and consistently outspent our rivals pre-takeover. We signed Keane, Veron, Rio, Rooney, Ruud, Ronaldo for what at the time was seen as crazy money. We were largely THE model for a well run football club. The most valuable club, the most commercially successful and the most successful on the field too.

    Post-takeover we've spent more on the debt repayments than we have on transfers. Fergie had a average net spend of £19m per season under the Glazers despite the fact that it was clear as day that players like Giggs, Scholes, Rio, RVP, Vidic, Carrick and Rooney's powers were waning and they all needed replacing. They only started spending on any scale when it was clear that the squad was far below the level needed to get into the CL, which was already too late and coincided with a time when player transfer fees were inflated to insane amounts due to city and PSG money and later the Neymar signing.

    Finally it's hard to believe that United's unprecedented dominance in the '90s and '00s under the stewardship of a vastly experienced board with the likes of Martin Edwards and David Gill could be topped by any other structure, petrobillions or otherwise - let alone by the Glazer-Woodward stranglehold of death that has put us where we are today.

    Given how quickly we chuck managers and move on to the next one, I think it's far more likely that in a Glazer-Woodward world, Fergie would have been sacked in 1989. Remember it was the PLC (and in particular Martin Edwards) who ignored media, fan and fanzine pressure to get rid of Fergie because they believed in his long-term vision.
  37. May 14, 2019 at 11:39
    #37

    Patrick08 Full Member

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    True, they have even been negligent to the background work needed for smooth transition with definitely retiring Fergie.
  38. May 14, 2019 at 11:40
    #38

    Green_Red Full Member

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    In fairness, whilst there have been mistakes, they have been loose with the purse strings. Better management would have gotten a lot more out of the investment they've made.
  39. May 14, 2019 at 11:42
    #39

    Paul_Scholes18 Full Member

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    They are good at lowering our expectations and see us decline as a team. In the long run this could give us a strong ownership change boost once they leave. Like a version of a managerial boost ;) although it works more over years than months.

    Also they are good at making other teams supporters happier about us.

    For a Man United supporter that do want to win titles I can't see much positivity with the Glaziers at all. The best thing I can say is at least they are not secret Liverpool supporters/machochists wanting to feck us for the sake of enjoying it.
  40. May 14, 2019 at 12:21
    #40

    Lentwood Full Member

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    Thanks, interesting info.....see in response to the posters who have said 'what is the point in this thread'?....I've learnt something!