Swiss Ramble twitter thread on Glazers ownership

Eugenius

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The problem is their leveraged buyout in 2005, how it was allowed? why the debts were put against the club's assets?

the way they engineered their purchase of the club is terrible for the club, the club lost almost 1bn just to pay debts & interest!!!
Many common folk also have 'leveraged buyouts' - typically called a mortgage (more akin to a buy to let one). Debt itself is not a bad deal thing.
 

Barnslig

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City players wages have always been dodgy. Weren’t they paying Mancini something like 5x his official salary? I think they pay their players under the table a lot. There’s no way in hell Ederson, a goalkeeper who could commend 200k a week plus, is happily sitting on 65k.
Add to the fact that very, very rarely does another club come in for City players, and they are never whining to the media about their earnings, and their contracts like many others. I don't think I've ever heard about the wages being an issue for any City player signing or renewing, ever.
 

laughtersassassin

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Many common folk also have 'leveraged buyouts' - typically called a mortgage (more akin to a buy to let one). Debt itself is not a bad deal thing.
Well with what the Glazers done to us and Hicks and Gilette done to Liverpool it clearly is in football.


The luckiest thing that happened to Liverpool was their revenue was not enough to sustain the debt, which forced the courts to get involved and the club to be sold.

We where unlucky because we where too big to fail so to speak.

Burnley are the latest victims of this and last I heard half their squad is out of contract and the club has got to service their debt over anything else.

It's Certainly a very bad thing in football. It just a bottomless pit of wasted money. Not so long ago we had our debt down to something like 170 million and now it's back up to where it started.

It's simply a complete waste.
 

adexkola

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When the game was postponed, few moaned that their Sunday plans was ruined. That's how it is. There are many who will boycott and then others will just fill up their seats.
Speaking for myself... That was just despicable.

Kind of like scabs who cross the picket line, except said scabs have to think about putting food on the table.
 

Barnslig

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If they were interested in paying off the loan, they wouldn't be taking yearly dividends. Something no other PL club is doing.

What has cost them money, exactly? They put in nothing and are taking out 20-30m per year.

Also, they just had to get a loan to cover costs of 50m due to covid but apparently they got a loan for 60m and took 10m for themselves. It beggars belief.
I guess "cost them" is the wrong words, it's left them less dividends to collect. Unrealized profits I guess is more correct.
 

Barnslig

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Theories like this just give more leverage for the Glazers shills and apologists, because they say it's all City's fault that the football market has gone tits up.

I personally don't think they need to resort to doing things behind the scenes so much, they are a top club that is fighting for every trophy available, every season. Players want to go there for the chance of winning trophies, it's as simple as that.

They have probably done a lot in the past of what people insinuate and have even broker FFP a couple of times, but right now, players go to them for more than the money.
Most top players at top clubs all around the world hold their club to ransom over wages at some point. They refuse to sign extensions, leave on a free or get the pay rise they asked for, however it never happens at City. They are all just happy with 1/5 of their market value, because they can be in close physical proximity to the god almighty.
 

JPRouve

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No you just jump in whenever people express frustration at the ownership and feel the need to point out how common it is in the business world. No matter how many people make it clear that they feel their football club is about more than just business, it seems really important to you that you keep educating us all on the fact it isn't.
No, I answered a question and corrected a few points. If that's forbidden then I'm guilty.
 

Wilbursaurus

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If we are 100% honest with ourselves it's as simple as this.
We are doomed under their ownership, and we are doomed from any possible sale. We have too much debt and our value is far too high for anyone we would want to purchase this club. Plus the reward for anyone purchasing the club is simply just not worth the amount of money. Who is going to put up 4billion to buy the club, another few hundred million to cover the debt for a slow drip drawn out profit ?
The only possible buyers would be on par, if not worse than what we already have.
There's two possible paths, and we are screwed whichever one we take.
 

Bilbo

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I don’t think this is right either. If the value is decreasing but they don’t see it increasing for a long time they’ll be out. $3bn or whatever it’s worth can be put to better use.

You don’t maximise your profits by waiting for an asset to return to a value that something used to be worth. You make a decision based on all the variables currently in play. If they feel the value has topped out they’ll sell, no matter what it was worth last week or last year. Likewise if someone offers a lot more than it’s worth, they’ll be gone in a second.
The issue we have to consider is that our current debt level - which isn't currently a big issue for the club in terms of it being able to operate - would become an increasingly serious problem the more our revenue decreases. From what we know about the Glazers it seems highly likely that this problem would be solved by eliminating player expenditure
 

MU655

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There has been some financial analysis going around by Swiss Ramble, but it is actually not very useful. The problem is that you cannot look at a 15 year period of financials as it completely covers any patterns or signs of improvement/worsening of the issues. So, I have decided to do a separate thread to show the reality. And that financials are not really an issue anymore.

Firstly, I am posting the pie chart from Swiss Ramble and then I am posting a split of this pie chart into Ferguson and Post-Ferguson periods, which are about 8 year periods. Ideally, I would do more, but I can't be bothered, but this will show how time periods can manipulate financial information.

Swiss Ramble Analysis

Ferguson Period (2006-2013)


Post-Ferguson Period (2013-2021)



The debt repayments, dividends, and interest were 16% together in the Swiss Ramble analysis, but when you split it into smaller time periods it shows that it used to be at about 30% in the Ferguson period. Things have changed in the period afterward, where it is down to only about 6% together, so things have actually drastically improved during the last 8 years, in terms of financials. You can see how the 15 year period was actually hiding this massive improvement, and how bad the interest etc. actually was during the Ferguson period. Interest currently is very low, averaging at about 20m per year for the last 8 years. So, it is not really surprising they are not actually paying down the debt as to do so would be counter productive to themselves and the club.

Player purchases have increased by 15% of total expenditure, and wages have increased 8% of total expenditure (23% together). The drop in interest and repayments etc. is 24% (30% to 6%). You can actually see with the 23% increase in expenses on players and the 24% drop in interest and repayments that the money has actually been put back into the club. Very little of the increase has actually been taken out by the owners.

Interest over the past 8 years is down from 538m (Ferguson period) to 166m (Post-Ferguson period). Both periods are about 8 years, so it is a massive difference. Repayments are negative because they have taken out more loan, some of it being due to the covid and the lockdown. But repaying the loan is pretty pointless as I stated earlier.

Overall, I think the financial side isn't all that bad now. I think people are being hooked on the past, but there have been tremendous improvements in terms of money going back into the club. Only about 6% is actually spent on non-club activities in the last 8 years. So, 94% of expenses are actually club related. In the end, you can't do anything about the past, but there have been enough improvement to make the financial side a non-issue.

This all indicates that the real issue has been management. Now, the Glazer's are very hands-off owners in that they do not really interfere with management (supported by Ferguson saying they pretty much left him to his job), however those they have employed have not done the best job. It might be that the Glazers may decide to make changes due to recent issues, and start managing a bit more than they have. It is not resources that are the issue, but the poor use of them.

In the end, I don't think getting rid of the Glazers is the answer. I think improving the managers in the club will be, and I am starting to think we are potentially on course for that.
 
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bdecuc

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You can and should voice your opposition but there is no point in pretending that it's special, if anything we should point to the fact that it's not special and a problem that hasn't been adressed despited decades of criticisms. And I'm not just talking about Football, LBOs are controversial in general and always one of the domains that is supposed to be more regulated but we don't see much from politicians after elections.
That's very fair. And I have no particular experience of leveraged buyouts in the business world. People in business can concern themselves with that and I wish them well.

However as a football fan I absolutely believe that our case (and other cases with other football clubs) should be seen as and treated as special. I know it's been said many times before and much more eloquently than I can put it but football clubs are cultural institutions and should be protected as such and not subject to unfettered capitalism.
 

Fluctuation0161

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The debts were put against the owners assets and the club was one of those assets. And the cold reality is that United from the Glazers standpoint isn't different to a real estate investment, United generates "rent" money that is used to pay the loan and a little bit of side money for the owners. It's a fairly common practice.
They've done a "buy to let" on our club.
 

Bastian

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A few thoughts @MU655

The interest on the debt that burdened the club in what you split as the first 8 year period meant that our preparation for SAF's retirement left a new manager with an ageing squad whilst our rivals were very much up to speed. That coincides with the market boom where purchasing quality all of a sudden became a lot more expensive. That's one million percent on the Glazers.

Meanwhile, Old Trafford and the training complex have been long neglected.

The fact Woodward was shit at his job doesn't absolve the Glazer scum one bit, they had final say on transfers, which is part of the reason why we acted very slowly in the market, and they put Woodward in that hot seat along with Judge. Moneymen they trusted. Asking for clueless American owners to be more hands on is daft. They have proven beyond any doubt they don't know what they're doing.

Mismanagement of funds is down to the Glazers. Spending to break into the CL spots, paying over the odds for almost every player, dishing out far too high contracts to underperforming players, going from one managerial vision to another, accruing players unsuitable for different setups, raking in very little from transfers compared to well run clubs, still having a bloated squad and "preserving value" on duds.

Again, as has been repeated by a million people, millions of times, if the club had not been saddled with debt, it would have been fine competitively through it's own self-generated income, not needing any sugar daddy like City, Chelsea, etc.

The Glazers have fecked the club and there is not one good thing to say about them.

And:

This could just be a post in the Swiss thread
 
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JPRouve

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That's very fair. And I have no particular experience of leveraged buyouts in the business world. People in business can concern themselves with that and I wish them well.

However as a football fan I absolutely believe that our case (and other cases with other football clubs) should be seen as and treated as special. I know it's been said many times before and much more eloquently than I can put it but football clubs are cultural institutions and should be protected as such and not subject to unfettered capitalism.
As a fan I share your view and always had, in fact I don't even like the commercialization of Football, I don't like the fact that broadcasters make billions on the back of football, I hate seeing Mastercards ads before games. But when we are talking about our current reality, I believe that we have to do it with realism and not limit our points to emotions, it's particularly important when it comes to ownership because these billionaires aren't fans, they are investors, their goals are totally different and unfortunately their goals are in line with the way our capitalistic society works and how our politicians thinks the world should function.
 

Nytram Shakes

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The problem is their leveraged buyout in 2005, how it was allowed? why the debts were put against the club's assets?

the way they engineered their purchase of the club is terrible for the club, the club lost almost 1bn just to pay debts & interest!!!
Realistically this is how businesses are bought across the world, it's pretty rare for it to happen in football, normally because very few football clubs make enough money to pay off a loan.

It's also the reason the interest is so high as it is such a large amount of money in a risky financial sector.
 

stw2022

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Financially we’re managed excellently. The misguided, or deliberately misleading, layman’s analysis that had people convinced we would go under because of the debt (and not at all because the people saying this had some kind of vested interest in encouraging fans to throw money at them into a...I dunno, let’s call it a “Phoenix fund” for the sake of argument) has routinely proven false.

If there’s one criticism against the owners that really doesn’t stand up it is financial mismanagement. We’re probably one of the few genuinely self sufficient big clubs around
 

DoomSlayer

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We used to be the undisputed top dogs in England, but also would have been in Europe. The Glazers have destroyed that and we will never be able to reclaim that position again.

We can't financially compete with other clubs anymore and we overpay like no other club in the world. If that isn't destroying the football club, I don't know what to say.
 

Rooney24

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Are we really still discussing the hows and whys of how they purchased the club 16 years ago??

Dell
Heinz,
Heathrow Airport
Boots

All bought in the same way. Its common practice.

And lets also not forget we were a PLC at the time. If someone wanted to step in and buy us they only had to go and snap up the vast majority of the shares (70% I think it was but could be wrong) to force an automatic sale of the remainder.
 

Bastian

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Financially we’re managed excellently. The misguided, or deliberately misleading, layman’s analysis that had people convinced we would go under because of the debt (and not at all because the people saying this had some kind of vested interest in encouraging fans to throw money at them into a...I dunno, let’s call it a “Phoenix fund” for the sake of argument) has routinely proven false.

If there’s one criticism against the owners that really doesn’t stand up it is financial mismanagement. We’re probably one of the few genuinely self sufficient big clubs around
I think you're confusing the ability to buy something you can't afford with your own money with managing a football club excellently. We were self-sufficient prior to the scum.

Weird post.
 

Rightnr

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Financially we’re managed excellently. The misguided, or deliberately misleading, layman’s analysis that had people convinced we would go under because of the debt (and not at all because the people saying this had some kind of vested interest in encouraging fans to throw money at them into a...I dunno, let’s call it a “Phoenix fund” for the sake of argument) has routinely proven false.

If there’s one criticism against the owners that really doesn’t stand up it is financial mismanagement. We’re probably one of the few genuinely self sufficient big clubs around
Right. That's why the moment they lost 100m in gate receipts, they took another loan out, instead of using reserves they should have accumulated across a number of prosperous years.

This is like saying (and I'm simplifying) that losing your job for 3 months immediately leads you to use a credit card to cover your first mortgage payment after having a well-paying job for 15 years. It's anything but good financial management.
 

Bastian

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Are we really still discussing the hows and whys of how they purchased the club 16 years ago??

Dell
Heinz,
Heathrow Airport
Boots

All bought in the same way. Its common practice.

And lets also not forget we were a PLC at the time. If someone wanted to step in and buy us they only had to go and snap up the vast majority of the shares (70% I think it was but could be wrong) to force an automatic sale of the remainder.
I think it was 30%. But those businesses you mentioned aren't football clubs, they're not cultural entities. There's a world of difference.
 

KW2006

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Fergie(alongside RVP) dragged us to be league champions in his last year, our squad back then were clearly underinvested and imbalanced.

The two biggest mistakes are the appointments of Moyes and Mourinho, though.
 

Glazers Out!

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The success or failure of ever organization starts at the top.

You look at Washington Football Team/Washington Redskins in the NFL and they have been horrible for 20 years. Yet, their owner Dan Snyder is still making money hand over fist because the team cannot get relegated. They have had many coaches and general managers and executives but still continue to lose because the owner, Dan Snyder is the problem.
 

Karel Podolsky

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Theories like this just give more leverage for the Glazers shills and apologists, because they say it's all City's fault that the football market has gone tits up.

I personally don't think they need to resort to doing things behind the scenes so much, they are a top club that is fighting for every trophy available, every season. Players want to go there for the chance of winning trophies, it's as simple as that.

They have probably done a lot in the past of what people insinuate and have even broker FFP a couple of times, but right now, players go to them for more than the money.
It's amazing no ex City players ever speak out about it. Tevez, Balotelli, Adebayor, de Jong, Toure, aren't typical of people who afraid.
 

diarm

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No, I answered a question and corrected a few points. If that's forbidden then I'm guilty.
I apologise if I've been unfair to you. Reading back you were just answering a question.

I do however disagree with your thought process that we should approach our opposition to their ownership solely through realism and by removing emotion. I think that plays into their hands and just helps maintain the status quo.

Realism and speaking about our football club in the same terms you would every other business leads to defeatism and the lull in fan efforts we saw between 2010 and the last few weeks. If every time someone gets upset and angry, there is someone better educated like you to tell them how commonplace these things are in the world of business and how at the end of the day, we are just a business after all, then they just become disillusioned and numb to the idea of doing anything at all. When someone suggests a boycott, there is always someone clever there to tell them how it won't make any difference because fans in Asia or the US will just take their place. When fans protested at Carrington, there were loads laughing at them and telling them how pathetic they were. It all adds up to real fans of the club doing the Glazers dirty work for them.

They decided football clubs were businesses, not us. Why should we stop talking about the clubs we care about without emotion just because that's what they want? Emotion leads to what happened on Sunday - more impact and awareness in 6 hours than in 10 years of sensible and rational debate.