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Man U’s sponsorship deal with Chevrolet starts to unravel. What on earth is happening?

By Tony Attwood

Man U has got Chevrolet as a sponsor.  Big news.  Lot’s of shouting.  Lots of puffed out chests.

But what you don’t read in the football press or the blogs is that behind the scenes all hell is breaking loose.  And the story is getting rather, well, fishy.

Chevrolet is owned by General Motors Co.   General Motors marketing chief is Joel Ewanick and he has just been fired.   Just two years after he joined the company to lead an overhaul of its marketing strategy, and just having completed the Man U deal.

Reuters, no less, have said that a source with inside knowledge of the matter has told them that Ewanick failed to properly report financial details about the deal.

Now of course that could be a slip of the mind.  “Oh yes, sorry, I just did the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of football and, blow me down, I forgot to tell you how much money we are paying the club.”

Hmmmm.

When asked about the source’s observations on the sponsorship deal, Ewanick said in an email that he could not comment.

GM then came out and said that Ewanick’s departure was “effective immediately”.   No hanging around, no golden handshake, no gardening leave, he’s out, sacked, gone, vanquished, removed.   He will be replaced on an interim basis by Alan Batey, the head of U.S. sales and service.

The GM announcement says,

“Ewanick failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees.”   That was Greg Martin, their spokesperson.  He declined to elaborate.

Ewanick was created vice president and head of GM’s U.S. marketing in May 2010.  He said, “It has been a privilege & honour to work with the GM Team and to be a small part of Detroit’s turnaround.  I wish everyone at GM all the best.”

So what happened?

The Man U deal with Chevrolet was said to be worth almost $80m a year, which is a lot more than the £19.6m that Aon is paying.  The deal lasts seven years from 2014/15.
.
Eyebrows were raised when this hit the headlines and the Financial Times ran this comment from Jim Andrews of IEG, the top sponsorship consultancy.
.
“The increase between Aon and Chevrolet I’d say is unprecedented.”   He added that the deal was a lot bigger than the previous record set by the Qatar Foundation’s when it sponsored the sacred shirt of Barcelona, for $39.1m a year, just at the time Barca were failing to pay their players.

The FT continues, “As recently as 2006, Vodafone was paying only about £8m a year to sponsor the club’s kit. It was followed by AIG, which paid £14.1m a year between June 2007 and June 2010.”

Now as the FT says, sponsorship revenues are on the rise, which is why the end of the Arsenal sponsorship deals over the next two years is very exciting news.  There’s a lot of new money coming in to the club.

But what is going on with Man U?

We know that Manchester United have aborted listings in Hong Kong and Singapore, and then bailed out of New York on a technicality after running old financial reports.

We know that a number of Manchester United employees will be getting mega bonuses out of the listing on the NY stock exchange when it finally happens.

We know that these shares will never pay any dividend or have any power or influence over the club (the family retains that) – it is the model that Mr Usmanov has suggested for Arsenal, as I understand it.   Indeed the FT said, in a completely different article “The question is, why on earth anyone would be prepared to buy [Man U], given the disregard in which the Glazers seem to hold their potential investors.”

And we know that (according to the FT) “Manchester United said annual revenue from the Chevrolet shirt sponsorship agreement would be $70m in the first season, rising 2.1 per cent a year until it ends in the 2020-21 season. In addition, it will receive about $18.6m in fees from GM in each of the 2012-13 season and 2013-14 season under the terms of our new shirt sponsorship agreement.”

But…

Having been talking about Vapour Transfers, could we also be seeing Vapour Sponsorship?  Of course I have no inside information and I don’t know anything concrete about this, so I make no allegation – just turn in my usual round of guesswork.  So…

Over seven years since the Glazers moved in, they have revalued the club from £790m to £3bn.   That is not real money, just the valuation based on the shares they create.

The company is listed in the Cayman Islands which means there are no requirement for independent directors to oversee the owners. There are no plans to pay a dividend.  And there is no real knowledge as to what is happening within the company.

My thought in wandering down this by-way is this: the Glazers do say funny things, which are not quite as they seem which leads one to disbelieve all they say.  So for example in the NY listing prospectus they say, when claiming that one in seven people in the world “follow” Man U:

“We and Kantar Media included in the definition of ‘follower’ a respondent who either watched live Manchester United matches, followed highlights coverage or read or talked about Manchester United regularly.”

So according to a survey the club paid Kantar Media for, United has 659 million followers.   But lots of us watch follow highlights of Man U, and we are Arsenal fans.  Some Liverpool fans do this twice a season – when Man U play Liverpool.  And that makes them a follower.

Now if you are going to put out stuff like this, then who is to say what else you are going to do behind all those locked doors in the Cayman Islands?

I don’t know why GM sacked their man as he concluded the Man U deal, and I have no evidence, so all I can do is speculate.  The reason could be…

a) Because they took one look at the Man U prospectus and thought – “you’re having a laugh” and knew that they didn’t want to deal with that bunch of owners – but then found they were locked in.

b) Because they knew that the price hike for sponsorship was insane and that they would never get their money back in extra sales – but found out too late.

c) Because Man U is quickly becoming the sort of business which through its share and other dealings is exactly the sort of company you don’t want a decent firm to be associated with

d) Because the deal as expressed doesn’t exist – it is vapour.   Yes the Chevrolet will appear on Man U shirts, but the amount changing hands won’t be remotely like the amount quoted.  Those figures are quoted just to help the share issue along.  It will be hard to find out the truth because the deal doesn’t start for a while, and one end of it is in the Cayman Islands where it is hard to find anything.

e) Manchester United’s operating profit has fallen for the last three years and is now at half of what it was three years ago.  And this was why the FT ran the headline “Investors in Man U risk losing their shirts”.  Chevvy weren’t pleased with that one.

It might, of course all be coincidence, but we could combine all this flim-flam with our recent report on Manchester United and referees.

—————-

Who invented away support?

Follow Untold and the Arsenal History Society on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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119 comments to Man U’s sponsorship deal with Chevrolet starts to unravel. What on earth is happening?

  • al

    You lost me at Man Utd. Who cares about them? It’s a well written piece, no doubt – but this is an Arsenal site! We have our own issues and concerns without having to worry about other clubs. Believe me, they don’t care about us.

  • Mark Ibrahim

    Interesting read. The situation at United has been cooking for some time now and is finally coming to a boil. I may be far off the mark but I have an incling that United’s financial position is untennable and that the current owners will eventually be forced to sell the club or risk entering administration. Dooms day scenario perhaps, but with the gross mishandling of the clubs financial health it is hardly a stretch.

  • Shard

    Fantastic work Tony. And all very interesting. The Glazers are definitely running a corrupt machine there. It wouldn’t surprise me if something fishy was going on, with GM feeling like they’d been shafted. I’ll be interested to see where this Ewanick fellow ends up.

    A point about sponsorships. As you say, there does come a point where it doesn’t make sense to pay to be associated with a brand. ManU might be a big brand and have lots of ‘followers’, but I would venture that a lot more people actively hate or dislike ManU. Wouldn’t a sponsorship with them have the potential to actually harm a company? (I avoid employing DHL now if I can help it 🙂 )

    Besides, there is only so much you can squeeze on a billboard and still have it widely visible. ManU’s billboard is getting way too crowded.

    Lucky for us, we can point to this announced deal, and say Arsenal has x number of fans, shown through the number of blogs and online following etc, and say, well give us 80% of the ManU shirt deal or something to that effect.

  • Mark Ibrahim

    I find that the most interesting aspect of the Glazers financial misdeeds is its effect on the competitiveness of the EPL. Can you imagine how much stronger United would be if the owners hadn’t pissed over £500 million pounds on debt that was they themselves placed on the club? They may well have inadvertently prevented it from becoming a 1-horse race.

  • Kevin

    The question that occurred to me was: Does the “alleged” money from this deal count towards the footballing revenues required for the Financial Fair Play rules?

  • Arsenal1Again

    God, I seriously can’t wait until Sir Alex Ferguson retires. Goodbye Man Utd.

  • Gunner4evr

    I can’t wait for the Leeds story to unfurl at OT.The difference is the rf keeps on winning games and trophies. And we know who helped him.Just imagine the rf can’t win trophies two to three seasons running,I guarantee he will be fired.

  • Mike

    The bitterness on here is nuts. United are the biggest club on the planet and will be breaking all sorts of sponsorship records in the next few years. The Nike deal is up for renewal in 2015 and that will be at least double the amount being paid now. £25m a season will soon become £50m. If the IPO goes ahead then United’s debt will be reduced to £350m (gross). Our gross debt is £250m, the difference is United have a far bigger income than us. United’s interest payments will drop to around £35m a season, that’s £33m less than they were paying in interest three season’s ago and the operating profits have risen above £100m and despite going out in the group stages of the Champions League last season they will still turnover more than the £331m they turned over last season.

    Lets not kid ourselves, United are a massive money making machine and we are way way way behind them.

  • Mark Ibrahim

    haha, has anyone else noticed that the shares are listed as “MANU”? Hilarious, they can’t even get their name properly abbreviated. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look up why this is inappropriate.

  • Arvind

    What does this mean Tony? For a person who understands very little finance? As in..what I get from this is – ManU currently were paid 19.6 million by AON. Now they are paid 80 million by Chevrolet. The difference is huge. Eyebrows raised. Something fishy in the whole deal; marketing ex fired at Chevrolet.

    Now, does this mean, that Joel Ewanick is merely incompetent? Or took a huge huge bribe to “push this deal through”? For ManU. Or for someone against GM? And surely there would be enough checks and balances done at GM before the deal was signed? If something is fishy, how is it possible..on such a large scale..for such a giant?

    Could someone please explain? Thanks.

  • Gunz

    @Arvind

    “And surely there would be enough checks and balances done at GM before the deal was signed?”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2012/07/29/gm-ad-chief-who-quit-facebook-ads-is-ousted-reports/

    “the Journal reported that GM told Ewanick “he was being removed for failing to properly vet the financial details of a European soccer sponsorship deal that he struck recently,” according to people it said were familiar with the matter.”

    Seems to me his demise was partly due to not doing enough checks.

  • insideright

    If I read it right the share issue is to raise cash in order (partly) to reward key employees. SAF denies that he is one of them. Which either means that he’s going to miss out (maybe having said no to it on principle) or, perhaps, that these employees have yet to join the club.
    Does this mean that Utd. have entered a Barceloana situation where they can’t afford to pay current or future wages/transfers without a fresh input of maney?
    This is a slippery slope indeed.

  • bob

    One aspect of the deal that the business press cites is that there was no guarantee that the name Chevrolet or GM would appear on the jerseys at all. There is definitely something beyond dodgy here; and perhaps Ewanick, who is not “chopped liver” as we say, but who had been a car industry marketing star (Hyundai, etc.), got an bulging envelope that he could not refuse before the expectable axe would fall. This, as a GM – taxpayer bailed out company – scandal could become a big scandal that hurts the current US Administration which has made a big thing out of its having effected a “turn around” in US auto industry – especially GM – prospects. There would seem to be multiple layers here, and, if there’s demonstrable fraud, I would think that the shareholders (which I believe includes the US government) will cry foul and perhaps nullify this ballyhooed “greatest sponsorship deal in football history” – arguably, in sports history.

    This said, while you keep citing the limits of sponsorship growth when it comes to ManUre (which goes well beyond T-shirts and jerseys into airlines, cars, watches, resorts…), whilst painting the rosiest picture for AFC in as yet unsigned deals, you cannot simply wish away the massive lead that ManUre has had maintained over everyone else in all of sports (not just football). I despise them totally, but I do not dismiss the fact of their advantage because I despise them – even as I hope (and will expect) this deal to blow up in the Glazers’ faces.

  • bob

    p.s., and, btw, iniez brought this to readers’ attention in last night’s (late night) postings here on UA – so some credit where it is due.

  • Al… This site covers football from an arsenal perspective. It says it on the home page.

  • bob

    The brand may be hated on the ground, but its perceived value among advertisers who pay the bills is still massive. Chevrolet could still run ads on every Barclays EPL broadcast that end with a verbal or visual sign-off that goes “proud sponsor of the legendary Manchester United.” Their sometimes (current?) strategic partner in the US – the NY Yankees – is the flagship brand of Major League Baseball. They are always competitive, and most often don’t win the Championships. Yet their legacy and huge spending keeps them in the forefront of public (knee-jerk) brand recognition, almost synonymous with the word “baseball.” There are zillions of Yankee haters among baseball fans – just as there are ManUre haters among football fans [including yours truly] – but it does not do a thing to stop the massive amounts of advertising revenue and “proud/official” sponsors of the New York Yankees from queuing up, season after season. They, like ManUre, have maintained a massive marketing effort, year after year. As long as there is purchasing power in the world economy, eager sponsor-partners will queue up to be affiliated with both of these behemoths; and their strategic partnership, recent if not current, recognizes this. They probably have the most widespread respective brand recognition for sports franchises on the planet. For this, (as a fan of the Yankee team)I weep.

  • bob

    Tony,
    As for combining this financial review with yesterday’s ref review, the question is begged: Are ManUre truly too big to fail? And IF SO, other questions would naturally queue up: will Wayne Rooney ever get another red card? will certain refs be disproportionately assigned to ensure their matches? will certain Fergie-affiliated coaches help the cause of Rednose XX by having their teams roll over (or perform other services against ManUre opponents)? will AFC ever get another penalty kick at home? Feel welcome to add your own…. 🙂

  • critic

    Lolz!! Arsenal will get similar deals as utd…..lolz……..
    I hope a person/persons who understand finance,marketing,economics, and basic knowledge how things work in sports would be more qualified to write an article than an arsenal supporter with red tinted glasses.

    This truly is an amazingly ground breaking deals in sports. And here u are ridiculing utd for that. LLOLLZ.

    Even if GM fires their marketing head utd will still earn £50m per annum for 7 years from shirt sponsorships alone!!!!¡¡¡¡ Deal starts from 2014 the moment when banks will come after manu. This is amajor coup albeit most of the money will go in interest payment.
    But if they can do this with shirt spo i don’t wanna imagine the scenario when same happens with other spo deals as well.
    Adsenal gona surely improve but i will be amaze if they can pull something like this. I mean it will be staggering if arsenal strikes a deal of £40m on shirt spo from 6m.

  • bob

    There are 3 questions to track:
    (1) Is this deal as reported?
    (2) Will this deal be allowed to stand?
    (3) What will be the fallout either way?

  • Kevin

    @Critic,

    “Even if GM fires their marketing head utd will still earn £50m per annum for 7 years from shirt sponsorships alone!!!!¡¡¡¡”

    You might be right but the fact that the person who negotiated the deal for GM was fired apparently because he “failed to properly report financial details about the deal”, does raise some concerns regarding the deal.

    The deal is so significantly greater than other deals that it will garner considerable scrutiny.

    Only time will tell whether this deal remains in place or whether it is modified, or even cancelled.

  • al

    Al… This site covers
    football from an arsenal
    perspective. It says it on the home page.

    Oops, fair enough, I didn’t know that. I’m not a regular visitor, but I know that this site contains balanced, well written articles, more often than not. I just was kind of hoping for a positive, feel good article before the season started. Never mind me, and forgive me if I offended the original writer.

  • bob

    If this sponsorship deal – the biggest in sports history, according to the media – turns out to be illegal, and somehow having hinged on or being in sync with ManUre’s being listed on NYSE, it is at least thinkable that ManUre/GM will have violated SEC or NYSE or other ethics rules, thus risking either massive embarrassment that will impact the stock value, and/or potential de-listing by the stock exchange (NYSE). Somewhere, as others have noted above, there is a whiff of desperation amongst the dealmakers.

  • Sav from Australia

    I wonder if GM can sue and get the deal revoked…

  • This is interest, thanks Tony I hadn’t heard of any of this fracas before coming to Untold just now.

    United seem to be constantly striving to boost revenue – first the ticket prices rises to eliminate the waiting list, then the constant stream of smaller sponsorship deals.

    The unfortunate reality for Arsenal is that United are phenomenally profitable – they do have a hefty wage bill, but given their level of revenue it’s comfortably in the 40 – 50% of turnover range. Arsenal’s falls in that safe range too, but our wage bill is lower because of our lower turnover naturally.

  • bob

    Phil,
    What does “turnover range” mean, and what is safe and what is not? Please explain for the financially-challenged like myself and a handful of others no doubt. 🙂

  • bob

    This flim-flam or fracas may seem like old hat. But it seems to have massive potential, even as a mega-scandal. Perhaps the other non-football part of The Guardian will take over and shed some light where their Manchester-protectors traditionally obscure the football goings-on.

  • Sammy The Snake

    This is very suspicious for a company on government bailout.
    My thought is that the amount mentioned is only a smoke screen for the Stock market listing.
    In all likelihood, the sponsorship amount is perfornce based. That means the 50 million number has impossible conditions attached to it (for example, ManU must win all available trophies) in order to receive full amount.

    For example;

    Base sponsorship: 15 mil
    Winning Carling Cup Bonus +2 mil
    Winning FA Cup Bonus +3 mil
    Winning EPL Bonus +5 mil
    Winning CL Bonus +7 mil
    Winning everything in same year Bonus +18 mil

    As it’s impossible to win all trophies at same time, GM risks very little but ManU get to say we got a sponsorship worth “up to 50 mil”. The “up to” is the key word here.

  • TrueGoonerz

    does the American taxpayer know about this deal. I wonder what will happen if it is made public with the amount involved.

  • Turnover is literally everything in terms of “sales” for a year. So you can have a £100bn turnover and very little profit, depending on what level your costs are. So turnover would be a good indicator for “size” of a business, whereas profit would be a good measure of efficiency – a more profitable business keeps its costs down.

    For football clubs, people tend to look at the bottom line figures “Profit before tax”. But this isn’t a great indicator of anything really, there are so many things that distort this number it really does indicate very much. Big outlays on transfer fees would only slightly affect bottom line profits because of amortisation, but for the non-technics, suffice to say bottom-line profit isn’t a great indicator of much for football clubs, despite being the headline figure.

    A much better indicator of financial stability is operating profit. This is the sort of profit that you are I think of when we say “the business is/isn’t profitable” – it’s the profit you turn on regular operations, turnover minus wages and other general business costs. It gives you a very good indicator of whether the core business is profitable. United is, very much so, because their wages are at a reasonable level to their turnover.

    The proof is in the pudding however – operating profits don’t account for debt interest. So I would call United’s core business incredibly profitable, but because of all the Glazers’ debts from buying the club, they don’t splash the cash as you would expect. Ergo, if they didn’t have the Glazers, they would be spending way more.

    God Bless Malc!

  • bob

    TrueGoonerz, All,
    The ongoing outcome of the GM rescue plan has been hotly debated in recent months, and I don’t have the latest to report, so others might want to follow up for accuracy. In essence, The GM rescue package involved the taxpayer’s money going both to a loan and to a purchase of GM stock. Apparently the loan part has been paid off (or somewhat shifted into further stock purchases); but the stock (as of April/May) was well below what was initially paid for it. Again, this requires follow up and greater expertise than I have to fully fathom.

  • iniez

    bob,
    Cheers for the credit, though I’m far happier to see this topic up for discussion. Also, the link you asked for the other day isn’t going through so if I can refer you to my post on the latest arsenal review you should be able to find it.

    I’ve spoken to a friend of mine that supports united and even dug around their blogs a bit and they don’t seem particularly happy with their club being on the NYSE, and more so the fact that 50% of the profits will be put right into the glazers pockets. Should be interesting to see how this develops but something stinks about all this. Then again maybe it’s just good business

  • Cameron Wolfe

    @ Mike
    Hey we’re doing real well at Arsenal. We have a well run club with a stable and managable debt. We managed to build a brand new state of the art stadium the old fashioned way. The banks happily lent us money because of the financial plan we put forward. We’re on the up.
    I would much rather our board remains exactly the way is at present rather than go the way of Manure, Citeh, or Chelski.
    I personally still feel that we are run properly and for the good of the Club. Not everyone will agree with that. There’s a ton of fans on her eevey week who say so but we live in a land where everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This is mine.
    On the subect of Manure:

    While United’s accounts say gross debt has dropped by £61.2m from £484.5m to £423.3m, a 12.6% reduction, this is countered by the club’s cash falling from £113m to £25.6m – a reduction of £87.4m – meaning the former champions are £26m worse off than 12 months ago.( from the Guardian May/12 )

    Says there the debt is rising. That’s what happens when people are allowed to buy Clubs without acually ahving the money to do so. You just keep on refianancing the debt to keep on paying off the debt.
    Would i like that at Arsenal?
    Absolutely not.
    Gooner for life!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @critic,
    PMSL, loving your work.
    These promo tours we keep going on to the far east are not designed to gain new fans or earn money from the appearance fees – they are primarily to make potential sponsors notice the sheer size of Arsenal’s fan-base in what is seen as an untapped market. People who do understand finance and marketing are running the club, Arsenal represents a fantastic sponsorship opportunity for a company looking to break into the far east. Once the deals for United and Liverpool are tied up we are the next best thing. So there is every reason to believe that the new sponsorships can be of a similar size to the deals signed by Liverpool and United.

  • Stuart

    Bob
    The turnover range is worked out as the percentage of wages to turnover. According to Swiss Ramble, our 2011 wages were £124.4 Million and our annual turnover (total money in) was £225.4 Million. The wages to turnover ration here is circa 55%.

    This is strangely higher than the safe maximum figure of 50% historically quoted by Wenger and other senior figures at AFC.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QqxcUvQPYzo/T0ySdiP5QfI/AAAAAAAAFSY/-pAcn4UfgEA/s400/28%2BArsenal%2BWages%2Bto%2BTurnover.jpg

  • nicky

    All this talk about advertising (or sponsorship to give it some form of respectability) just goes to show the obscene depths to which football has sunk since the days of simply playing a sporting contest.
    Television, world-wide satellite coverage and the inevitable “bastard”, advertising, have much to answer for.

  • critic

    @sammy
    that’s a very good point.

    @tony
    i think reading your article again(this time on dekstop), it does raises some valid questions. Your article definitely provides some untold perspective.

  • critic

    By the way Gazdiz is now involve in FA, this can impact arsenal in a very very very big way. Linking walter’s article on barca chief being very vocal about taking the authorities on your side will gazdiz do the same? He should atleast be able to lower down the bias against arsenal.

    For me complete honesty from the authorities will do.

  • Georgaki

    Tony
    Myles Palmer just lauded the Man U sponsorship deal on his blog. He wrote:

    “Does Van Persie know about this $559 million deal?

    A very ambitious club that thinks big and knows how to stay big.

    Manchester United’s shirt deal with General Motors will bring in $559 million over seven years.

    THAT’S WHAT I CALL A DEAL!”

    He is very bitter and twisted with regard to the Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger in particular. Do you know why?

  • Stroller

    @Georgaki
    Up to a few years ago Myles Palmer was very pro-Wenger and actually wrote an unauthorised biography called ‘The Professor’ (I think). His blog at the time often gave the impression he was close to Wenger and insiders at the club, but I don’t think that this was reciprocated and he subsequently become increasingly bitter and critical. These days he denies even being an Arsenal supporter and never has anything good to say about the club.

  • elkieno

    Cazorla, oh oh oh,
    Cazorla, oh oh oh
    He came from Malaga
    ……. anyone?

  • Steve

    How many cars will GM need to sell to cover the deal?

  • Cameron Wolfe

    Re: the Myles Palmer quote:

    Manchester United’s shirt deal with General Motors will bring in $559 million over seven years.

    THAT’S WHAT I CALL A DEAL!”

    Not sure if GM or the American people will see it as a DEAL. I reckon the Glaziers are trying to fool everyone again. Now would I rather own shares in Arsenal or Manure. Let me think…….

  • marek

    Long time reader, very infrequent poster here, from the U.S. I’ll posit a conspiracy theory – the Glazers are Florida billionaires. Florida is a *very* important state in the upcoming U.S. Presidential race. GM received a mega-billion bailout, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, from President Obama. Maybe the Glazers promised the U.S. Prez some help this election, and in exchange he made sure that they got some of that sweet “stimulus” money…

  • Stuart

    Having a look at some figures, GM last year made an average profit of $845 per unit sold. Based on that figure, GM will have to sell 661538 units over the duration to cover it however with the increasing popularity of the more profitable SUV’s and GM being one of the most inefficient car makers by a long way, they are able to really hike this average figure up higher so this is highly likely to change.

    The sponsorship deal is more than covered anyway as the group sold over 9 Million units in 2011 alone.

    Toyota is a more profitable company selling more cars and making more profit per unit, maybe we should be speaking with them?

  • ARSENAL 13

    as per my knowledge, GM was rescued from bankruptcy. How would the US govt react to this.

    Well more I read this, more it sounds like a vapour.

    IF this deal goes through. I see more Chevys being sold here in India (even though they sell us China developed models here). Some of my MAN UTD friends changed to AIRTEL.

  • Gooner S

    Interesting stuff. Let’s see how this all turns out in the weeks/months to come. Manchester United’s dealings may work as a cautionary tale for any potential Arsenal related business deals.

  • Georgaki

    Stroller

    I have Palmer’s book on Wenger. In my opinion it is awful. I suspect he was jumping on a bandwagon in the hope of increasing his income. He has made it clear that he is not a gooner, it is documented in his blog. I don’t know if he ever was, I think not. He wouldn’t need to be if his motivation for writing an unauthorised biography was to top up his income from his sports and music journalism.

    I always seek alternative views. I need to be reminded that I may be wearing rose-tinted glasses. Palmer’s leitmotif that Wenger is a stubborn autocrat, who doesn’t countenance debate is echoed by Alex Fynn and Kevin Whichter, authors of “Arsenal: the makings of a super club” and Matt Scott of the Telegraph who is a gooner. However, I find some of his writing bizzare, as well as arrogant and excessively opinionated. I wonder whether he thrives on the adulation from his fans. He certainly favours the anti-Wenger kind as he rarely posts pro-Wenger posts. Maybe he is building up a head of steam in his Wenger-hating, and it does seem to touch that level of emotion at times, because he perceives Arsenal are turning the corner with success on the horizon?

  • bob

    marek,
    Here’s a counter-conspiracy scenario. The announced fact is that the loan has mostly been repaid (or partly repaid and shuffled back into more GM shares to the govt). Now comes this injurious deal for GM – not even to have the name GM or Chevrolet on the jersey. This would look bad for the man in charge of the loan bailout – to have the recovered/recovering company do such a bad piece of business, then have to fire the trusted man who made the deal. What do you think? Could this be meant, in part at least, to embarrass the Admin?

  • marek

    @bob

    I think that your version fits the available facts as well. The sad ramification is that IF there is anything to this, then that means that serious U.S. government money is getting, albeit indirectly, into the Premiership game. At that point, you can forget complaining about any oil sheiks – if the Glazers can get more than 1/2 of a billion bucks just for having the right political connections, then all bets are off, financially.

    There has been precedent for this, on a smaller scale, in the communist countries of Eastern Europe. There were “army” teams (all those known as CSKA Something – the “KA” stands for Krasnaija Armia, or the Soviet Red Army), “police” teams, “coal miner” teams etc, all sponsored by different branches of government.

    I did a quick search to try and find out any Glazer-Romney connections, but could find none. U.S. Jews vote about 80% Democratic, but there are exceptions. This to me suggests Glazers are probably pro-Obama, and that this move is thus a payoff for their support. Sad, if it were true, the distortions are bad enough with the oil money.

  • bob

    marek,
    I’m not so quick to see a payoff to the Glazers in the way you suggest. This because Romney’s biggest – and very high profile right now – backer appears to be Sheldon Adelson, a Jewish businessman.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Marek,
    I’m with Bob, I would suspect economic status has much more to do with the Glazers’ political interests than religion and your comment could be construed as racist.
    Then again I find the whole Obama-the-black-president thing incredibly racist and reductive.

  • marek

    @bob

    Hah! Sheldon Adelson is exactly who I meant when I wrote “there are exceptions” – I just didn’t want to drop a name that is non-football-related and possibly obscure to non-U.S. people.

    @Woolwich Peripatetic

    Bob and I presented two possible political motives for the unprecedented amount of money involved in a football sponsorship deal. One possible motive would be to harm Obama, the other – to help him. Which motive, if any, is actually operative, depends on the Glazers’ political leanings. In the U.S., it is a well-known fact that the two most pro-Democratic groups are the blacks (90%+ support the Dems) and the Jews (80%+ support the Dems); this is not a racist observation. This is why I suspect that the Glazers are more probably pro-Obama than pro-Romney.

    But the really important question for me is whether there’s anything to the story at all. GM making an unprecedented deal like that as a one-off mistake (or flash of brilliance – we’ll see) would be one thing. GM doing so as a result of political pressure from the Democratic party would be quite another. To paraphrase my earlier point – if you thought competing with oil sheiks was tough, try the U.S. government.

  • bob

    marek,
    or the Republican party 🙂

  • Can I just drop in and observe that generally when I write a little article I have a vague notion of where the conversation will go.

    Often I find myself completely wrong and often the conversation goes into areas I didn’t imagine when I wrote the piece. This is one such. I sit here with my mouth open (not a nice sight).

    Thank you everyone for helping take this piece way beyond my starting point.

  • marek

    @bob

    We’ll see how the story plays out. If it is a Republican play, then I would expect some sort of media attention to the political motives of the deal – after all, the point would be to hurt Obama’s reputation. I would expect the type of coverage that, say, Solyndra got. I’m not seeing it now.

    If it is a Democratic play, then I would expect the sort of coverage we got already – which is to say, a purely financial news story, with the observation that the person responsible for the deal was fired – basically, a purely commercial deal where one person perhaps went overboard, but the guilty party has already been punished, so really, nothing further to see here. A bizarre deal, an embarrassment perhaps, but no mention of any political motivation.

    As to motivation – Romney went on a much-publicized trip to Israel not long ago, and appears to be making a big push to attract Jewish voters. Florida is both an absolutely crucial state, and it has a lot of Jewish voters. For Obama to try to bring Glazers into play in his favor makes sense.

    But, again, this is all just speculation. It really could just be that someone at GM really did believe that paying that much money to Man Utd was a good idea, went ahead with the deal, and then far-more-important someones at GM decided to fire him. I do enjoy the cloak-and-dagger far more than such boring explanations, though.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Tony,
    To link back to your other article, what if this represents an almighty cock-up on the part of the GM VP of Marketing?
    Blinded by huge numbers (over 600 million interested people?) mildly misled as to what they would be getting for the money, nobody negotiating for United willing to set them straight, the ingredients are all there.

  • lew1234

    I think it just goes to show that Man Utd are in an entirely different level to Arsenal (and most other football clubs to be fair) when it comes to “working” the brand. A 125% in shirt sponsorship is absolutely incredible (even though there is a whiff a scandal). I mean this is a club that got £10m sponsorship per year for their training kit and has 23 separate secondary and mobile partners.

  • Adam

    Governments involving themselves in footie? Who would of thought it eh?

  • The Law

    Well, there is no getting away from the fact that ManUre are the biggest and most valuable sporting franchise in the world, and their deal with DHL proves that. No one else could have dreamt of getting £10m for sponsoring training outfits.

    If anything, a deal like this goes to show our commercial team that on no account should they get lowballed when it is time to negotiate our new shirt sponsorships and kit deals. We can split the training tops from the main jerseys and offer them to potential sponsors, and we can also do like Spurs and seperate our league and cup sponsors.

    That being said, if there’s anything fishy about ManUre getting over half a billion dollars for a shirt sponsorship from a company that isn’t owned by their owners, then it will come out eventually, and I suppose the deal might be rescinded. That won’t happen without the Glazers putting up a huge fight though.

    All told, I would take the view that this deal, combined with what Liverpool are getting despite not being in the Champions League, bodes well for our negotiating ability next year, and when you add in that despite not winning a trophy in 7 years, we still have a massive following in Asia and Africa (which are the major expansion markets) I won’t be surprised if we announce a sponsorship deal which runs into hundreds of millions of pounds.

  • lew1234

    Before this Utd deal I would have thought around £20m-£25m ish per year would have been fantastic for our new shirt sponsor (rumours swirled around in May/June that Arsenal had attempted to renew the Emirates deal at £30m a season and they laughed it off with £15m being their best offer) but now this deal has completely changed the playing field. How close can we get to Utd’s shirt sponsership?
    The operation of our ‘vaunted’ (by Ivan Gazidis) commercial team so far doesn’t give me much hope.

  • bob

    If, beyond the jerseys and multiple kit deals, Manure can have 23 separate secondary and mobile partners, then how many do we have and have we aggressively exlored such partnerships? Frankly I think the whole thing is crass; but if the point is to reinvest a lot of it into our players, then bring it on. But I agree with lew 1234 and The Law that ManUre has had an unsurpassable marketing lead on every team in world sports (not just football).

    Tony and several commentators hereabouts have on occasion provided (or assumed) analyses of ManUre’s structural weaknesses, and portray a tottering empire; while we have only blue skies ahead starting 2014. How I wish this were so, and sooner. But what I’d really like someone to seriously address is which of these is real: (1) a strong ManUre because of its massive marketing prowess; or (2) a weak ManUre because of its/Glazers’ indebtedness, etc. Perhaps both have to be factored-in for all of us to gain a realistic analysis of what’s going on here. I don’t know, but I don’t think that our wishful thinking about ManUre’s fiscal feet of clay helps us move forward or how to think about ourselves by comparison. If those feet of play can be proven to be feet of clay, perhaps someone can send a fax to GM straight away. 🙂

  • bob

    Once the details become clear, it will be interesting to see whether there is any kind of GM shareholder revolt against this deal. Its magnitude is really mind-boggling. Perhaps everyone in the EPL will be forced by law to buy a ManUre kit to show their normalcy. Now there’s a marketing coup if there ever was one. 🙂

  • lew1234

    Bob

    We have 9 Secondary Sponsors:
    http://www.arsenal.com/the-club/sponsors-partners

    Man Utd have 2 5Secondary Sponsors (including DHL):
    http://www.manutd.com/EN/Club/Sponsors.aspx

    This why Gazidis’s comments in June at the AS/AISA meeting about “tremendous developments” in the commercial field annoyed me so much since last August we have signed 4 new sponsors, one renewal (Citroen) and a replacement (a new gambling partner), Utd have signed 10 new sponsors, one and two replacements (Shirt deal and gambling partner).

    We signed a beer sponsor, Utd have a beer sponsor, a wine sponsor and a spirits sponsor.
    We have a car sponsor, Utd have a car and a motorbike sponsor.

    After the multi million pounds worth of investment in Tom Fox and his team we aren’t even keeping pace with Utd (or Chelsea, Liverpool or even City for that matter). We completely fail to think big in our commercial strategy.

  • lew1234

    bob

    All those people saying Utd are on the brink of collapse are unfortunately dreaming. No doubt that the Glazers have damaged Utd (£500m gone out of the business since their takeover to pay for that very takeover) and will continue to damage them long into the future but with their new sponsorship deal with GM (their Nike deal is up for renewal in 2015 so that WILL go up from £25m to plus £40m easily) and the new TV deals for the PL and the CL they will easily have enough money (~£100m per year increase) to cover their interest payments on their bonds(~£45m) and buy them back.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony – excellent article, I heard rumours that the Man U deal was so bad, GM tried to play down the figures to stop wider backlash and criticism. It’s unclear how GM are going to get value for money from this deal. I understand the car company are trying to crack the Asian market, but I am not sure sponsorship of a football team, this football team is right. The sacking of the GM exec has dented slightly the bigger goal of the shirt sponsorship which was to underline the Glazer valuation of Man U. It was very telling that GM Rather than wholeheartedly endorsing the tie-up, simply said they planned to honour the agreement and sacked the man responsible for negotiating it!

    I recall a while a go there was an article on here questioning how much room for growth Man U still have in their commercial deals and whilst I disagreed that Man U were near a finite end as there are avenues to renew the cycle, the current model doesn’t have as much growth in it as the Glazer’s valuation suggests. They still have the same manager who no longer convincingly wins games without considerable debate, an unexciting style of play and key players in Giggs and Rooney whose off and on field antics have limited their wider commercial appeal. I have heard that Man U have big plans to turn Man U into a brand that trancends beyond the average football fan and would be considered alongside a brand like Marc Jacobs or Disney even, but in it’s present carnation this won’t work. As at the end of the day, you have to have an idea of the DNA of the brand and this has to be communicated in some way very easily to the consumer. For example when you think of Barca, you think of a fast passing game, or when you think of older versions of Brazilian football you think of thrilling and talented shownship. When you think of Arsenal you think of exciting, entertaining teamwork and of course youth. These are the building blocks of huge commercial opportunities.

    The mantra around Man U is forget the performance, look at the result, Man U know how to win trophies. Without silverware what are they? A team led by an ill tempered and prickly manager with football geriatrics and star player often seen abusing referee’s, opposition and down the camera lens? How marketable is this really? I will say that when I think of Man U I think of skullduggery, dishonesty and overpriviledged with a deep rooted sense of entitlement. I acknowlegde however this isn’t how the majority view and percieve Man U and they may very will have a large number of fans who would like to buy what I call’dead’ shares(no votes, no influence, no AGM, no dividend). Something that they can frame and put on their walls, but sadly won’t greatly appreciate in value.

  • Goona Gal

    First and foremost I would agree with those that think Arsenal FC have only touched the surface regarding the commercial revenue streams available to the club. However, I don’t think pursuing the Man U model in it’s entirety is the way forward. As in life, people are prepared to pay more for something that is limited, exclusive and rare, the same can be said in marketing. Arsenal need a few partners who are prepared to pay a high premium for the club brand association.

    It was an unintential(I think) masterstroke sending Big Mert, Podolski & Sagna to fulfil marketing commitments in Nigeria for Airtel & Malt Guiness who have more than recieved the right commercial exposure from the brief trip as the advert has been broadcast on many African national stations as well as watched by millions of curious people like me online who wanted to see in particular Per Mertesacker dance! Milan have recently announced that they will be moving away from having hundreds of sponsors to a few who they hope will finance a new stadium. Too many partners leaves the door too wide open to over exposure, devaluation and lack of image control.

  • lew1234

    Goona Gal

    Who are these magical sponsors that are going to pay a high premium to be associated with the Arsenal and not pay this premium to be associated with Utd? (A bigger much more successful name) Not everything thing Man Utd do is bad and everything Arsenal do is good. Man Utd’s model is a fantastic one e.g. with their mobile partners instead of an overarching mobile sponsor that could not give Utd’s brand the exposure they want in each market they have multiple partners with one in every getting maximum exposure in each market (and much more money then a single deal could generate). Utd generate huge amounts of money through their commercial model and if we want an ‘self sustaining’ model to work we need to match it.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234 – I will answer with the same degree of hubris I detect in your post towards me. I guess Arsenal will find their ‘magical’ sponsors in the same place mid table EPL team Sunderland found their £20m shirt sponsorship a few months ago, which now eclipses Real Madrid’s Bwin’s £16.8 shirt deal and AC Milan’s Emirates £10m deal. Both of whom have much larger fanbases and have greater media exposure Spain and Italy respectively. Just because you can’t personally imagine it, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

    My previous posts were quite lengthy and I’ve already stated why I think Man U is a brand on the cusp of losing it’s premium status on field if they fail to win anything and off field taking on too many partners. I also clearly stated that Arsenal can and do need to do more with regards to ramping up their commercial activities. Arsenal can learn a lot from Man U and I think they have been trailblazers in some respects. I just don’t think Arsenal should be trying to emulate their model entirely.

    I briefly mentioned telecoms yesterday, but was too tired to go into detail. Arsenal recently ended it’s association with 02 and graciously allowed the telecoms provider to put out the lead statement in ending the 10 yr partnership. The truth is taking regional sponsors (like Man U) is much more profitable for Arsenal now, but Arsenal had to wait until the O2 deal expired to change strategy. In Africa, where there is less access to landlines and broadband, mobile phones take on a bigger significance and are even more valuable. Tie that in with Arsenal’s dynamic brand and huge enduring fanbase then you can see where the value comes from being officially endorsed by the club. Arsenal have significant fan bases in South America and of course Asia where they can take replicate similar deals. Arsenal should’nt be trying to just emulate Man U, they should be planning to eclipse Man U.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    The name on the shirt is the biggest value proposition for a sponsor, stadium naming rights second (although this is amusing when UEFA decides to remove the name because they aren’t a EL/CL sponsor), anything else represents piss poor value for money. Other than Aon and Nike? (can’t remember who makes United’s kit) the only other sponsors I can think of are Concha-y-Toro (because of the humourously crap advert) and DHL, because we all wish that they actually shipped United’s players around the world, as they’d often go missing or turn up broken (this applies to all couriers not just DHL).

    The other point is that if United were in good shape on the field, their problems off it would be covered nicely by their sponsorship. City hoovered up all the top talent last season, Chelsea are doing it this season and so far Arsenal are picking over the bones of the market whilst United do nothing of real substance – Kagawa is a good player but he isn’t going to fix their reliance on Giggs, Scholes and Fletcher.

  • Goona Gal

    The thing is, after a while, if there is no correlating value to the price paid for the sponsorship, then the price of endorsement is questioned. Firms are in a lot of cases just paying for image rights, but the point I was trying to make previously is, what is Man U’s brand image? What do they stand for? If Chelsea & Man C divvy up the spoils again, where does that leave Man U? The key test is how Man U would fair without winning, would there fanbase dramatically shrink? The first indication of their less than sure footing was last season when they went out of the CL early. Now Arsenal fans turn out in huge numbers to the Emirates Cup which really is just a glorified, set of fun friendlies. The press didn’t bother to run the story, but Man U attendance figures were down by 1/3 last season in some competitions. Fans did’nt bother to attend competitive European games, granted it was the Europa League and the Carling Cup. But still, it points to areas of weakness and fallibility.

    We could also mention Man U’s acquistion of Nick Powell, which failed to set the Manc fans abuzz and so Sir red nose ended up using the Arsenal standard of endorsement. He mentioned in three different interviews that Arsenal had sent a scout to look at him and so he got on the phone to Crewe to quickly do a deal. As in if Arsenal are interested, then he must be good. Ol’ red nose also started briefing the press that he had brought RVP to try to placate the growing disquiet in the ranks. Like AW told a hack, Man U have until Aug 31st to show us the big bucks!

  • lew1234

    Goona Gal

    Sorry for any hubris detected, reading back I was rude in my response to you. I apologise for that and any offence caused.

    This £20m for Sunderland is interesting as the only place I have seen it is in a throw aside to an article in the Daily Mail my attempts to find other verification failed.
    As for how Utd would stand up off the field without success, this is all maybes and hypothetical’s. Arsenals support has stood up well without winning (or even competing some seasons) why wouldn’t Utd’s? As for loss of premium status they just signed a shirt deal that doubled the previous value and continued to sign other deals for high value(DHL). I guess what I’m getting at is that Utd are not the juddering wreck on the brink of collapse that people here make them out to be nor are Arsenal the bastion of bright hope and future.

    For example:

    Rumors [only rumors] swirled around from the Gulf in May/June that we wanted Emirates to renewal their deal at £30m per year. Emirates laughed it off with £15m (A little over what they pay AC Milan (£12m) and £8m less then Real Madrid (£23m) from 2013 [Rumored]) being their best offer.

    It will be harder to get what we think is our market value then some people think which is why we need to blaze a trail with secondary sponsors (The Airtel deal being a good start).

    Woolwich Peripatetic
    Utd make around £35m a season from their secondary sponsors (~75% of what we make in total from commercial deals) and the reason you may not know any other sponsors is because Utd have regionalized them to a great extend.

    Also all those (myself included) hoping for Utd’d IPO to fail:

    @tariqpanja on Twitter
    Bloomberg colleagues reporting Man Utd has received enough orders to sell all the shares in its IPO. Represents 10pc of club.
    Yet more evidence that Utd are nowhere as bad a position as people make out.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Woah there, that’s not how trading in stocks and shares work. Lots of traders might take options on United shares, that does not mean they are all sold already. If the share price hits $30 after flotation all those traders will cash in immediately. If it slumps to $10 they simply won’t buy, end of story.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234, apology accepted. Are you really saying that you went on the web and the place you found information on the Invest in Africa/Sunderland deal was the Dail Fail? Invest In Africa is really Tullow Oil in disguise. I am suprised that Google/Yahoo/MSN/ASK failed you!

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2177186/Premier-League-shirt-sponsor-deals-rise-147m.html

    And this one because of the staggering condesention or naivety of the Invest in Africa CEO, who thinks that because Sunderland wear shirts with the words Africa on it, Africans will automatically support them. African fans know who Sunderland are and where they sit in the pecking order of the league. It will take a bit more to be the no.1 club in Africa than that.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/sunderland/9355123/Sunderland-target-African-market-and-Premier-League-consolidation-with-new-shirt-sponsorship-deal.html

    And there is this one with the specific details

    http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2012/07/24/premier-league-shirt-deals-hit-147m-record-high-thanks-to-north-east-boom-240702/

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234 – Actually I disagree, Man U are in real trouble, hence the reason why they are perservering with the twice failed IPO. Whilst I am not sure how FFP rules will affect them, I do know that their current financing deal, a PIK Loan is due soon which needs to be paid or refinanced at a probably even higher rate now that the lending maket rate has become more risk adverse. I am sure there are Manc sites can provide greater detail, but the club really is in turmoil and will be worse off if the fail to win the league or get out the group stage of the CL. All that debt however is down to what the Glazers have loaded on to the club and not a reflection of how Man U is run as a business.

    I am not going to keep going round in circles with you, as I have already explained in my previous posts that Man U play ‘winning football’ not necessarily quality football. I have also discussed that Man U had a drop in game attendances last season of about a 1/3 for some of the games so the early signs are that support isn’t standing up well really. Without squad renewal, Man U are on the slide, which has only been slowed by the referee support they have enjoyed in the league. Failure to bring in new players or youth players that are able to make the step up will be a real problem for Man U. The serious inequality of wages in the dressing room could be a problem.

    I have some questions for you though,
    1. What year did Arsenal fail to compete?
    2. If Arsenal are not the ‘bright bastion of hope & future’ who are?
    3. Why will it be hard for Arsenal to get market value for our shirt sponsorship when it’s up for renewal?
    4. Why would you suggest that we focus on many secondary partners rather than key lucrative ones?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Woolwich- Your right. I am not sure if Lew1234 actually understands exactly how IPO’s work.

    @ Lew1234, you will have to provide me a link so I can read about Emirates offering Arsenal £15m for the next sponsorship shirt deal. As £50m would be the ball park figure Arsenal should be and will probably get.

    Also I wanted to go back to something you said about Man U being considered a preferential premium brand to you. Airtel were first before us and still are actually Man U’s commercial partner in East & South East Africa. However they recognise in the populus West African nations, Arsenal have a bigger fanbase. That to me is an illustration that Arsenal FC can go head to head with Man U commercially, take business away from them in future even.

  • Stuart

    Goona Gal
    If I may add to your second question to Lew1234:-

    2. If Arsenal are not the ‘bright bastion of hope & future’ who are and why?

  • lew1234

    Goona Gal
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2177011/Football-shirt-sponsorship-deals-rise-combined-total-147m.html

    This article that I read in the Daily Mail is the exact copy of the one on http://www.thisismoney.co.uk. I put absolutely no stock in the Daily Mail but if Nick Harris (Sporting Intel) says it I would give it credence. I knew about the Tullow link form reading the Telegraph article you linked at the time. I still have trouble believing Sunderland would get £20m though.

    I spoke a little about Utd’s strength/weakness above. I don’t think Utd are in great health but I don’t agree with this attempt to present them as on their knees just to salve Arsenal supporting egos.
    Manchester Utd’s holding group Red Football is paying back bonds (and was liable for the PIks) at an interest rate of £45m per year a figure cover by the new GM deal, with their Nike deal for renewal soon and the new PL and CL TV money they are more then covered. The Glazers had personal PIK loans not linked to red Football but @andersred (http://andersred.blogspot.co.uk/ – a fantastic resource, a financial expert and Man Utd fan who hates the Glazers) believes the PIKs are gone and have been replaced with something else that is line to be paid back soon and this is where the IPO urgency comes from and if it succeeds the something else is gone (supposition of course).

    “a 1/3 for some of the games so the early signs are that support isn’t standing up well really”
    Man Utd had an average attendance of 75,387 in the Premier League (near capacity) last season. Crowds were down for the Europa League but they would be at Arsenal as well.

    “Play ‘winning football’ not necessarily quality football”
    Very debatable as I would say Utd play excellent attacking football (different to Arsenal but still quality with lots of wing play) a lot of the time but when the need arises they aren’t afraid to choke a game to death to get a result.

    “Referee support they have enjoyed in the league”
    Not going to get into this one on this site (for obvious reasons) but let’s just say it’s up there with Roswell for me.

    “Failure to bring in new players or youth players that are able to make the step up will be a real problem for Man U. “
    Why will the young players that Utd have fail to make the step up while Arsenal’s youth is lauded?
    Utd have brought 2 (good) players this season are strongly linked to 2 more they may not be able to spend City money but then only Chelsea can.

    “Airtel were first before us and still are actually Man U’s commercial partner in East & South East Africa. However they recognise in the populus West African nations…… that to me is an illustration that Arsenal FC can go head to head with Man U commercially, take business away from them in future even. “
    Again this seems to be a case of Arsenal good; Utd bad for little reason other the fact that you are an Arsenal. Arsenal linking with Airtel in Nigeria is good but cannot be traced back to Airtel wanting us and not Utd with any certainty. Utd have had a telecoms partner in Nigeria since 2009 (recently renewed at £1m a year) before they had any relationship with Airtel.

    Arsenal deal with Airtel (June 2012) secures rights in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
    Man Utds deal with Airtel (December 2010) secures rights in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Congo Brazzaville.

    Man Utds deal with Globacom (November 2009) secures rights in Nigeria, Ghana, Republic of Benin

    Man Utds deal with MTN (March 2010) deal with South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Swaziland and Botswana.

    “As £50m would be the ball park figure Arsenal should be and will probably get.”
    I would love to have your optimism but I fear you are looking through Arsenal tinted glasses I think with the new Utd deal as leverage we may squeeze £35mish (before I would have £17-20m). Will be an interesting time though as I believe Liverpools’s deal is up for renewal at the same time .
    1. What year did Arsenal fail to compete?
    I should have stated that I consider competing for the title to be competing in which case “2008/2009 and last season.
    2. If Arsenal are not the ‘bright bastion of hope & future’ who are?
    Does there have to be one? All of the major clubs have strengths and weakness that depending on management/directorial decisions could lead to winning/disaster
    3. Why will it be hard for Arsenal to get market value for our shirt sponsorship when it’s up for renewal?
    We will get a big rise but we won’t get what the top of the line teams get (IMO) as we haven’t won a major trophy in 8 seasons, have a reputation as “bottlers” to use a distasteful term and we go through a saga every summer of losing our best player all of these add up and make a sponsor think but lucky we have benefits that will help overcome these in the short term.
    4. Why would you suggest that we focus on many secondary partners rather than key lucrative ones?
    At the moment we have two years left until the major deals are finished (so two years to get the extra money renewal will bring) and there is nothing we can about this so why not focus on deals that can bring in money now?

    The Emirates Rumors were based on tweets :
    https://twitter.com/ahmed91gooner/status/206397886517362688

    Can I say even though we really disagree I am really enjoying debating this with you. Nice to have an intelligent debate but I think we have reached the point of the argument where we are probably repeating ourselves only the future will prove which (if any!) of us is right. I also apologize that I jumped the gun on the IPO at least there we will know on Friday

    A bit of info on Utd’s commercial income (pre-GM DEAL)for your info.
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6622840/MUFC%20IPO%20roadshow%20presentation.pdf

  • lew1234

    Oh and I apologise for the thesis above. I just wanted to make sure that I answered each point.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Lew1234,
    Don’t apologise for detailed posts, most people just post their opinion (which makes them seem stupid but they don’t realise) with nothing to back it up. Now we can see why you have your opinion on United.
    Just to add something new, the reason the rest of us think that United are desperate is because they are acting that way. Their IPO is a joke, most of the financial press seems to regard it as the Glazers waving a begging tin at the NYSE. The shares offer no dividend nor control over the business. If the intention was to give the club a market valuation it’s liable to burn them horribly – 10% of the club with full voting and dividend rights is worth a lot more than 10% of the club with none of the above.

  • lew1234

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6622840/ManchesterUnitedIPO.pdf

    Got some more interesting info on the IPO here from Morningstar (the financial research firm) via @andersred. They are judging that the share value will be around $10 so all of you could be right about it crashing. This report has also included very interesting income projections at the end (£474m pounds of Revenue by 2017 with £211m of this being commercial income). Well worth all of your perusals. Would love to see something similar for Arsenal.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    It’s just crazy. They are trying to value 10% of the club at >$200 million by offering worthless shares. Why on earth they aren’t offering 10% of the club as ordinary (full rights) shares is a mystery UNLESS it would allow someone who owned all 10% to ask them lots of difficult questions they have no intention of answering.
    If the market tells them where to shove their IPO (initial signs are that this will be the case) it will value the club at ~$1 billion, which is really bad for the Glazers. Yes they will have raised $100 million but they will have crashed the valuation of the club which will make raising further capital from lenders even more difficult for them.

    As an aside, Standard Chartered looks like they are in deep trouble, which is going to make Liverpool’s commercial operations director deeply uncomfortable.
    “Liverpool Reds, aren’t they the guys with the Iranian money launderers? No thanks buddy.”

  • lew1234

    Woolwich Peripatetic

    We will know all by Friday morning about the IPO. Should make for an interesting time.

    I saw the Standard Chartered news after I made my post last night. I wonder if Liverpool are secretly delighted as it may give them a chance to ditch Standard Chartered (I’m sure their must be something like a reputation clause in the sponsorship agreement for both sides) and try and negotiate a deal with much higher terms like Utd’s GM one (and be free of the company that made them apologise in the Suarez nonsense).

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234 – I will try to respond to all your points, but I may have to break it up.

    As I have said before, with regards to Sunderland’s shirt sponsorship, just because you personally can’t get your head round it, does’nt mean it’s not possible.

    You said:-
    ‘I spoke a little about Utd’s strength/weakness above. I don’t think Utd are in great health but I don’t agree with this attempt to present them as on their knees just to salve Arsenal supporting egos’.

    I stated the reasons why I believe Man U are in trouble and my love for the Arsenal is not directly linked to the demise of Man U. If you choose not to believe that Man U have financial problems for what ever reason, this is also up to you. If choose to believe that when Man U’s shirt maker deal is up for renewal that they will get great market value but Arsenal on the other hand will not, then this is also up to you. I must of missed what you think Man U’s weaknesses are. Can you please reiterate them for me?

  • Goona Gal

    I previously said:- “a 1/3 for some of the games so the early signs are that support isn’t standing up well really”

    You said:- ‘Man Utd had an average attendance of 75,387 in the Premier League (near capacity) last season. Crowds were down for the Europa League but they would be at Arsenal as well’.

    First of all I clearly stated that I referred to the Europa league & Carling cup competitions, where attendances were down by a third, not the Premier League. I also highlighted that Arsenal fans regularly attend friendly matches such as the Emirates Cup in large numbers, let alone actual competitive matches like the Europa or league cup. So whilst you choose to believe that Arsenal would do just as badly as Man U, there is nothing vaguely evident to support your belief. Fulham for example had record attendances when they were in the Europa league, whose to say Arsenal fans would’nt be more like Fulham fans, than Man U fans? Arsenal (CC) league cup matche attendances are near capacity, even though fans know it’s likely to be a squad full of reserves. Not to lose focus of the point behind the point I was making though, total matchday income for Man U was down affecting their finances.

  • Goona Gal

    I believe and said that Man U “Play ‘winning football’ not necessarily quality football’.

    You said:- ‘Very debatable as I would say Utd play excellent attacking football (different to Arsenal but still quality with lots of wing play) a lot of the time but when the need arises they aren’t afraid to choke a game to death to get a result’.

    I hope you realise that attacking football, identifiable principles if you like. Here are some listed below:-

    1 – Create Space as a team – width and depth
    2 – Create space as individuals for themselves and other players.
    3 – Quick effective penetration, play forward – if possible
    4 – Patience – retain possession if penetration isn’t possible.
    5 – Changing play – change the point of the attack
    6 – Create attacking overloads to exploit – 2 v 1, 3 v 2
    7 – Individual skill and clever, quick combination play
    8 – Defensive balance when attacking
    9 – Final outcome – shot or attempt on goal

    Are you really saying that Man U play like that? The Manc fans I know even agree that theey don’t. Of course you can choose to prefer and enjoy Man U’s football over Arsenal’s irrespective of the style of play.

    I said regarding the reason Man U are not doing worse, it was due to:- ‘Referee support they have enjoyed in the league’.

    You said:- ‘Not going to get into this one on this site (for obvious reasons) but let’s just say it’s up there with Roswell for me’.

    – Again, you can choose not to believe the body of evidence and observations compiled by Walter, Dogface and the rest of the ref review team and place their findings alongside people who say they have seen UFO’s, that is your prerogative.

  • Goona Gal

    In relation to areas of possible problems I forsaw for Man U on the horizon relating to their financial issues manifesting into football problems I said:-
    ‘Failure to bring in new players or youth players that are able to make the step up will be a real problem for Man U’.

    You said;-
    ‘Why will the young players that Utd have fail to make the step up while Arsenal’s youth is lauded?
    Utd have brought 2 (good) players this season are strongly linked to 2 more they may not be able to spend City money but then only Chelsea can’.

    My point being, if Man U can no longer afford to go out and buy top players, they will have to develop them. I could answer your question why I think Arsenal are lauded for their youth players, but I would rather ask you if don’t think Arsenal should be lauded for their youth development?

  • Goona Gal

    I said:- ‘As £50m would be the ball park figure Arsenal should be and will probably get’.

    Now you could of simply asked ‘why do I say that?’, instead, you said:-
    ‘I would love to have your optimism but I fear you are looking through Arsenal tinted glasses I think with the new Utd deal as leverage we may squeeze £35mish (before I would have £17-20m). Will be an interesting time though as I believe Liverpools’s deal is up for renewal at the same time’.

    Do you think I am a simpleton? Do you really think I am incapable of thinking clearly and unable to make a well reasoned point because I support Arsenal? In life there some that are leaders and there are some that are followers, some that can only view things as they are and not as how they could and should be. In the first instance I would say, Arsenal FC are innovative and I would expect no less from their business negotiations. Secondly, my rough valuation is based on a number of things such as

    1. Champion’s League – Arsenal’s 15 yr record of playing in Europe’s most elite competition.

    2. The EPL – The increasing global reach of the Premier League and also the number of times AFC is shown live or nearly live.

    3. Arsenal are considered one of the most influencial brands in the world.

    4. Arsenal have a huge worldwide fanbase.

    5. Arsenal FC are culturally inclusive and have many international players.

    6. Arsenal have a successful youth development policy and there much interest in the youth players and youth competions.

    7. Arsenal have a successful ladies team.

    8. Digital media – Arsenal FC have a large internet presence.

    9. History and philosophy – The club has class and guiding tustworthy principals. This by extention lends an air of authenticity to others.

    10. Merchandise – aside from shirts, for example the ‘Fly Emirates’ is on a lot of stuff like calenders, mugs, cushions etc. The sponsor recieves a lot of what can be termed as ‘residual marketing’.

    So to me £50m+ asking price isn’t that ridiculous, even if you just consider the main facets – Men’s team + training gear + youth squad + training gear+ ladies team. I would expect the club to try and push hard for a number close anyway.

    Though, as with the running theme…you can choose to ignore all that above…

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234- and finally…..My resposes to your responses…

    Q1. What year did Arsenal fail to compete?
    You said:-
    ‘I should have stated that I consider competing for the title to be competing in which case “2008/2009 and last season’.
    In response, I would agree that last season we were’nt challenging for the title, but not 08 -09. Of course you can choose to disagree with me.

    Q2. I asked the question in response to this comment by you;-
    ‘I guess what I’m getting at is that Utd are not the juddering wreck on the brink of collapse that people here make them out to be nor are Arsenal the bastion of bright hope and future’.

    So okay, you clearly don’t think Arsenal are on the vanguard. Rather than answering who you think are, you say this:-
    ‘Does there have to be one? All of the major clubs have strengths and weakness that depending on management/directorial decisions could lead to winning/disaster’.

    What??? As in what is/was your put down about AFC in the first place? Were you just trying to say something negative? Many clubs are emulating Arsenal’s self sustaining model and youth development policy. The British government and even UEFA have cited us as examples of good governance. Was it just a spur of the moment put down?

    Q3. Why will it be hard for Arsenal to get market value for our shirt sponsorship when it’s up for renewal?

    In response to Q3. you said: –
    ‘We will get a big rise but we won’t get what the top of the line teams get (IMO) as we haven’t won a major trophy in 8 seasons, have a reputation as “bottlers” to use a distasteful term and we go through a saga every summer of losing our best player all of these add up and make a sponsor think but lucky we have benefits that will help overcome these in the short term.’

    See I thought Arsenal were ‘a top of the line team’ and have been so for more than a decade. It sounds like your saying Arsenal can’t be considered a top team because we have’nt won a trophy recently. Birmingham & Portsmouth have won silverware more recently than us, are they included in your ‘top of the line’ team definition? See my earlier post for details why I think Arsenal have every right to expect big bucks for endorsement.

    Q4. Why would you suggest that we focus on many secondary partners rather than key lucrative ones?

    In response to Q4. you said:-
    ‘At the moment we have two years left until the major deals are finished (so two years to get the extra money renewal will bring) and there is nothing we can about this so why not focus on deals that can bring in money now?’

    Nope, not having this response, as you well know this was never the basis of our initial disagreement. There is nothing unreasonable with this point at all and I don’t disagree with taking on short term stop gap sponsors until our current long term deals expire. I would like to remind you, since you have lost focus of our differing perspectives, you were advocating Arsenal follow whole hardly the Manc model and I disagreed with this, arguing that in the long term Arsenal should be looking for a few strategic partners and I explained why. You seemed bent on saying how rubbish Arsenal are with poor future prospects.

    As for the random twitter link to some guy you provided regarding the supposed low renewal offer made by Emirates,I laughed. Quite a bit. It’s funny that you think this a respectable source of information but find the ref reviews and the links I provide about the Sunderland deal questionable. Of course that is yourrrrr choiccceeeee!!!!!!

    In truth I think I have managed to bore myself over the course of this conversation, though I am glad you got something out of it.

  • lew1234

    Goona Gal

    Taking your lead I am going to divide up my response in a few post as they are more manageable then my thesis above.
    I think we should probably agree to disagree after this as we obviously aren’t going to convince each other of our respective positions (bar one question on Arsenal innovation which I would love you to answer)

    “If you choose not to believe that Man U have financial problems for whatever reason, this is also up to you.”

    Where have I stated that I don’t think they have financial problems? I simply believe that you are overstating the seriousness of them and “for whatever reason, this is also up to you.”

    “I must of missed what you think Man U’s weaknesses are. Can you please reiterate them for me?”

    I will state what I think some of their weaknesses are for you: £500m gone out of the business since their takeover to pay for that very takeover; while I believe that their interest is easily covered by the new GM deal and there new Nike deal will be huge, it is still £45m per year gone from the business and every penny is needed to match City and Chelsea; they have maximized their ticket prices (as have Arsenal) so they have no more room for price rises there; while having a truly great manager (hurts to speak well of him but it is the truth) in Sir Alex Ferguson he is 72 and can only realistically go on two years (?) more (Although I have visions of him there in 2050 as a floating head in a jar still chewing gum!), fan upset caused by the above money leaving the business 9e.g the green and gold protests) potentially damaging sponsor relations. All of the above are just a few examples of weakness or potential weakness there are many more.

  • lew1234

    “First of all I clearly stated that I referred to the Europa league & Carling cup competitions, where attendances were down by a third, not the Premier League”

    So over a sample of three games you have decided that this is beginning of the end for Man Utd.

    The true attendances are below:
    Crystal Palace – 52,624 (68% attendance- Man Utd unlike Arsenal do not have “cheap” £10/£20 tickets for the Carling Cup)
    Ajax- 67,328 (88% attendance)
    Athletic Bilbao- 59,265 (78% attendance)

    As a matter of interest for Champions League games at Old Trafford:
    Basel- 73,115 (96% attendance)
    Oțelul Galați- 74,847 (97% attendance)
    Benfica- 74,873 (97% attendance)

    While as stated above they had average attendances of 75,387 in the Premier League

    Also Man Utd played one pre-season friendly at Old Trafford last summer
    New York Cosmos- 74,731 (97% attendance)

    As you see in the CL games attendances held up but for the ‘lesser’ competitions they went down as they do at all big clubs (Comparing Fulham to Arsenal is disingenuous, of course they had high attendances Fulham in the Quarter or Semi-final of a European competition probably won’t be seen again in my lifetime). Reduced attendances for three games is hardly the end of Empire stuff.

  • lew1234

    “I hope you realise that attacking football, identifiable principles if you like. Here are…..Arsenal’s irrespective of the style of play.”
    I have never said that I preferred Utd style of play over Arsenals but that I thought that at times Man Utd played excellent attacking football. Thank you for your highly condescending list of what makes up ‘good football’ but there is nothing on that list that Man Utd don’t do a lot of the time and if you can’t see that I’d suggest you might want to watch more Utd matches.

    “My point being, if Man U can no longer afford to go out and buy top players, they will have to develop them. I could answer your question why I think Arsenal are lauded for their youth players, but I would rather ask you if don’t think Arsenal should be lauded for their youth development?”
    Even in these Glazer constricted times Man Utd have still gone out and bought very good players (more the £20m per season spent since 07/08) or players that have the talent to be very good. I can see your use of circular logic to avoid answering my question why will young players fail at Utd? To answer your question I think Arsenal have a very good youth development policy as I think Utd have a good one too. Maybe not as good as ours but not far behind (Welbeck, Cleverley, Rafael, Evans are all decent players).

  • lew1234

    “Do you think I am a simpleton? Do you really think I am incapable of thinking clearly and unable to make a well reasoned point because I support Arsenal? In life there some that are leaders and there are some that are followers, some that can only view things as they are and not as how they could and should be.”

    No I don’t think you are a simpleton but to use your own words in life there are people who are dreamers and fail to take into account anything that will dent their optimism while playing up the things that that suit it. While there are other people are realists that are able to take into account things that the dreamers are not.

    As for you points:
    “In the first instance I would say, Arsenal FC are innovative and I would expect no less from their business negotiations.”

    Arsenal innovative? Outside of the Emirates build and the associated financing (a farsighted move that the board should get more respect for) nothing much strikes me as innovative about our off the field activates. Man Utd lead the way in commercial partnerships (who we are copying the Airtel deal), this new CRM marketing database the club were trumpeting a while ago (a worthy effort that will help especially with secondary deals) guess who was the first football club in England to have one? Oh alright Man Utd. Building new retail shops Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd have all done similar over the past few years. I am not knocking any of this and of course you should copy what your rivals do well in order to make yourself better. Could you list what you think Arsenal are innovative at so I could get an idea of what you mean?

    1. Champion’s League – Arsenal’s 15 yr record of playing in Europe’s most elite competition.
    Unfortunately will be forgotten about we don’t qualify for a year or two. The world is very much what can you do for me now place .

    2. The EPL – The increasing global reach of the Premier League and also the number of times AFC is shown live or nearly live.
    An excellent point but also true of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and now Spurs

    3. Arsenal are considered one of the most influential brands in the world.
    In football also true with Man Utd, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich

    4. Arsenal have a huge worldwide fan base.
    Very true but if Arsenal’s barren run continues and we lose our best players every summer will that stay this way

    5. Arsenal FC are culturally inclusive and have many international players.
    Most English PL clubs are (except Stoke maybe)

    6. Arsenal have a successful youth development policy and there much interest in the youth players and youth competitions.
    Very true but in my experience it is the more hardcore fans of the particular teams that have great interest in this.
    7. Arsenal have a successful ladies team.
    Unfortunately that amounts to very little in sponsorship terms as Ladies club football has little interest attached to it domestically and none internationally

    8. Digital media – Arsenal FC have a large internet presence.
    As do a lot other clubs. Man Utd, Barca, and Real have 3 times the amount of face book fans Arsenal do. With Liverpool and Chelsea having nearly the same amount we do (http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2012/02/06/barcelona-real-madrid-and-manchester-united-untouchable-in-cyberspace-060202/)

    9. History and philosophy – The club has class and guiding tustworthy principals. This by extention lends an air of authenticity to others.
    This is true.

    10. Merchandise – aside from shirts, for example the ‘Fly Emirates’ is on a lot of stuff like calenders, mugs, cushions etc. The sponsor recieves a lot of what can be termed as ‘residual marketing’.
    As they are on Man Utd, Liverpool, etc merchandise.

    All of these have some merit but do they overcome the lack of tangible success (i.e. trophies)? Do companies want to pay huge fees to be linked to a club whose SOP is losing its best players every summer and “bottling” great postions?

    “So to me £50m+ asking price isn’t that ridiculous, even if you just consider the main facets – Men’s team + training gear + youth squad + training gear+ ladies team. I would expect the club to try and push hard for a number close anyway.”

    Manchester Utd the biggest team in the World (debatable I know Real and Barca have good claims) a team that since our last trophy has won the PL 4 times, the League Cup 3 times, the CL once and the world club cup once who have just concluded the largest shirt sponsorship deal in history at £45m per year (that nearly doubled the previous highest total) that as people here have stated is dodgy due to the massive amount of money they are getting and has leada to the man who sealed the deal being fired. But Arsenal are going to more then them?

  • RobL

    Goona Gal, Lew1234 – please kiss and make up, my eyes can’t take any more of this on a smart phone!!!!!!!1

  • lew1234

    RobL

    Don’t worry I’m done!

  • Thank fuck for that.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Lew1234 – I could take apart just about every point you made – but it’s too boring and time consuming. Good try though.

    @ RobL – not my style mate.

    @ Dogface – What, haven’t enjoyed the stimulating discussion.

  • bob

    Lew1234, Goona Gal,
    This might be a minority view, but I read and learned a lot from your interchanges. To me that matters most. Kudos.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Bob, that nice to know. For the most part I can’t be bothered to have argument’s for arguments sake.

    For a club like Man U to confidently state over and over that 10% of the worlds population are Man U fans but can’t fill their stadium is funny. Lew1234, however would prefer not to consider this point, but focus on the games that were well attended, rather than the main point which was the drop in finances.

    Or for example when I gave a combined list of reasons for £50m sponsorship which would offer value for money Lew1234 missed the point. Unless Arsenal are directly chasing the same sponsor as Man U, Real Madrid, comments like this which I suppose is meant to be a rebuttal, are in fact spurious:-

    I said: Arsenal are considered one of the most influential brands in the world.
    Lew1234: In football also true with Man Utd, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich

    Or this: –
    10. Merchandise – aside from shirts, for example the ‘Fly Emirates’ is on a lot of stuff like calenders, mugs, cushions etc. The sponsor recieves a lot of what can be termed as ‘residual marketing’.
    Lew1234: -As they are on Man Utd, Liverpool, etc merchandise

    Does the fact that Man U, Liverpool etc also have there own branded goods directly affect Arsenal’s sponsorship negotiation?

    I could go on, but for Dogface’s sake I won’t.

  • bob

    MANURE – WATCH: TWO GREAT EXPECTATIONS:
    (1) Heed the voice of entitlement, the tantrum of the Rednose XX who is not getting his toy (RVP), the demand of Don Fergus:
    “We’re not getting any breakthrough with Arsenal. It’s difficult to say why they’re operating this way. I don’t know what their thoughts are because they’re not giving anything away.
    “[On the apparent medical happening this evening]I can’t give you any more information
    We just have to persevere. We are trying our best and hopefully it will come our way but there’s no progress at this moment in time.”

    (2) Here’s their other Great Expectation (from The Guardian):
    “It is understood that demand for the shares has been particularly high among US investors, who have bought a sales pitch that they are investing into a “luxury brand” and who appear unaffected by the dissenting voices who argue the offer overvalues the club. The investor roadshow, which saw United’s team of 13 investment banks meeting their clients to sell them the shares, has also touched down in Asia as well as Europe, a leg of the trip that involved the bankers visiting investors in London this week.
    “Apart from raising money for the Glazers and to pay down the club’s debt, a flotation will achieve the further aim of giving the club a financial valuation which the Glazers will need if they are to cash in their investment by selling the club. It is understood that previous discussions with potential buyers have been scuppered by the gulf between the prospective purchasers’ valuations and the one put on the club by the Glazers. A stock market flotation would end these debates.”

  • iniez

    bob,
    Was just looking at that article about vp. Maybe my memory is foggy but I don’t recall ferguson coming out to the public so often about his transfer dealings, this is already the second time he talks about vp, and both times asking “why arsenal are acting this way”. I see two scenarios that could be the cause for his most recent outburst

    First, petulance. He’s not used to not having his way and is acting out as a result, maybe even trying to save some face with the manure supporters by saying “look I’m trying”. He has also gone and questioned psg’s spending and complained about losing moura to them,

    “I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45m for a 19-year-old boy”
    “To make a mark on everyone – to tell everyone that PSG are here – they’ve signed Thiago Silva from Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”
    “They must have spent about £150m in the last month. As you know, the only deterrent to that is Uefa.
    “In the conditions of European football, you don’t qualify for Europe by winning the league or coming second – you only get in by invitation.
    “That’s where, hopefully, Uefa can have some power. When somebody’s paying £45m for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”

    Now I’m used to le boss coming out and criticizing big spending but he usually has a well reasoned arguement. Ferguson just looks like he’s getting defensive and going on a rant. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to him, but it seems to me like he hasn’t quite been himself

    Second (and I pray this isn’t the case but I must play devils advocate), he’s confident of bagging vp and is up to his usual mind games and has maybe even agreed terms with him and is signalling that something is close but arsenal are being stubborn about a transfer fee

    Overall though I think his comments have been all to do with his image, both to the manure supporters and the public. He’s looked weak recently and he’s not used to it. Losing the title to city, losing out on players like hazard, moura, and another one or two I believe, having to back the glazers (which the fans didn’t like), and now the whole robin saga which he got himself into with his earlier “bid”. So either he’s genuinely interested in robin, or maybe he’s just trying to save some face and pick on us a little and steal one of our players to deflect attention off him. Let everyone laugh at arsenal a bit, and show he’s still top dog

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Iniez,
    My thoughts are quite similar, what’s not being said is:
    Arsenal have spent more than twice what United have on players in this window, Arsenal are running a quiet ‘fuck you’ campaign (if you check the official Arsenal twitter feed you will see that RvP is either prominent or at least present in every single photo from the Germany camp and he looks happy enough) on the internet, Manchester City have withdrawn from the so-called ‘race for RvP’, Juventus aren’t doing anything much either.
    Essentially the clubs are at cold war. Arsenal just put IRBMs into Turkey and are daring the red devils to ship some missiles to Cuba. All United have to do is scrape together £25 million in fees and 200k/week in wages and they can have him. If they fail to sign him it sends a massive signal to the United fan base (and possibly players) – United can’t even match Arsenal in the transfer market, let alone City or Chelsea.
    SAF is trying to shift the blame for United’s transfer weakness away from the Glazers and onto Arsenal but we’ve been here before with Sneijder and Inter Milan.

  • Goona Gal

    It’s like witnessing a crumbling empire. The press used to hang on to Sir Red Nose’s every word and now it’s a bit *meh*. He’s carries out his transfer negotiations in such a public way and so is getting publicly snubbed by players like Moura and young players like Pogba are defying him, reducing his aura of menace. Arsenal do not owe Man U anything and I find Fergie’s new comments to the press about Arsenal funny. If Man U really cannot find the money I suggest the following options. We sell to Man U in January for £15m or RVP takes a large pay cut to help the move.It’s trophies he wants not money apparently anyway.

    From a Man U point of view, I think the Glazers have to step in and back Fergie by releasing the money to fund the RVP purchase to save face. Fergie has backed them and now they have to back him, even if it hurts. I would be smiling all the way to the bank if we took £25m off Man U, especially if they win nothing. RVP’s stock has dramtically fallen within the club and he has no doubt had to do the akward walk of shame back to Arsenal. He made it known that he didn’t think most of the players at the club were good enough to play along side him and despite Dein Sr’s plea for a quick sale, RVP has been forced to face them. I am sure he is also been made aware that a number of fans are not happy about the disrespect and disloyalty shown by him, so he must dreading our first home match also. I can’t vouch for others, but as long as he still is an Arsenal player and works hard on the pitch, I will give him a pass until the day after he isn’t. At the same time the RVP circus has moved from the main event to a sideshow. In all of this though Arsenal have not come off weak and insipid.

  • iniez

    And it continues
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/robin-van-persie-transfer-manchester-1241627

    Honestly, out of city, juve, and united, the potential move to united has just been everywhere since the beginning. They really have never let it die or go unnoticed. Even when ferguson made his first paltry bid the media would not relent. Instead it became a game of he just needs to up the cash a bit, or just let vp make his dream move regardless of the cost, “just let him go”. Now things seem to really be ramping up which leads me to believe that either ferguson is getting desperate, or (and I PRAY this isn’t the case) he’s getting close. Either way, that picture is bloody infuriating

  • bob

    iniez,
    I’m really glad you’ve stayed on the case. If we don’t have this discussion/debate now, in real time, when this decision is on the cusp of being made, then we will only tsk-tsk or rant when it’s already too late to matter.

    To me fans should say a unified and unqualified NO to any sale of RVP to Manure. No sale whatsoever. To sell our captain up in the table to either Manchester side – to our worse and worser enemies – is so callous and contemptuous of what Arsenal has been about as a side as to be traitorous. Indeed, our identity as fans should not be to take on the position of being loyal accountants that spend emotions and brainpower to maximize the short-term profit of any faction, either on or outside the Board.

    Whatever (affordable!) short term loss (if any) later-on will be surely be compensated for by RVP’s contribution to our advancing within the CL, and securing, at minimum, our automatic place in the CL (if not trophies in at least one or two competitions). He’s a pro who will HAVE to be a positive contributor – if only in his own self-interest – as he will have to maintain form to maintain market-value for next summer (- IF he chooses to leave), as a man then going into his 31st year. That is, he will contribute to our earning another 35M at least in next year’s CL and thereby (whether he signs or not) will have earned his keep.

    Selling him now – and to our arch rivals – will be extreme short-termism, only to enhance one or more Board members bottom line. We should also set a clear precedent by finally stopping the Lesser Dein in his tracks; and thereby serve a clear warning to Alex Song, should his fantasy life be (further)stoked by the Judas-agent that whispers a snake’s predations in his willing (?) ears. For Alex to force a departure with TWO years remaining on his contract will also brand him untrustworthy to any side that brings him on. Keeping him on side is our right and our duty and we will benefit from his upside and continued growth, which are substantial. If he were to intentionally sabotage our side or play beneath his capabilities, this too can send out warnings that can seriously depress his next “greener pasture” payday, no matter what Dein tells him.

    What these pampered athletes do to one side they will clearly do to any other side – becoming completely narcissistic, insecure-grandiose and agent-prone/driven. And they also screw the non-elite athletes who must perforce earn far less so that these gods can earn more per week than many people can earn in years of real work. Anyway, I hope readers will comment and advocate one way or the other and not play it so safe by waiting for the club to act and then just fall in line.

  • bob

    It appears, from Reuters account, that Manure’s IPO is only going to be fetching them the low end of what they’d hope for. It will still bring in a lot of money, but considerably less than they (Glazers) wanted. Presumably this will put a further crimp in Rednose’s reach and perhaps be another factor in restraining their bid for RVP. For reasons I mention above, I would like RVP to stay (even as I have lost personal respect for him); so I hope this is all true and it hinders their ability to shag him.

    In any case, please read the very understandable analysis for yourselves and do consider weighing in:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/feedarticle/10383623

  • iniez

    bob,
    Excellent points. I completely agree that we should, firstly, not be in any rush to sell robin and, secondly, should under no circumstances sell to united. To seem him don the colours of the Don would cause so much damage to all the good that’s come from this transfer window. What was suddenly a dream summer will turn into a disaster. We have absolutely nothing to lose by keeping him. As you say, it’s robin that has everything to lose if he stays and under performs. PLUS who’s to say anyone will even want him come next season. Even if he has another stellar season (which would be great for us) who says he’ll get big money, or even a move to a big club. I agree that the board is our only threat (short of robin forcing a way to manure and arsene conceding), and if arsene would have it his way he would keep him. 20 million? Frankly, fuck 20 million. Keeping our captain, our best player, standing firm on our principles, and faxing a big fuck you to united is well worth the 20 million lost if he leaves for free. If robin is forced to say (considering he doesn’t decide himself to stay) he MUST play well. Having fit van persie giving his best to impress potential suitors will be immense for our team and we will potentially see one of our best seasons in quite some time, and we could hopefully see some silverware. If arsene gets his way, I will be ecstatic

  • iniez

    bob,
    I remember reading that the glazers were hoping to pocket 50% of profits from their flotation and while this is an old article, and things may be different now, I feel it is significant
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/368555/20120731/manchester-united-ipo-glazers-debts-finances-revenue.htm

    Either the glazers are being greedy or maybe they aren’t relying on it quite as heavily considering how much they got with the chevy deal? I’m not very finance savvy to be honest but to float a chunk of the club on the stock market and pocket 50% is a bold move. Maybe they see it as a commission for their years of good service

  • bob

    iniez,
    Maybe this is one reason that Don Fergus is snorting about his inability to land RVP this week: getting RVP would mean having the top two scorers from last seasons EPL to spearhead your attack. This, in turn, would have given a needed boost and a bounce to their stock flotation today (Friday)! Says the NY Times: “The bigger test will come on Friday when the shares start trading. Investors will then decide whether they want to own a company whose fortunes are largely dependent on the performance of players like forward Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper David de Gea. Last season, the team failed to win a title, potentially costing the company millions of dollars in broadcasting revenue.”

  • Goona Gal

    I agree, I really do not want to business with Man U and to quote Fergie himself, ‘the only thing I would like to sell Man U is a virus’. I have’nt really changed my position on this at all. Despite some assertions that we have to sell immeadiately, we are not in a desperate position here. To sell RVP this season and make it worth our while, we need at least £25m, though £30-£35m would be more like it as we would have to mitigate the cost finding a replacement at his level, experience, wages and associated fees as well as strenghtening our rival.

    I would prefer to keep RVP for one more year and playing him alongside the two new strikers. If RVP starts acting the fool and goes on strike, well in the very least we haven’t strenghthened our rival and he can rust away in the reserves. In a years time we will have a more acclimatised Giroud & Podolski as well as Wellington (remember him?), Campbell & Afobe to help strengthen the attack.

    As an aside, say for example someone was selling a second hand car, they might just paint over the rust and keep the engine ticking over to make it seem like the car was in top condition. Using that line of thinking, AFC might want to lay off showing pics of a greyed out RVP with visible leg supports, as they sort of perpetuate the notion that RVP is a old injury prone player – maybe airbrushing and no lower leg shots for the time being might be in order….

  • Goona Gal

    Also, from the reported $22 per share to $14 for Man U is still quite a big drop if you ask me. Yes they are still the most valuable football team in the world at £1.5bn, but Arsenal are not too far behind as it turns out at £1.1bn. Despite the determined attempts of some ‘supporters’ to denigrate the club, whist lauding Man U, we are not doing too badly at all.

  • iniez

    bob, Goona Gal
    I think you may be right bob. United’s chief exec David Gill is going to be watching over the move himself:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9465437/Manchester-United-chief-executive-David-Gill-steps-in-to-oversee-move-for-Arsenal-captain-Robin-van-Persie.html

    Further, after doing some digging around, a certain @marcwebber reported on twitter that Gill said to CNCB “we didn’t start rumours on Van Persie just to puff up our share price on launch”, take this as you will but it’s interesting that it came up. I’d suggest visiting his twitter page for yourself as there’s some decent info on it regarding uniteds share prices

  • bob

    Goona Gal,
    I totally applaud your clear-eyed analysis of RVP/AFC at this moment. Refreshing and spot on.

  • bob

    iniez, goona gal,
    We’ve done well to focus on the linkage of the essential background story of the moment, which will have a huge impact (not necessarily decisive, but huge) on our prospects in the league. The connection of Manure/RVP and the Glazer Flotation has been a key to understanding an essential part of this important moment.

    I think another essential part is to notice the two-front war that Darren Damien Dein (aka 3D, aka The Lesser) has opened up on us – Barca’s tapping of Song (Busquets, Iniesta and today Pique) and Rooney’s tapping of RVP. This is happening simultaneously with the above ManUre flotation/RVP conjuncture. Goona Gal and I may not agree on this one, but I think that we should issue a warning to both Song and Dein by standing pat on denying RVP’s moves. We are strong and should show it. Anyway, would love to hear your further thoughts on Song.

    It’s possible, necessary, even fun to think multidimensionally about what “non-football” factors actually do seriously impact what goes on on the pitch. When Arsene used the word “destroy” in June to underscore the fact that interests are out there that are our enemies, it has helped to clarify our situation, for any with the eyes and ears to connect two dots and watch the moving parts that impact our immediate and long-term future.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Iniez – I wondered if the RVP thing was genuine also. Along with the claims that Man U have 650m+ fans and the timed press release that the club had signed a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal, signing the footballer of the year along with a young Brazilian hotshot to hype up confidence and galvanise the fans/investor. The path is clear for Man U to make us an offer we can’t refuse.

    @ Bob – ta.

  • Goona Gal

    @ bob, my thoughts on Song are that he is first and foremost a good player, but not irreplaceble. Song has grown at Arsenal and has been a consistant performer, but I also think that whilst he can play the AM role well, his frequent forays going forward have unbalanced the midfield and he has held on to the ball too long instead of playing the ball early to utilise our fast players on the wings. He has been stripped of the ball in dangerous positions leading to counter’s which have forced last ditched defending by our CB’s.

    Arteta being able to read the danger and cover was so important and that’s why suffered a bit when he didn’t play. That said, I don’t think Arteta was as creative as Song going forward and so I would never knock Song from playing as advanced as he did last season. My issue is that when Song saw Vermaelen venturing forward, he should of stayed back. It’s as if now ‘Songhino’ has been unleashed on the world, he can’t curb these instincts anymore. The defence has had it’s problems and the imbalance in midfield has not helped. Maybe we need to return to having a player that primarily plays DM like Frimpong or someone like Dembele, or even have Arteta sit deeper? I don’t know, but Song isn’t invaluable and in a position to command audacious money. I would rather sell than let him walk away free. All I want is for us to focus on getting the balance right in midfield.

  • Goona Gal

    Aside from footballing reasons for Song’s departure, I think the club need to extract the leech, Darren Dein from the club. Now I will go on record as saying that I have nothing personal against the agent, who is doing the best to elicit as much money for his client and ergo himself in a business deal. But as an AFC fan, I side with the club and think that AFC need to be as ruthless with Dein Jr as he has been with the club. They need to send a message to players that taking on Dein Jr as an agent or advisor, will affect their position within the club.

    Dein has gained his super agent status based on his dealings with Arsenal, but this RVP one has gotten messy and the failure to get RVP the big money move he wants this season so far will be a chink in the armour. FFP kicking in reduces his ability to operate and who knows maybe the dire financial situation in real life may even too. Dein’s club contacts have put him in good position, but I don’t think Man C, the Spuds can be happy with Dein Jr regarding Adebayor. Man C, clearly don’t want the player around anymore, the Spuds had banked on the player’s desire to play for them and the player himself, probably didn’t think he had hired an agent who would be negotiating a pay cut for him!

    If AFC make the Song negotiations difficult, Dein Jr as an agent or advsior stops looking so desireable.

  • Goona Gal

    I can’t believe it! Normally I skip Goal.com entirely, but the article title peaked my interest. It sort of says, what I said above. I can’t believe I agree with Goal.com. I may need to re evaluate my position on Song….http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2012/08/10/3297696/in-barcelonas-sights-but-is-arsenal-star-song-worth-all-the?source=breakingnews

  • bob

    Goona Gal,
    Yes, that article/analysis is actually interesting and in some depth. Are you focused on the idea that the move toward attack bolstered by collective defense on the part of some of the other major clubs is becoming the strategy of choice (so to speak) and that Song fits in? That got my attention, so I just wanted to know if that’s what’s got you thinking of keeping Song.

    As for the other side of the coin (so to speak), the Guardian reports this about the glorious first day of trading of Manure on the NYSE:
    “United’s bankers had been looking to sell shares for between $16 and $20, but cut the launch price late on Thursday to $14 – shaving as much as $100m off the windfall expected for the team and its owners, the Glazer family. Shares crept up by 5¢ in early trading.
    While the club failed to raise the money it had been seeking, United has still officially become the most valuable sports club in the world, valued at about $2.3bn.
    Manchester United’s co-chairmen Avram and Joel Glazer, and chief executive David Gill, applauded the start of trading from the Wall Street exchange’s balcony, which was adorned with the club’s emblem. New York traders wore the United’s new home jersey on the trading floor – but their support did little to boost the stock price.
    Wall Street analysts had been dismissive of the sale before the initial public offering (IPO). One analyst called the club’s share sale “merchandise” and predicted further trouble ahead.”

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Since we don’t have a thread discussing the IPO, I thought I’d add that the underwriters are currently buying back shares at $14 to keep the value up! As soon as that offer ends, traders expect the share value to implode.

    There has been some suggestion that if the share value goes low enough, the banks can step in and take the club away from the Glazers, as happened with Liverpool. This is because the monies owed by the club would exceed the valuation if the shares drop below $5 or some such low ball figure. I’m dubious to the legality of that suggestion BUT there is a risk that they could be plunged into negative equity by these joke shares, which would be hilarious.