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Sir F Word Silenced, Gill talks gibberish. Sensible comment at Man U? Zero

Sir Alex F Word talks… sometimes.  He talks with Ed Miliband, and he talks to Manchester United’s own TV channel (mostly) but because he didn’t like the way some of the media reported his comments after the Man U/ Liverpool game he stopped talking to the press.

He already doesn’t talk to the BBC, and so incurs regular fines from the EPL who make talking to the media part of the deal for all clubs.

Sir F Word is a regular at this sort of activities and of course each time he does it, the whole thing gets to look a little more childish.  But maybe there is something else going on at the same time. A wider picture perhaps?

Liverpool are bust, bankrupt, kapput, in court, and maybe about to lose their current favourite buyer, just like they lost the last six – this time because a nine point deduction is a possibility.   Man U normally snort at such mismanagement, reporting that they are a highly profitable club (ignoring the fact that they happen to spend their income on supporting some American guys borrowings).

Now David Gill has had to do a double conjuring trick by saying that everything is wonderful despite £83.6m of losses, and the need to pay ever more into the interest fund which keeps the £521.7m debt and the bond issue charges afloat.

Gill argued that the results were “very good” and showed that Man U could cover their £40.2m interest payments.

So what is keeping Man U afloat?  At the moment money from TV is rising and they are still edging up the commercial revenue by going into overseas sponsorship.  But in the end it has to end.  It could be because Man U has a bad season.  It could be because they get Arsenal-scale injuries.  It could be because foreign players stop wanting to play in the EPL because there is too much danger to their safety, and a chance they might never play again.

The fact is that in today’s football world there is very little margin for error.  Arsenal has built a margin into their position, allowing the club to drop out of the top four occasionally, and allowing the attendances to drop, all without disaster striking.

But that is what Man U don’t have. When Gill said,  “I can’t speak for any other club but the United fans should not be concerned, we have a long-term financing structure in place, excellent revenues that are growing, we are controlling our costs – total wages are 46% of turnover – and we can afford the interest on our long-term finance,” he was basically talking gibberish, because of the ever increasing demands on the debts of the Glazer Gang who own the club, and who raid the club to pay for its earnings.  And because the future is never certain.

The Gang paid out £47m in charges relating to the bond issue. Not interest just charges.  Plus £19.2m hit on foreign exchange differences relating to the bond issue and something called a “goodwill” charge of £35.2m relating to the original takeover. (What the hell was that???)

Gill deals with these by calling them “paper losses” and “depreciation”.  And I suppose in just the same way as if a fiver drops out of my back pocket and falls down a drain that could be called a paper loss.  But not in a real world.  In the real world I just lost the chance to buy a beer and packet of crisps.

Which takes me back to Sir F-Word’s lack of rant.   His silence comes because in the end he knows he is working for a bunch of people whose actions are indefensible.  Whatever we, as Arsenal fans, say about him, he has been an utterly brilliant manager.  But now his position must be questioned, because he continues to work for the Glazer Gang who have raped the club he has rebuilt from its sleepy stage.

He may say it is all about the issue of interpretations of comments, but really, he knows.  The ramblings of Gill – a man who himself opposed the entry of the Glazers – are the ramblings of a man who is watching the castle burn down, while saying that the fire makes a good setting for a BBQ.

Man U are in a crisis of giant proportions, and saying everything is wonderful (as per Gill), and saying nothing at all (as per Sir F Word) are approaches which are pretty much as silly as each other.

9 comments to Sir F Word Silenced, Gill talks gibberish. Sensible comment at Man U? Zero

  • Jordan

    Excellent article I love reading about liverpool and man u’s crisis now more and more!

  • munawwar

    what about him saying they have 160mil left in the “bank” for alex to buy… but alex is apparently not willing to buy.. or doesn’t need to buy.. ?

  • Maverick

    Good point there Munawwar, Tony could you shed more light on this, i have heard about this 160m do they really have this? If they do why don’t they pay down the debt so they can cope better surely it would be the sensible thing to do or is it not as simple as that?

  • Dark Prince

    I think by next summer, all the truth will come out. Liverpool seem to be heading for a new ownership. But Man U’s case is different. You have to say, earning £100 mil in operating profits alone is a huge achievement. This shows that they are still a very attractive investment. And though they said that a large part of their losses is ‘depreciation’, they also said that this ‘depreciation’ wont be counted in the losses when the financial fair play rules are implemented. Also United too have a youth academy which is showing some promise. And they have lots of young foreign players as well. So eventually they might not need to buy afterall.

    But still by next summer, we might come to know where does the Glazers stand in United’s ownership. If someone else takesover from them then it would be headache for other teams bcoz looking at their profit potential, they will easily outbid any team for a player and still have lots of profits left. Their revenues are enormous. We have to try to match up to them in terms of Global Brand.

  • Samuel

    The new owners of a club always get the blame for the ineptitude of it,s playing staff and coaching team ,namely Luckypool and Tash.United as the Glazer family didn,t authorise Sir Alex to spend huge money on all and sundry ,Berbatov,Ronaldo and Rooney and pay excessive weekly wage bills just as the Yanks didn,t do the same at Anfield ,the blame is at the players and managers as it,s time for Sir Alex to retire and look after his race horses?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Tony

    ‘Goodwill’ is an accounting term which broadly means ‘the difference between the narrow accounting worth and what you decided to pay for it’. It’s sort of like depreciation for an acquisition. Usually goodwill arises because the shareholders want you to pay a premium for them to sell – you’ll often see a 30 – 60% premium to the share price the day the buyer offered to buy for sweet targets. I’m sure the buyers know what they’re doing………..but it can only happen for listed companies where there is a ‘share price’ which allows you to calculate the ‘real price’ to compare it to the offer price…..

    Man Utd’s a bloody well run club. It’s just that the last set of shareholders were greedy swine who’d happily put the club into a myriad of debt to cash in their chips at a big profit. I must say though that if they hadn’t, Sir Alex would probably be ruling Europe like Real did in the 1950s………..

  • Arsenal1Again

    When the Credit Crunch Crisis was in full swing and the UK government was bailing out bank after bank … I was rubbing my palms together with anticipation …. praying for the banks to call in their Man Utd debts and Liverpool debts. I was praying for them to sell all the players at both cluns and I dreamt they sold the grounds …. then I woke up. 🙁

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Get out the protective gear – the s#it is about to hit the fan!
    O ! How the mighty have fallen .Roo for Real ?

  • insideright

    Manure do indeed have a great deal of cash in the bank – but so do Arsenal, and it’s there to meet week by week expenses such as salaries ans other costs. It’s also there to reassure debtors that they will be paid on time wothout the need to sell an asset to do so. In Arsenals case that latter sum is around £30m, or about 1.5 years worth of mortgage on the stadium (the only debt we have to pay).
    The vast majority of Manure’s cash mountain is therefore already accounted for and comparatively little of it is available for transfers. Using it to prove to UEFA that debts are sustainable will also be vital in the future.