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Man United release latest financial results

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Man United have released their latest financial results and revenue has fallen by 20 percent year-on-year, while net debt has also risen.

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What is clear from the results is that not being in the UEFA Champions League has hit United hard but they continue to make money with commercial revenue on the up seven percent.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealed the latest results as Man United’s financial might is clear for all to see even.

“We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild … the foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole,” Woodward told investors. “We are pushing for a strong finish in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup as we enter the final third of the season.”

Man United are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table ahead of a pivotal run of games which will decide if they will once again dine at Europe’s top table under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. On the pitch they’ve beaten Chelsea and Watford in the last week without conceding and things are coming together nicely with new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes making a big difference. 

Man United face Everton, Man City, Tottenham and Sheffield United in their next four PL games and that will be crucial in deciding if they’re going to reach the Champions League next season. Given Man City’s European ban and the potential for a UCL spot to move down to fifth-place, Man United are exactly where Solskjaer hoped they would be right now.

Below we have a look at the main takeaways form the financial results, which are always a huge talking point among United fans all over the world.

Main talking points from Man United’s Q2 results:

  • Revenues of $218.3 million, down 20 percent year-on-year
  • Operating profit of $47.3 million
  • Commercial revenue up 7 percent
  • Broadcast revenue down 37 percent due to no UEFA Champions League qualification
  • Matchday revenue down 15 percent due to fewer home games
  • Player wages down 9 percent
  • Net debt is $506.9 million, up $94.6 million, 23 percent

Book from former Manchester United big wig gives glimpse into notoriously-private Glazer family

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The takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family was a tumultuous time for the club, with fans of the Premier League club going far enough in their anger to inspire the FBI to monitor threats against Malcolm Glazer’s safety.

Now a former communications manager and PR man for the Glazers during that time, Tehsin Nayani, has lifted the lid on the private family’s dealings with a new book entitled, “The Glazer Gate Keeper”.

[ JPW: Talking USMNT, FA Cup with Danny Williams ]

Nayani was in charge of communicating with the press and investors in regards to Manchester United’s financials, which was a great source of consternation for supporters who didn’t foresee the Glazers’ shoring up United’s debt any time soon (They’ve since nearly halved the debt to nearly a billion dollars to about $565 million, which is still an incredible amount of money).

This BBC report includes a hilarious anecdote that shows the ego and humor of Sir Alex Ferguson, who sat on top of the crate that holds the UEFA Champions League trophy to eat breakfast at a hotel in 2008.

But it also shows an ownership group that kept its cool in the face of plenty of hatred. Naive at times, it seems the Glazers were confident in their direction of the club, going so far as to see Vodafone’s pulling out of United shirt sponsorship as the opportunity to bring a larger money deal into the club.

A better story involves seeing the big picture, after former United and then AC Milan player David Beckham donned the green and gold scarf of the Supporters Trust after a UCL tie at Old Trafford. He received a standing ovatio.

From the BBC:

With that one gesture, the world’s most recognisable footballer gave visual support to the colours adopted by the anti-Glazer movement.

“I immediately grabbed my Blackberry, scrolled through my address book to JG and pressed the green icon,” recounts Nayani, who had left the stadium for his Manchester hotel long before the final whistle.

“Joel, are you watching what I am watching?”

Far from being alarmed or worried at the development, Glazer was calm and measured in his response, first stating “is it so bad?”, then realising Nayani was still frantic at the protestors getting such a world-famous ‘poster boy’, reasoning: “Football is a passionate business. Won’t it blow over? It has always blown over in the past.

“Sure some fans are angry and protesting inside Old Trafford but from where I am sitting there are many millions of fans happy that the team are through to the next round.”

It will be interesting to measure whether time is kind, or even increasingly kind, to the Glazer regime. Manchester United remains one of the richest clubs in the world. Glazer detractors claim this is in spite of the ownership. Will this be disproven in the next decade?

Family patriarch Malcolm Glazer passed away in May at the age of 85, and faced plenty of vitriol from groups like the Manchester United Supporters Trust over the duration of his tenure in charge. Still, the Glazers made more of the club public following Malcolm’s passing.

The BBC story is well worth the read. For United supporters, surely the book could be a must-grab, open-minded or not, and for pain or pleasure. I don’t pretend to be well-acquainted with the inner-workings of the family nor United, but theirs is an interesting relationship.

Glazer family to make $150 million in Manchester United stock sale

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The family of late Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer is set to make a lot of money by selling off more shares of the Premier League club, while a club document warns that the Red Devils new deal with adidas would lose value if the club misses the Champions League in successive seasons.

The BBC is reporting that the Glazers will open up another five percent of the club on the New York Stock Exchange. The sales would net them an expected $150 million, meaning 15 percent of the club would be publicly-owned.

[ MORE: United inks massive post-Nike deal with adidas ]

The family would still own over 80 percent of the club after the sale of eight million shares.

From the BBC:

Manchester United’s US owners are set to pocket about $150m (£88.7m) by selling more of their shares in the club on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal comes two months after Malcolm Glazer died. His six grown children control the club.

The latest share sale was announced on a day when United shares closed at $19.31 apiece.

Cue the family lambasting from England and abroad, as this news comes on the heels of a club prospectus warning against missing UEFA Champions League football in the future:

“Because of the prestige associated with participating in the European competitions, particularly the Champions League, failure to qualify for any European competition, particularly for consecutive seasons, would negatively affect our ability to attract and retain talented players and coaching staff, as well as supporters, sponsors and other commercial partners.

‘Failure to participate in the Champions League for two or more consecutive seasons would also reduce annual payments under the recently announced agreement with adidas by 30 per cent of the applicable payment for the year in which the second or other consecutive season of non-participation falls.”

From Sky Sports:

 

 

The Manchester United Supporters Trust really really hates the Glazers

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In a statement in which they lambasted the club’s owners for just about every bit of Red Devils failure, the Manchester United Supporters Trust let their feelings be known on the firing of David Moyes after less than a year on the job.

The statement is an at-times comical barrage of insults aimed at the Glazer family that even takes shots at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as supposed clear link between Manchester United falling out of the UEFA Champions League and the game of American football.

It’s sure to label Alex Ferguson a genius and take away any responsibility from the Scot, who handpicked Moyes to be his successor and left him an aging if not depleted roster.

The Glazers record of appointments at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is truly awful so it should come as no great surprise to see the same pattern emerge at Manchester United once the shield of Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer there to protect them.

The quicker the owners realise that the Club’s current problems are underpinned by the ownership model rather than just the identity of the manager, the better.

The challenge for the Glazers is that their ownership model, and valuation, is premised on the basis that either the club can operate on much lower investment levels and still compete as we did for so long under Sir Alex Ferguson or the club can generate enough surplus revenue to allow us to compete with the European elite whilst still having funds remaining for future dividends.

One thing spokesman Sean Bones got mostly right in his talk with Sky Sports was United’s waiting to speak to Moyes about a termination that was all over the news on Monday:

“Obviously it is wrong to brief journalists the day before and not speak to the manager himself.

“Manchester United has a lot of style and class and we don’t do things that way and to me this is typical behaviour of the Glazer family. We do things with style, class and dignity.”

This isn’t to say Bones is wrong to question the Glaziers at all. This firing, and season, has become an absolute circus. Perhaps it even started with allowing Ferguson to handpick his successor (though admittedly that probably slowed the fire that eventually engulfed Moyes). In any event, there’s a whole lot of anger in Manchester… and it could get worse before it gets better if United doesn’t land a big, big name to take over. One thing seems sure: it won’t be interim boss Ryan Giggs.

Manchester United set to buy big in January

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With his side slumping at 12th in the Premier League table, Manchester United boss David Moyes has been told by the Glazer family that he’ll have their support for a splurge in the January transfer window.

Moyes is expected to target Everton’s Leighton Baines and Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrer, both of whom the Scot failed to purchase this past summer.

Everton rejected United’s $24 million (£15m) bid for Baines while Bilbao did the same when Moyes offered $43 million (£26.5m). Early indications show that Everton will need over $32.4 million (£20m) to part ways with the left back while the Basque club will want Herrer’s $48.7 million (£30m) release clause paid in full.

That spending alone would take United to well over the $80 million (£50m) mark and few expect United to stop there as a center-back and second midfielder are also in the cards. Daniele De Rossi, Luka Modric and Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder have all been named players of interest for United.

This past summer’s transfer market was a disaster for United, failing in bids for Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale before scrambling to buy Marouane Fellaini for $45 million (£27.5m), which was $6.5 million (£4m) more than the Belgian’s release clause (which expired on August 1st).

This past weekend Moyes claimed that United were some distance away from challenging the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“To win the Champions League, you have to have five or six world-class players,” Moyes said. “If you look at Bayern Munich, they have five or six nearly world-class players. Look at Barcelona, who had [that] in the past and Real Madrid have maybe got it now. That’s the level you have to get at to win it. We’ve not got that yet, but what we have got is experience and several players who are in that category or close to it. But the job when I took over was always going to be that we would have to make changes and improve as we went along.”

The question then becomes, is Leighton Baines, Ander Herrer, Daniele De Rossi, Luka Modric or Wesley Sneijder a world class player?

The answer obviously depends on one’s definition of the term “world class.” Most would agree, however, that a world-class player is one of the best in the world at his respective position. With the exception of possibly Baines – and even that is highly doubtful – neither Herrer, De Rossi, Modric or Sneijder can be considered a top three player at his respective position.

Which is to say this – Manchester United may be set to buy big this January and although they will be paying world-class prices, they don’t appear intent on buying world-class players.