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Blowing Off The Dust For The Scousers

The Glazers are taking too much money out of our club and are running the risk of us being swallowed up by debt.

As fans, we should be united in wanting to get rid of ownership which is holding our club back. Looking at what we’ve won since 2005, that is in spite of the Glazers.

This isn’t about MUST, this isn’t FC United, or anything else that can at times cause divides amongst our fanbase. This isn’t about whether you’ll never step foot inside Old Trafford against whilst the Glazers are there, whether you think the Red Knights are our way out or the devil we don’t know, or whether you think AndersRed figures are over hyped propaganda. It’s about joining together to put pressure on the Glazers in attempt to search for owners who don’t screw us over as badly as we’re getting screwed over now.

Will it be some utopia without the Glazers? Well, it’s unlikely that can ever be achieved now. Do we want a sheikh or Abramovich? That would obviously be far more desirable than our current situation, but would that be perfection? Whatever City and Chelsea fans want to say about bitterness or anything else, given their financial situation in comparison to ours, do we want some rich sugar daddy to throw money at us and buy us trophies? Do we want a load of mercenaries who couldn’t care less about the club? Do we want there to be no room for our home growns?

The ideal is for us to be successful in our own right. Christ, we are the “most valuable sports franchise” in the fucking world. Of every team, of every sport in the whole world, United are valued the highest, most recently, £1.2bn. More than Real Madrid, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. So yes, we should be able to spend money, money we’ve generated through our success and fanbase, but we don’t need to blitz the market. We don’t need to spend hundreds of millions of quid in a summer or two but we do need to spend more than we have done.

If we can get rid of the Glazers through our protests, then you’d imagine we’d avoid ownership like them again. Not that our next owners would be letting us in for free, but hopefully we would have sent a message that would put off owners who wanted to dick us about like the Glazers have.

Regardless, the only way we’re going to get there is if we put pressure on the Glazers. For every year they’re bringing in less money from season tickets, corporate seats, the megastore, MUTV etc. the more open-minded they will become for accepting an offer. The value of the club goes down the more desperate they become to sell, so how far do they push it? There isn’t a never-ending conveyor belt of people prepared to buy a season ticket and the larger our protests grow, the more concerned they will have to be on how much money they can make in a sale.

One way we can put pressure on them is by not buying the new shirts they bring out. The current deal they have with Nike expires in 2013, which gives us plenty of time to try to have an impact on sales and therefore put pressure on Nike not to renew their deal. We’re not talking about small fry either. This current deal is worth £303m and it’s not just our shirts but all merchandising rights. Would another company want to take that on, knowing a boycott is in place? Or would they take it on at that price?

So don’t buy the new shirt, wear your old ones instead. For the Liverpool game, it would be great if any many people going as possible could wear their old shirts. Whatever your opinion on the green and gold protest, this isn’t working in place and doesn’t need to be a long term protest. It won’t be as visually impressive as green and gold but this is a practical protest too, spreading the word and raising awareness to boycott buying the new shirt.

We’re also running a competition for this game on RoM for the best picture from the day. Whether you’re going to the game, watching it in the local or you’re at home, the best picture of you, or you and your mates, or you and your family, or whatever, will win you a shirt from Treble year. Vintage Football Shirts are kindly supplying us with the prize. They have a massive range of Manchester United shirts dating back to the 70′s and if you’re looking to buy an old shirt, they’re a great place to start. Also, if you’ve got lots of old shirts hanging about, they’re happy to buy shirts off you.

So, blow the dust off your old shirts and spread the word!

Competition update
We Ate All The Pies: David McNally from Timperley, Nagraj Chandrasekar from India and Gareth Goodinson from New Zealand all won a copy of We Ate All The Pies?: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole.
Old kids shirt: Louis Matthews from Hertfordshire won the kids 98-00 third shirt.

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Wear your old shirts competition


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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33 Comments

  1. Jig3000 says:

    Alas, a fire in my house about 10 years ago left my childhood collection of jerseys in a little, hard plastic puddle. Like the look of the vintage shirts, bit steep but I guess I wouldn’t have let go of mine for any less.

    PS: Nice campaign.

  2. Werder vs. Spurs says:

    To be very honest, the mammoth valuation of the club will keep the poetential buyers at the bay. No matter how valuable the club is but no one would pay that much amiunt to buy the club with that much of debt to be paid off.

    So, it’s a good idea o run a campaign like this. A good idea to put the pressure. But, I think that Fergie supports them as well. If he becomes rampant over them then that would be the first step to shamble the hierarchy of Glazers.

  3. Jig3000 says:

    What I could never understand on the valuation of the club was the fact the debt would still be outstanding should any takeover occur. This means the current valuation of 1.5 billion is actually closer to 2.2 billion. I often wonder is the debt taken into account when the likes of Forbes are developing rich lists or does the valuation ignore the outstanding debt?

    I’m sure everyone involved has checked over it all with a fine-tooth comb, but I never see it mentioned or included in the ultimate figures when being discussed/analyzed. Seems like people are looking at two separate valuations to me.

  4. Sharath says:

    Jig3000,

    Its more like 1.9 Bn because the debt in United’s books is only around 400 Mn and not 700Mn. The remaining 300 is in the name of the Glazers. No valuations can ignore the debt component. Its the net of Assets and Liabilities

    Cheers
    S

  5. MG says:

    99 shirt

    : )

  6. parryheid says:

    Tell me something Scott did you start this site to become a mouthpiece for Must or what?Your beginning to sound like a Morning Star journalist battering out your own and Must propaganda it is getting a bit tedious at least for me personally.Face fact’s your attempts to harm the club will not work.

  7. man united says:

    93 shirt 94 shirt my favourite was all back shirt we always played well in that. worst shirt was the grey shirt . i renmber i was at the southampton was 95/96 season i think we were 3 down at half time lost 6-3 at end canme out in the blue and whiteshirt. can i one tell me who chelsea play this weakend i think it is man city at honme. i will be leaving to go to manchester no in an hour cant wait pretty cold in london so it must be rain in manchester

  8. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    @ man united. think chelski got blackpool at home on saturday. re the southampton game. i seem to remember paddy crerrand blaming that result on the colour of our shirt! haha.an unbiased legend!

  9. Tasty Geezer says:

    Hmmm, I have a problem here.

    I ate all the pies!

    and seem to have put weight on, none of my old shirts fit !!!!

  10. man united says:

    @ mbettathedevilsweknow so when we play liverpool on saunday we will be 7 pionts behind . i cant understand how conme chelsea got easy ganmes its a jioke i think the fa our who evere make the fixture list jiust dont want man uniter to win its a jioke. ya i renmber paddy say that as well. legend pure legend.

  11. Costas says:

    We will all play the same fixtures. Chelsea might be on a roll now, but when they start hitting a sticky patch, they will have trouble playing easy games. They are getting them out of the way now.

  12. man united says:

    @ costas i hope your right

  13. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Could somebody please kindly tell me how much a shirt cost in the 80s?

  14. willierednut says:

    2 bob.

  15. Costas says:

    @man united

    I hope so too. Because Chelsea have taken 5 extra points compared to the same fixtures last season. However, Wigan and West Ham away can’t compare to Fulham and Everton away.

  16. man united says:

    80 cent you say i think when george best time i say of to manchester now see you lot 20morrow hope we win 4 nil rooney berbatov vidc and scholes

  17. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    @man united. chelsea have had ‘easier’ fixtures at the mo which is defo good to build up momentum for the league, but the CL and domestic cup fixtures around xmas and early next year has an impact on the top four clubs imo.chelsea may have harder fixtures then! we can only beat whats in front of us! by the way its sunny here in salford at mo! hope it stays 4 u but wouldnt hold your breath!

  18. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    What are you lot like. The valuation of the club is its assets and earning potential. The debt is not included in that figure as debt wouldnt be. If someone came along and offered 1,2 billion and the glazers excepted it would be the glazers job to clear the debt with the money received. it doesn’t mean the valuation is nearer 2 billion as some have said. Its the same as selling a home where there is still a mortgage on it. The value is its market value based on land value and building value (assets) and often taken into account is the rate of increase in value to come to a market value. If the owner sells for 1 million and 500000 is outstanding with the mortgage then the owner pockets a little less than 500000 after fees.

  19. Jig3000 says:

    GoatinaUnitedShirt

    That’s what you’d assume, though I’ve repeatedly read differently: The debt is on Utd’s books, not Glaziers (60% as Sharath pointed out – not 100%). This means anyone buying the club, still has the debt to deal with.

    Sharath

    Forbes valued us at US$1.84 billion (approx £1.2 billion), which was the basis of MUST’s proposed bid. Then Glaziers PR machine let it be known their valuation is closer to £1.5billion – in theory the Glaziers are suggesting the club actually has a valuation of 1.9 (including the 400mill debt).

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Glaziers valuation is 50% more than Forbes? That’s a significant jump in anyone’s mind.

  20. wayne says:

    pretty well every club out there has debt at least utd turn a profit each year most clubs don’t, football is in a bad way,there could be a players strike in italy because the clubs are trying to balance books and the players are not happy but you watch games on tv most grounds are 2/3rds empty and that applys to alot of leagues,we all want the glaziers out but these guys are being demonised because of being buisness men and making a shred buy when no one else did and because their yanks,i’m sick of this coming up all the time the club is in much better position than most but the press never talk about the overall state of football and other clubs, as some of the lads pointed out in the old days no one paid attention who owned the club we supported the team regardless and thats what i intend to do now i’m a utd fan first simple as that

  21. Always Be Closing says:

    @parryheid – Is this your website?

    If you find this tedious, then sod off and find somewhere else to spout your bile.

  22. King Eric says:

    Wayne – Yeah mate I was one of those lads who said in the 80′s all we cared about was the football. Nowadays with blogs, forums chatrooms etc everyone thinks they know how to run a Football club and what should be done when in reality we have absolutely no idea.

  23. parryheid says:

    Always Be Closing.

    Nope.But it is the posters website and the posters views that count,hence you have to put up with my view same as I put up with yours it’s not the site owner’s right to buckle people’s mind to his viewpoint,he should not constantly be pushing the likes of Andersred which he basically admits is propaganda in his leader.Just as well someone like you does’nt Own the website eh or it would be a case of it’s my ball.Look you thick twat I always carry mint sauce to spray on aggressive sheep.I’m not a vegetarian as was said in Black Sheep.

  24. Hasan says:

    Fairplay to you Scott; this site has largely been Glazer-free. So an odd mention of the debt situation is absolutely understandable. I’m not an escapist, everyone knows the Glazers are bleeding the club dry; I just don’t like people shuving the doomsday cries down my throat. But I have one point to make, if there is one thing that could be worse (besides being Liverpool) it’s becoming a Russian’s toy or an Arab’s whore. In spite of our debt and the subsequent issues, we’re still better off than either of them.

  25. Dela says:

    I don’t think you can put pressure on the glazers by wearing old shirts or blowing whistles or wearing green and gold. They can just sit down in their luxury properties thousands of miles away totally oblivious to what’s going on at Old Trafford. They don’t care. They didn’t care in 2005 when fans started trouble either over their buyout and they have never bothered to try to reconcile with fans either. As fas as they are concerned Manchester United is theirs (and legally unfortunately it is), they don’t want to sell and I don’t think anyone will get a headache over protests outside of old trafford staff.

  26. FletchTHEMAN says:

    As I posted elsewhere, SAFs news conference yesterday he as much as said he was interested in one player this summer but couldn’t close the deal because of the other club who got him. Basically saying that money was a limiting factor. But I feel this has always been so for United. We have paid top dollar, but have not paid over the odds. 30 million yes, 50 million no. Wonder who it was? I think we will need to replace EVS, Hargreaves, Scholes and eventually Rio. That is going to be interesting.

  27. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    I think after the press conference on Monday Fergie hinted he may have to spend big in order to replace Giggs, Scholes and Neville. May be not so much Neville but certainly the former two. I think with no international tournament next summer we may see a marquee signing that so many fans have been harbouring for next summer. He said we missed out on one player I think that person was Villa. If nobody is brought in when Giggs & Scholes retire it may be due to lack of funds. This season bar one midfielder our squad is fine.

  28. eddieTheRed says:

    Why does United have to be owned by a wealthy individual or a consortium of wealthy investors? Why can’t the club be owned by an industrial concern like Intel, Microsoft or Virgin? Surely these type of firms would benefit from the enormous publicity that United generates?

    And most of the blue – chip firms have billions in cash reserves and are always looking out for other firms to buy up; I seem to remember that Bayer Leverkusen was owned by a German chemical company when they beat us in the Champions league a few years back.

  29. Esteban says:

    Goat is correct re the debt. The document governing the debt that was issued this year (and the offering memorandum describing it) are publicly available and make crystal clear (as common sense would suggest) that the Glazers don’t get a dime until all of the club debt is paid first – debt is always ahead of equity in a capital structure.

    For what it is worth, I continue to believe that you cannot hurt the Glazers without significantly hurting the club first. This campaign sets up the odd situation where they are highly motivated to increase the value of the club (which is very much wrapped up with it continuing to perform well) and the Glazer-hating “supporters” of the club want to hurt the value of the club significantly by decreasing revenue (and inevitably performance on the pitch). If everyone agrees that the high current value of the club is an impediment to the benign new ownership that people are hoping for, then by definition this campaign is based on very dramatically reducing the value (which will only happen if the club is taken far down the table).

    It seems to me an incredible gamble to exchange definite pain for the club in the present for a highly speculative benefit years down the road (if you convince the Glazers to sell and if you end up with a better ownership thereafter).

  30. Ross- The Promised Land says:

    Will be wearing Schmeichal’s green shirt from the Treble year on Sunday, can’t believe it still fits! So excited…LUHG

  31. smokebreaksteve says:

    Great article Scott.
    Sad fact is, whoever buys us if the Glazers sell will only have the sole intention of thickening their own wallets and that includes the ‘Red Knights’. Lets not be under any illusions that this group of United adoring individuals(sic) have not made their money by screwing people over big time at sometime in the past and will no doubt try to maximize their investment in United if they did manage to oust the Glazers by bum fucking the fans in the future.
    For all the massive early spending by Abramovich when he took over I admire the guy in a strange kind of way because he had a business plan that involved Chelsea being self sufficient by 2010. This has not happened and is reflected by their current lack of spending in the transfer market and refusal of massive contract renewals to Ballack, Cole etc.
    This is the only way forward for football. Fuck the mercenaries off and offer lower salaries for unproven and younger players. This is something that the Arabs and Gary Cook cannot grasp at the moment at City,bless them but if they are indeed businessmen and not playboys then this will be a harsh lesson that they will have to learn.
    Back to United. The best thing that could happen to us is for the Glazer’s to go bust, we take a massive financial hit and try to rebuild under owners that buy the club for a knockdown price and never ever take the fans that built this massive cash cow into what it is for granted again.
    On the subject of the shirts Scot I have religiously bought my son every kit for the last few years but not any more. Not just because of the Glazer’s but because of the piss poor designs that Nike throw at United. Aresnal and many other top clubs use Nike and give their fans something to look forward to. We have a decent design about every 3 years but have to sit debating whether it will grow on you the rest of the time.
    The best kit I bought I bought for my son was the Black away. Unfortunately it has TEVEZ 32 on the back so the only time it comes out of the cupboard now is to be used as a duster.

  32. RedScot says:

    Brilliant read as per normal on ROM.
    Just Love it , know i mean I will love it.
    POLITICS and footie eh!

  33. Mancunian says:

    A shirt in the 80s was kids which i got was 82-4 and 84-6 were 10 quid junior sizes..so adults may have been around 15=20 quid????

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