The money in sport

Threat_nsManchester United are being bought up by an American Malcom Glazer, who owns the NFL team in Tampa Bay.  Glazer has been sniffing around the English football team all year, as he tried to get financing together to make a bid.

Man U are a publically traded company, which means that anyone can buy shares, in the same way that anyone can buy shares in Pepsi or Microsoft.  Most of the shares were held by an Irish pair who sold them to Glazer.  He's then snapped up a huge amount of the other shares and now aside from the shares held by a group of Manchester United fans he owns pretty much the entire team. 

Fans of Man U are outraged.  A quick reading might say that it's because they don't like the idea of a Yank owning one of the most storied football teams in England, but the real trouble is how Glazer is paying for the team.  Whereas Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of London team Chelsea was so rich that he paid off his team's debts and then flushed millions and millions of pounds into the club, Glazer is borrowing the money thus putting the debt onto Man U a club that previously had none.

Glazer is also notoriously cheap and in order to compete with the uber-wealthy Chelsea Man U fans will be wanting their team to have the cash to put out for the best players.  The proposed 20 million pound transfer budget is a lot less than the team has spent in recent years and certainly less than either Arsenal or Chelsea will layout.  Glazer is going to want Man U to start making him money, in an industry that all honestly there isn't that much to be made.

As an Arsenal fan I'm not too displeased to see the team in total disarray.  Still its troubling for football as a whole.