Friday, December 22, 2006

"Bah, humbug" message to fans on future transfers..

Scrooge - went out of his way to make people feel miserable at Christmas...

The season to be jolly is almost upon the mass ranks of the red army and so how ironic that just a few days before the festivities begin proper, comes a message from the faceless Glazer regime, who have apparently revealed their latest business plan to The Times. The Glazer business plan has been adapted / rewritten nearly as many times as Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol which stars 'Scrooge' the similarities don't end there...

WE all know the story of Scrooge, in the original novel Dickens doesn't actually state the nature of Scrooge's business, but we're led to believe that it's connected with money lending and he's portrayed as being generally quite mean to the likes of Bob Cratchit, his loyal clerk...

Roll the clock forward to Christmas 2006 and it's another tale of woe as we're once again hearing about this mythical annual £25million NET transfer budget again, in point of fact United made a profit on transfers last summer, as the club where the lowest NET spenders in the whole of the Premiership...

For one thing, many fans including myself do not believe that our very own version of Bob Cratchit, AKA Fergie will be given this annual £25m - that feeling is based on the evidence of what has happened and not on empty promises from nameless sources.

On top of this much is being made of an apparent 'one-off' £25m additional superstar signing to play alongside Rooney and Ronaldo. The proof of the Christmas pudding will come in the shape of action not talk, as with all things connected to football, results is what matter on the pitch and no manager seriously hoping to compete with Chelsea can do so with one hand tied behind his back when it comes to transfers.

Apparently the plan also reveals that tickets prices are currently 'under valued' and that by 2012-2013 they will have risen by a further 36%, on average that's 6% per year. Ticket prices vary depending on where fans are situated in the ground but currently an adult will be shelling out around £500 per season which doesn't include any cup games - that figure will have risen to around £680 for the start of the 2012 season. At 6% per year it is a rise which is way above inflation in the UK. However, while fans pockets will have proverbially picked, and revenues from media and tv income will have risen by over 40% Glazer will reportedly limit Bob Cratchit's transfer budget to £25m per year...bah humbug indeed!

I'm sure many United fans will be hoping like the novel A Christmas Carol that the story of the Glazer family ownership of the club has a happy ending. In the novel Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of the future. Scrooge has a nightmare vision of the poor people celebrating his death, he then sees the errors of his ways and puts things right and everyone lives happily ever after...at this time of goodwill to all men let us hope for the same outcome at United. (if only!)

Fact or fiction, the long running story of the Glazers business plan, how many more times will it be rewritten?

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