Monday, June 02, 2008

Fergie right to back the Glazer regime over Ronaldo future?

United's double winning manager has once again come out and praised the Glazer family stating that they are 'brilliant owners'. It's by no means the first time that Fergie has been very supportive towards his paymasters and on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo he's been very clear on the club's American owners' position.

According to Ferguson, the Glazer family would sit Ronaldo in the stand rather than sell him to Real Madrid. It's a bold claim especially as the Spanish club could be about to dangle a reported £70m in front of them for the Reds' star player.

Some pundits are saying that the Ronaldo saga is the Glazers’ first real test - in some ways it is, but even those who do not agree with the club's worrying financial position (£794m in the Red) will find it hard to argue that if a player really wants out there's not a lot you can do other than to eventually sell. So United and their owners are in a very tricky situation - it's not as if the Glazer family have been trying to offload the player behind Fergie's back.

I personally hold the view that Fergie has told the Glazers' and David Gill, CEO that his own future hinges on retaining Ronaldo; it is the key to him staying with the club for a further three years. It could be viewed as quite a clever move by Fergie, because by publicly stating the Glazers' position, United's owners have no room to manoeuvre - the spotlight is on them now and by coming out in such a manner Fergie has said "do not dare think about selling Ronaldo behind my back"...

On the wider issue of publicly supporting the Glazer family, at least we know where Fergie stands and even those who are totally opposed to the current debt laden regime cannot deny what the team has achieved under Fergie over the last few seasons. But only over time will we be fully able to judge the Glazers' legacy.

Fergie says that United are now worth £1.3 billion, that is a totally hypothetical figure, it sounds good, but who will pay the asking price? The theory goes that these new owners' aren't interested in generating profit, they are just looking to cash-in further down the line, but there are few Roman Ambramovich's in this world.

If the Glazers' sell the club on for a huge profit coupled with United continuing to win trophies then perhaps Fergie will be able look back and say that he was right to back them all along. If however, the US credit crunch hits home and the debt situation gets out of control there could well be trouble ahead for the Champions of Europe.

Whatever the future holds we won’t be able to turn round and say that Fergie sat on the fence over the Glazer family.


  1. You may think so, I don't actually agree, but I suppose they're marginally better than the clowns over at Liverpool.

  2. Aravind? please tell me you're having a laugh?

  3. Hahaha, Liverpool is really a joke, they have lost their historical dignity and whatnot.

    The situation isn't really tricky for the Glazers. They and Ferguson are going against a Madrid bid, because despite Ronaldo's 'plans for the future', he has still assured them that he is happy at the club. And so they are making their decision on correct assumptions; i.e. United need Ronaldo, and Ronaldo is happy at United.

    When that situation changes however, when Ronaldo is no longer happy at United, or if Nani, Anderson and team prove absolutely great next season, the Glazers and Ferguson might then change their decision.

    With debts of a 800 million pounds, a bid of 70 million hardly makes 1/10th of the entire cut. The finances are a responsibility more for the Glazers than for Ferguson in any case.

    I agree being under tremendous debt is easily a risky position for a champion club to be under; however so long as it maintains its victories and treats its fans fairly (apparently, they don't seem to be doing that), that should be fine, although in the long run, unsustainable.

    Regardless, I believe the Glazers should be selling United soon, for their and United's sake.

  4. I'm not sure whether the Glazers approach the ultimate ideal in owners, but the family is far, far better than a whole heck of a lot of them.

    One need only look at the record of their other club, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL over here in the United States, before Malcolm Glazer bought the team, versus the Bucs' record over the last 10+ years ever since the Glazers took over. Tampa Bay went from being the joke of the NFL for its first two decades of existence to being a perennial contender.

    Fact is the Glazers like to win, and they do what it takes in the front office to ensure that happens. That said, though, Manchester United's current debt levels definitely are troubling, and turning that around while also maintaining the competitiveness that they, and we, like to see will be tricky business. How they balance those competing pulls over the next several years will be their true test as owners. Only at that point will we know just how ideal or not they can be.


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