Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jealousy is behind UEFA's threat to kick United out of Europe...

Let's stop beating about the bush, UEFA's latest threat to kick heavily in debt clubs out of Europe is targeted at Manchester United and Liverpool - Chelsea and their mega wealthy owner, Roman Abramovich, are a completely different case and everyone knows it too.

If, and it's a very big if, this threat is actioned, the likelihood is that it won't be restricted to just one club like United and of course UEFA do like to make examples of British clubs as we have seen before.

As a long-standing Manchester United supporter and someone who is still vehemently opposed to the sale of the club to the Glazer family, this UEFA threat to boot United out of Europe has got me onto my soap-box. Here's why.

Thousands upon thousands of United supporters were totally opposed to the sale of the club to the Glazers', not just because of who they are and what they stand for, but also because fundamentally they could not afford to buy the club without borrowing a king’s ransom which has put the club massively into hock with the banks.

Question, why didn't UEFA poke their snotty noses into this affair at that juncture? Because if they had done, just perhaps the sale of the club to the Glazers' would never have taken place.

But no, UEFA did not take any action, I seem to recall at the time they did their usual trick of buck-passing to the English FA, which is their get-out-of-jail-card for those occasions when they really cannot be bothered to take any action.

Role the clock forward to 2008 and the newly formed European Club Association and added to which the recent appointment of Michelle Platini. Over the last few month's there has been reports suggesting that some European Club Association members have been bending Platini's ear about the unfairness of the current situation, whereby some European Associations, specifically the English FA, have allowed clubs to rack up huge debts with the banks.

Here's a question: If United, Chelsea and Liverpool were failing to qualify for the Champions League, does anyone seriously think that the Germans and UEFA would be complaining? The answer to that is a rather obvious NO.

The reason that UEFA and the Germans are unhappy is because the English clubs are growing stronger and they do not like it, they are jealous; it is as simple as that. If that isn't so, then why didn't UEFA see this coming when it mattered, when they could have tried to stop the Glazers from their debt laden mission of madness which has resulted in thousands of rank and file United fans being priced out of following their beloved club?

I remain totally opposed to any new owners who come into the English game looking to exploit our clubs with a view to cashing-in on the back of our supporters and the game we know and love.

Despite my feelings on ownership, I for one remain unconvinced that UEFA is on solid ground over this threat. Here's why. As I understand it, the Glazers' have a holding company which is totally separate from Manchester United and it is this company which is responsible for the bulk of their debts, so I'm not even convinced that booting United out of Europe would stand-up on legal grounds.

There is also an argument that United, taken as an ongoing business is as solid as a rock, it is the owners acquisition debt that is weighing down the club's finances due to staggering annual interest payments to Red Football Ltd.

We all know and realise that UEFA and FIFA think that they are a law unto themselves, but could UEFA really kick out a football club if their parent company is on dodgy ground?

I suspect there would be a very strong legal challenge from United and anyone who thinks otherwise must surely be mistaken, there is too much at stake for all concerned.

Let us take this a step further. Let us assume that UEFA carries out this threat, let us also assume that this move sent out United and the Glazers' out of business. It could happen - especially the latter, it would seem to me that the Glazers' would have a solid case against UEFA for bringing down their empire, given that they had moved the goal-posts after the takeover and by banning the club they have effectively bankrupted, Manchester United, formerly the biggest club in the world. Now would UEFA really fancy taking that on in court?

UEFA need to understand that talk is cheap. Nothing will come of these empty threats of that I am fairly certain. United and Liverpool will be told to get their houses in order, you do wonder if that in turn could eventually lead new owners of both clubs.


  1. I totally agree there is something going behind the stage to curb English club domination in European cup competitions..

    Especially Real Madrid is not able to attract players, who president is very good friend of Blatter who suggested the players are slaves...

    And Platini who want to ban all english clubs from competing if he get a chance to do that...

    And FA is agreeing with that...are they out of their mind ?

  2. The money the Glazers borrowed came from US sources. I do not believe there's any document in existence that names MUFC as owing $XXX millions. The debt is in the Glazers name. No US lender would want the debt in the name of an overseas organisation subject to foreign laws when it could have the debt in the names of US residents.
    UEFA are barking up the wrong tree. They should be looking at wages as a % of football income.

  3. This is just biest blogging, UEFA have done this because clubs need to be refinanced, not because of their jealousy of the club's wealth. I'm a United fan too but I think some major reforming needs to be done, we need to get every major club out of debt, including United, so that no negative effects are made, for example the selling or renaming of stadiums, or selling of players or even the rise in ticket costs.

  4. Lee,

    The point stands. If United, Liverpool and Chelsea were not doing well in the Champions League, we'd hear nothing from UEFA.

    They ARE jealous of the English clubs, they do not like to see English clubs doing well. This threat from UEFA has nothing to do with the wellbeing of English clubs but all to do with interference.

    The German clubs are behind the carping, Platini is doing their bidding for them. What's more, if the boot was the other way around, does anyone seriously believe that Platini would be acting against the Germans, Italians or Spanish clubs? Take the example of Real Madrid, it is well documented that they had serious problems a few years ago, did UEFA do anything? NO.


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