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Reaction to the Chelsea defeat

United will go into the international break ruing, what could have been, a draw (even, to the optimists, a win). Prior to the game, whilst I predicted a 1-1 draw, a nagging feeling told me a defeat to Chelsea was a perfectly possible — and in a parallel universe, even deserving, given our recent form — and I had my mind made up preparing for the worst.

What transpired actually surprised me.

I’d mentioned in passing in the comments, in the week leading up to the match, that our approach should be a safety first 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation to deal with Chelsea’s formidable midfield. I also hoped we would first be a bit cagey to start off the match, and then, based on how well we settled, attack when presented with the chance. A draw, in my mind, was something I would have gleefully taken given the way our players were outplayed by a Liverpool side that was supposedly down in the dumps. [My thinking was, if our players couldn’t rouse themselves for arguably our biggest fixture of any season — Liverpool — they would struggle to be charged up similarly for Chelsea] Add to this, the absence of our best central midfield pair for four years and one would see why United fans, by and large, feared the worst.

So I hoped the idea I had in mind — of best tackling Chelsea — played out. But it was more hope than conviction.

Ferguson, to his credit, got his tactics right to the T — as I hoped. The lads, to their credit, got going the way I’d played in my mind — in Hopeland; initially cagey, looking for chances as they came and held their lines well. And the lads, once again to their credit, were charged up for the occasion beyond any match I’ve seen this season.

And this played out like a dream… till the 76th minute.

The referee infractions right through the match annoyed me. But I was willing to forgive all that. After all, we were 0-0 and created the better chances in the second half. Fletcher fought like a lion, like he always does. Anderson, who I thought was not the best in the first half, came into his own towards the latter stages of the first and the rest of the match thereon; giving us more attacking thrust in midfield, while doing a good job — alongside Fletcher — in nullifying Deco and Essien. Also, was Ballack playing? And, I happened to notice Lampard when he was celebrating alongside Terry.

Same with our defence. Brown, after a questionable performance against CSKA, was up for this one. He was peerless, until a whining, cheating, moaning (yet built like a brick shithouse) player pulled him down from a suspiciously offside position. And, by the way, in case you didn’t know, Jonny Evans is only 21 years of age. There are reports that he has a troublesome ankle and will eventually require surgery but is currently playing through all that. Defenders typically peak in the latter half of their 20s, and if he stays healthy we have a gem in this boy. It’s a blessing in disguise that Rio is out indefinitely — as much as we’d like a fully fit Rio. Yesterday, he struck a stud into the heart of said brick shithouse, and while my first reaction on seeing the replay was “Ouch!”, my opinion since then has been revised, all things considered. I don’t have to speak my mind on this — it’s better left unsaid.

Anyway, the 76th minute…

Regulars would know I typically don’t lay blame on the referees after every defeat. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. But yesterday was some rubbish officiating, to put it mildly. This match had inconsistencies peppered all over it, to either side — although the crucial ones went Chelsea’s way. These things always happen when you are the home team and a “big four” side, but Fletcher’s tackle was as clean as they get. And, as Ferguson later said, the positioning of the referee for the resulting free kick was horrendous. There were marginal calls for the Valencia penalty, and a much more serious error on Rooney’s offside call. On reflection, Evans was also a bit lucky to get away. The timekeeping, considering Alex’s substitution took about a minute was also dodgy. So there…

We can take heart from a wonderfully rousing performance, and one hopes this gets the side focused for the rest of the year. Our schedule seems gentle for the rest of the year right till the end of January where we face Arsenal at the Emirates. One hopes we can go on a run and expect Chelsea and Arsenal to drop points to stay within range.

Of course, the win doesn’t disguise the fact that we lack creativity going forward and we will struggle against the bigger sides. But with a dominant midfield, against inferior defences, we could do a much better job. If we saw even a bit of the fire we did see against Chelsea, I think we’ll be well positioned to put pressure on the league leaders.

Further reading:

An Arsenal perspective on our loss.
Republik of Mancunia
United Rant
A kick in the grass.

Bonus material, just to keep the mind off this:

The Lyon-Marseille match in the weekend was a 5-5 thriller! Yes, you read it right: 5-5! Here’s the extended highlights of the game. Good fun.

148 Comments

148 Comments

  1. gator

    10 November 2009 at 18:06

    @B: I respect wenger but he has won sweet fuck all and fergi has 11 of 17 prems and 3 on the hop so i think that anything that comes out of the mans mouth is worth a listen no matter who the fuck you are. 😎

  2. gator

    10 November 2009 at 18:19

    @Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog: no worries mate the rest of the world thinks all arsenal fans are delusional ie “arsonologist” bc of the insistence that each year will be the year the kids come good.

    United fans are guilty of the same delusion this year with respect to Macheda, wellbeck, dasilva twins, Obertan ect… haha keep the faith mate 😎

  3. gator

    10 November 2009 at 18:32

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: actually it does if those #s are correct(they are not) then the bucks should generate 1.085b + 80m(ron) =1.885b -1.8b(estimated debt) =850k problem solved 😎 if only it were that easy huh?

  4. gator

    10 November 2009 at 18:36

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: sounds like good business they sold shy of 10 million shares for $7.50 when they are trading in the mid 6es?

  5. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 18:41

    @Red Ranter: Alright RR we’re clear on that. Lets finally put it to bed. I see your point regarding the Daily Mail, but for me this goes beyond what that rag thinks. Anyway, we’ve both had our say. Peace. πŸ™‚

  6. Red Ranter

    10 November 2009 at 18:46

    @gator: Where did you learn math? πŸ™‚

    1.085b+80m = 1,085m + 80m = 1,165m or 1.165b.

    1.8b(debt) – 1.165b = $635m

    Problem far from solved, if you do that kind of math.

  7. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 18:47

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: He respects and likes United but that’s not where he wants to play. Real Madrid is where he wants to be and lets face it, those ass wipes have the money and the stupidity to spend it in order to get him. Do you honestly believe that United can win a bidding war with them or Barcelona if they both really want that player? We don’t have the money. And to be honest, although I am a big Ribery fan, I have lost a lot of respect for him over his attitude at Bayern this year and over his continuing legacy of missing games due to mysterious injuries. Not the kind of player we want or need. I would much prefer David Silva or Gourcuff as my creative midfielder. Cheaper and just as good with less baggage and no desire to go to Madrid.

  8. gator

    10 November 2009 at 18:52

    @Red Ranter: decimals eh πŸ˜†

    no matter the bucks have plenty of interested parties should they come up for sale which could knock the glazers entire debt out. they are not 1b in debt. i think they have lost interest in the bucks and should let them go so someone can that wants to spent $ on them can.

    like this guy Eddie Debartolo

  9. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 18:53

    @Red Ranter: Sorry RR, I am not one who likes to have a go at a visitor from another club as long as he behaves himself and isn’t just trolling for trouble. My God there are dozens of Arsenal blogs he can go have his say and be applauded as well, but he shows up here. No mate, he needed to be put in his place. It’s similar to the bloody Jehovah’s Witness freaks knocking on your door and pestering you. You can be nice to them which just means they will hassle you again, or you can tell them to frak off, which is what I used to do until I moved into an apartment. Sorry again for being aggressive with him but that kind of crap just rubs me the wrong way. Someone decides to have a walk and lift his up and sing in No Man’s Land, he’s going to get it shot off. πŸ˜€

  10. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 18:56

    @Red Ranter: πŸ˜€
    @gator: Look, I am not saying my numbers are accurate. I am just pointing out behavior by the Glazers that suggests that they are in a money squeeze.

    I would still be very worried if, over the past 3 years, we have not put a great dent in our debt (united’s debt) – we won a champions league, 3 epl titles, carling cup, world club cup, $1 million Saudi trip, world record transfer fees and we still have AT LEAST 500 million in debt (unless you can tell me something else).

    There has been no update from the Glazers since the banks starting claiming their interest payments and with the current economic crisis there is very little leniency from banks… so I am a worried about the state of our financial affairs.

    Can anyone enlighten me with some confidential figures and secrets from the Glazer family? ❓ ❓ ❓

  11. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 18:56

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: First off, there is not guarantee he would come to United if he chose England. Ribery is a classic example of a mercenary. He has loyalty to only one person and thats Franck Ribery. If Chelsea were willing to pay him more than United, trust me, he would choose them in a split second. This guy has no loyalty whatsoever. Not even reuniting with his long lost borther Gary Neville is enough motivation for him to join us. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  12. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 18:59

    @Grognard: Ok, I see your point. With Robinho heavily rumored for Barca, I see only Utd and RM going for Ribery — and you are right RM will likely get him with Van Der Vaart going back to Deutschland. You are right — we do not want the attitude that Ribery brings (if he comes out and states that he is a United fan and would love to play for us, then I will change my mind and will drool at the prospects of bringing him on-board)… he is an amazing player.

  13. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 19:01

    @Grognard: I do not agree that he would go to chelsea over utd. We were paying Ronaldo the largest salary in the league before he left and tevez is gone too so we can match ANY team’s salaries. Plus, I think the choice for Ribery is United or Real Madrid — -chelsea are under-achievers.

  14. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:04

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Of course they would debunk the statement because they are nothing but lying snakes in the grass. Thye are going to destroy United unless somebody with big bucks comes a knocking sooner rather than later because as I see it, the profits keep coming for the team but the debt keeps getting larger. What does that tell you? It tells me that the profits are going into Swiss bank accounts for the Glazer’s where nobody can get at them. They are syphoning off all the money from United and having us operate in the the deep red so that they can make back the money they lost to Bernie Madoff. Operate United at a debt by making the bare minimum allowable in debt payments while the profits mysteriously disappear as they do not go to towards reducing the debt or to improving the team on the field. We are in deep dire straights lads as long as Mancunia allows these fucking assholes to own the club. Christ how I despise the ground they walk on. 😑 😑

  15. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 19:16

    @Grognard: Is there anyone “leaking” financial info about United to the press or on United blogs… there’s gotta be one informant… every organization has one…

    I really want to know how bad it is.

  16. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:31

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: No coincidence that this happened after the Ronaldo sale. Just confirms what I said from day one, that Fergie wasn’t going to get a dime of that money for players because it was going to go into the Glazer’s pockets. What’s even worse is that one could at least respect the attempt to pay off a portion of that debt with the money, but the money never went there either.

    This reminds me of the infamous Peter Pocklington, who used to be the owner of the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey club at the time when Edmonton had the great Wayne Gretzky. Pocklington was well known around Edmonton as a very crooked businessman, a slumlord and as unscrupulous as they come. He came to Edmonton after with nothing and soon after had become a billionaire because of his wheeling and dealing. He bought the Edmonton Oilers and under him the team won five Stanley Cups and was the greatest hockey team in the world. Edmontonians were luckybecause at that time all our great players were young, Canadian and had no mercenary ambitions. They were paid very little other than Gretzky and they tolerated it because they locved the winning and they felt part of a family thanks to the coach Glen Sather.

    But after having won their fourth cup in five years, Pocklington decided to do the unthinkable. He was mired in personal debt as many of his businesses and investments had all gone south on him and he needed money fast. So he traded Wayne Gretzky (the Ronaldo of hockey, Hell, the Pele of hockey) to the LA Kings for a few players and an awful lot of money. Money he promised the city of Edmonton would go back into rebuilding the team. The city did not trust him of course and the people of Edmonton and Canadians in general were shocked and appalled (people in Calgary, Edmonton’s provincial rival however were seen dancing in the streets) that their national treasure had been sold for useless players and money that they all knew was going to never go towards rebuilding the Oilers.

    Well as it turned out, the money never did go towards the Oilers and Peter Pocklington was now the most unpopular man in the city. Nobody liked him, his previous business associates wanted nothing to do with him because any dealing with him, hurt their business and exposure with the public. One Edmontonian went as far as to enter Pocklington’s house and hold him and his family hostage as he wanted justice due to the suffering he had incurred over one of Pocklington’s business deals. He went on to hold the family hostage for hours and actually shot Pocklington in the arm before he was captured. Funny thing about that man, while only a few months in prison, he was brutally beaten in his cell by other convicts. One came out and said it was a contract hit paid for by Pocklington.

    Anyway, the point to my story is that I see certain similarities to what Pocklington had done to United and what the Glazer’s are presently doing to United. Sure, Ronaldo wanted to go to Madrid while Gretzky didn’t want to leave Edmonton, but what about the money? It seems the money for both superstars seems to have gone into the pockets of the owner and has never been used to help the manager buy replacement players.

    The Glazer’s don’t care about Manchester, and Pocklington never gave a damn about Edmonton. He was eventually forced to not only leave Edmonton but take his business interests outside of Canada as he was bitterly hated by the community he betrayed and the country who looked at Wayne Gretzky as their treasure. A player who was not just great, but who helped put Edmonton and Canada on the world map due to his recognized name and exposure. Why is Manchester and it’s fans allowing the glazer’s to sell our great team down the creek? Why are they not up in arms demanding that they sell the team to worthy buyers? Why are there not demonstrations outside of OT? Why? Why? Why? πŸ™„

  17. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:37

    @Johnsom33: Ah come on mate, conspiracy theories make the world go round and they are fun to boot. πŸ˜€ And I for one happen to love Michael Moore. Why? Because he tells the sad truth.

  18. Red Ranter

    10 November 2009 at 19:39

    @Grognard: Mate, he shows up here because I let him. And I dealt with him. If I didn’t you had some justification. And I get to decide here who is the troll. So please understand this, and move on.

  19. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:45

    @Johnsom33: It starts form borrowing against the team mate. They may be borrowing money from banks to solve their liquidity at home in America and are using the stability of United’s money making status as a collateral. United could very well be in that kind of debt and still be the number one money making team in all sports. It’s what happens to those profits that concerns me. When owners borrow from one investment to pay off debts in another, these things can escalate and get way out of hand. Having lost their underwear to Bernie Madoff, they have a lot of recovering to do and they are using Man Utd to get that done. Or they are using Man Utd to create a secure nest-egg for them selves in Swiss banks, so that if things are totally lost in America, they still have personal wealth that nobody can touch.

    Have you learned nothing from the Wall Street collapse? American billionaires and investment types will do anything to anyone to survive and make sure they make a profit. The will destroy, cheat and steal. The glazer’s are part of that Wall Street environment and they got burned by it. Now they are trying hard not to pay off their debts, but to recover their own wealth.

  20. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:47

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Tampa Bay has not spent money to buy one skilled player since the Glazer’s bought the team. They always operate under the cap and never have never bought skilled players for their offensive skill positions. That alone should be a warning that the Glazer’s do not care about the team’s on field success and that they have no affection or respect for the fans of Tampa. All they care about is the money.

  21. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:53

    @gator: Eddie Debartolo? 😯 😯 😯 That criminal. That guy did hard time in prison for fraud. Just what Tampa Bay need πŸ˜† πŸ˜† You know this, that he used to own the San Francisco 49er’s of the NFL but was forced to sell because he was going to jail. In fairness to him, the 49er’s were the best team in football under his ownership and he always bought the best players to add to his drafted stars. But still, with money the man is more unscrupulous than the Glazer’s. Criminal with a capital C.

  22. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:55

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: I wouldn’t dismiss Chelsea from going after him either now that their ban has been lifted. Convenient that they get their ban lifted but we can’t even get an injustice like a yellow or red card for Fletcher lifted.

  23. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:57

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Chelsea are in first place mate and they have Ancelotti as manager. A man who carries a lot of clout and pedigree with him. Also, he is known for being a manager who loves veteran players. Add to this that Roman has much more money at his disposal and can easily outbid us for any player he wants. Where is united going to get the money for Ribery? Please, tell me?

  24. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 19:59

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: So would I? The Glazer’s have always been very good at keeping their financial information secret. They hire people close to the money that they can trust and who are just like them.

  25. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 20:00

    @Red Ranter: I have moved on mate. You keep bringing it up just because you want the last word. You know Grggy gets the last word. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  26. gator

    10 November 2009 at 20:10

    @Grognard: i could care less about anything but his money. If he gives it to the glazers and it cancels out their debt united are better off. bucks would be better too as he likes to spend $ to win ala the 69ers

  27. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 20:27

    @gator: 69’s??? you mean 49’s πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  28. gator

    10 November 2009 at 20:52

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: another math mistake πŸ˜‰

  29. Red Ranter

    10 November 2009 at 20:54

    @Grognard: I don’t have a problem with you having the last words as long as they are: “I agree with you, mein fuhrer” πŸ˜€

  30. Red Ranter

    10 November 2009 at 20:55

    @gator: Can’t blame you. After all, the Gators are Number 1 in College Football. Not college math. πŸ˜€

  31. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 20:59

    @Red Ranter: Watch out for Cincinnati, my alma mater!!

  32. Sam Davis

    10 November 2009 at 21:32

    @Grognard: My head would quite literally explode if Gourcuff came here. As some here have shown (as I’ve been told) to be Nani and Berbatov enthusiasts, there’s nobody with a more unnecessary love for a player than mine for a one Yoann Gourkizzle.

    That aside, I was thinking about something regarding the Obertan transfer. He’s obviously rife with quality and at least Blanc felt that he was good enough to both make the bench and play in the Champions League last season. Two of those games against Chelsea. For whatever reason he was loaned out for the second half of the season and then finds his way here. From the U-21 matches that I’ve seen him in to the reserve matches, the first team matches for Bordeaux, and his time with us in the 1st team, the quality (in my eyes) is there in spades. He just needs some time to gel as all players do. Some might debate that and point to Rafa and Fabio but I think he’s ready now.

    At any rate, Blanc lets him go for Β£3m? That’s quite the steal. Then a friend who’s an avid follower of Ligue 1 suggests that maybe that could say something about Blanc’s managerial future. I’m not gonna jump the gun and say it’s definite but he’s alway spoken highly of Fergie from his time playing for United, still keeps in touch, and in some circles it was posited that he might be in the running to take up Fergie’s post after he retires (whenever that is) and looking at what’s he’s been able to do with Bordeaux in the past three seasons and the style of football that I’ve seen them play (of course I watch them every chance I get) I certainly wouldn’t mind it at all.

    If he does come, could a one Yoann Gourcuff perhaps follow. At the very least I hope that Zidane doesn’t get in his head and convince him to go to the BernabΓ©u. As far as the big names that sell shirts are concerned (and that’s really all that Madrid seems to care about) Gourcuff is, as crazy as it seems, not even on the causal fans radar at all. A good showing at the WC could change that (assuming France makes it) but it doesn’t really seem like Madrid could find a place for in him in the starting 11. Then again that’s what I thought about Benzema and, for the most part, he’s done fuck all.

  33. [OPTI]Madschester United

    10 November 2009 at 21:40

    @Sam Davis: Rooney – heart = Benzema

    Now that is math you believe in πŸ˜‰

  34. Sam Davis

    10 November 2009 at 21:47

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: I’m kind of in agreement with that but I really like Benzema and thought he could’ve done really well for us in a strictly attacking role. Couldn’t play him, Berba, and Rooney at the same time though.

    To be fair I think he’s a better finisher than Rooney is now (perhaps that’s got something do with Rooney doing a bit of everything nowadays) and he’s got a bit of size on him too.

    Guess the bright lights of The BernabΓ©u got to him though and he thought that was the better option. Every time I see him play though, he’s always in position to set up goals (and rarely does) and never scoring them.

  35. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 21:50

    @Red Ranter: Now RR, you know that when we are truly honest, I am the fuhrer around here. My German leanings should make it that obvious. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  36. ROOOOONEY

    10 November 2009 at 21:55

    ah Yoann its like a wet dream seeing him in red. but you know how that goes~
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ32AnGleIY

  37. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 22:05

    @Sam Davis: Boy after reading a book like Soccernomics, my views on teams, managers and players has radically changed. The fact and evidence show me and millions of others who think they know the game to be wrong. I’m not as wrong as many others but there are preconceived beliefs that I have had when it comest to our team buying players and the hiring of managers that is now ashess to the wind.

    Gourcuff is exactly what we need because of his skill but most importantly, his age and the price we can get him for. Although he won;’t be cheap, I think we can get him for less than his market value because of Fergie’s outstanding relationship with Laurent Blanc. And I have said this before, but now I even make more of a case for it that Laurent Blanc should be a serious contender as successor to Fergie because he is so much more than a manager.

    RR will no what I mean when I say that I honestly wished that Manchester United was not this big brand and was operated much more like Lyon. I think their way of doing business makes so much sense that it’s really eye opening. Their model for success is something i see Fergie trying but not succeeding because he hasn’t mastered it fully. On the other hand Bordeaux is also a small club that is achieving great things because they have a owner and manager who have a grand vision and who do no think like the dinosaurs that operate in nearly every team in England and the UK. My God, after reading that book I have so much more respect for Arsene Wenger as he has a modern grasp on how to succeed in the modern game.

    I also learned that whatever you pay for a player like Gourcuff or Silva etc, there is never enough money that shouldn’t be spent on a great goalkeeper. Therefore, anything less than Adler or Neuer is not acceptable. And the Lyon model tells me that United are making stupid decisions by buying so many players under 20. Like Obertan, success over there is measured by buying players for under their market value who are between 20 and 22. Anybody under that age comes with too many question marks and too many things can go wrong and anybody over that age limit costs too much. Therefore, it makes sense to think that the one player of all these young guns who will probably have a lasting and successful career with us is none other than Obertan. Fascinating stuff.

  38. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 22:08

    @Sam Davis: The thing holding Benzema back is his attitude and ego. Too many people like Benzema and others have gotten into his head and told him how great he is and he has made the mistake of believing it. Once that happens you stop working as hard, you lose your humility and you believe you are above everyone else. Once that started to happen, he was dirt in the eyes of Lyon and they knew that the time was right to sell while his market value was still higher than his real value.

  39. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 22:11

    @ROOOOONEY: Truly amazing skill on the ball. Name one United midfielder that has not only that kind of touch, dribbling skill, finesse and vision, but the ability to score goals too? The answer………..NOBODY!

  40. Grognard

    10 November 2009 at 22:21

    On a very sad note regarding German goalkeepers, Robert Enke has died in what is believed to have been a suicide.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091110/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_obit_enke

  41. gator

    11 November 2009 at 01:05

    @Red Ranter: dont tell anyone i was a finance major πŸ˜‰

  42. gator

    11 November 2009 at 01:08

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: haha thats pretty funny mate 😈

  43. gator

    11 November 2009 at 01:11

    Barcelona cant afford robinho 😯

  44. rysho

    11 November 2009 at 11:48

    @Grognard: I dont think we should be too worried about our debt. Yes, Glazers dont buy this club becouse they are fans of United, but they bought it as a investition. Without own money, only with loans. When they pay back loans, they got a moneymachine. We are not yet in the best shape to produce money, but commercialy we have progressed very well. You could see it. We have got a lot of sponsor deals in Asia, Middle East and Afrika. They try to use United brand for commercial deals across the world and that brings a lot of money and it will bring even more money in future.
    Back to the loans. Today its better to have debts, than dont. Because the money value is very low and it will be worse. I dont know the structure of loans, but i bet the most of them are in USD. It will be great, because in next few years will be european economic much stronger than american. Europe has the possibility to grow, because of new EU members. So the value of USD loans falls in GBP or EUR. I think this is good for us.
    Next think is our collateral for loans are estates. These estates you cant sell today. Banks dont take estates instead of money. Carrington training ground, who would buy this. So its in interest of bank to pay back loans. They would rather negotiate with you how to pay it, and they are able to wait a little bit longer.
    The worst thing for us is when we have to pay the debt and dont have enough money to buy better players. Transfer politics to buy only under 26 and foreign youngsters its becouse of this i think. You could find answer for this problem in academy.

  45. Onkar

    11 November 2009 at 12:37

    @rysho: First of all debts are only good when they can be repaid regularly along with the compulsory interest payment. Moreover I don’t buy into your argument of having debts is some time better than not having it. I think leveraging (specially financial leveraging) only helps when you have scope to earn super normal or I should say above normal profits. Where your IRR is far and I repeat FAR more than your cost of borrowed funds. But in united’s case it doesn’t look like that way (at least prima facie). As when you are barely paying your interest and after doing record Operating profits if you are booking Per tax losses then you can safely say that you have tried to chew more than what you can swallow. This is typical case where more often than not you go for liquidity burst as you go insolvent in short run. Please take note of word short run. This means that you are not able to pay of your revenue expd as well as interest and current liab from your Revenue+ Current assets. This push you to use your long term debt funds for revenue purpose rather than capital purpose which eventually end up in insolvency of the organization.
    Now, I am trying to say that this how Man UTD will end all I am saying is having debt won’t always help definitely not in this case. Moreover, I wuld like to point out that how not having debt would have helped us. If we were debt free company like we originally was then all proceeds of Ronaldo money would have got reinvested in the system and players. Now, all of us almost have an idea where that money has gone. Now, (I am not sure about the accounting treatment) my understanding says that what ever profit we made on the sale of Ronaldo was capital gains for which was earned over a period of time. So, this should have got interested in potential assets for the business be it players, stadium, academy etc.. Has it happened??? Answer is big NO. This is clear sign that we are using the proceeds from the sale of an assets to pay of just the interest which clearly suggest that our capital structure what is commonly known as Debt Equity Ratio is already stressed. Moreover, the one should answer the simple question that why after having the best three year period in recent time our debts have actually increased rather than other way around. Which clearly point out towards one thing that we have revalued our debt. Why??? May be because the lenders are not sure about the creditworthiness of the company and they wanted to cover there risk by increasing the cost of funds which resulted in higher debts!!! All these signs show you one thing Leveraging can be good fine but it purely depends on which industry you are a part of. And the kind of leveraging we are forced into is definitely not helping us for sure.

  46. Onkar

    11 November 2009 at 12:43

    @rysho: And further more I don’t agree that banks won’t be interested in the land that has been mortgage with them. They won’t take any action until two events…
    We are servicing debts (at least interest component on time) and the current valuation of that is lower than what they have valued while mortgaging the same…
    But some day if both things reveres then they may opt to take charge of that land for the money that they need to recover….
    I think things might be clearer for you now then they were….
    All in all in Short
    “Financial Leveraging as whole is not bad but in case of Man UTD it is definitely hurting us big time. We have tried chewing more than what we can swallow that’s all”

  47. Sam Davis

    11 November 2009 at 16:39

    A bit off-topic but how do you guys here normally keep up with the comments section of different posts? Do you just periodically come back to the site to see if new comments have been added or is it possible to subscribe to an RSS feed of sorts specifically for the comments, drop it in Google Reader, for instance, and follow it that way?

    I see the “notify me of followup comments via e-mail” box below but is there another way that won’t clog up your inbox?

  48. gator

    11 November 2009 at 23:51

    @Onkar: you are still speculating that the ronaldo money is NOT available.

    The only “official statements” that i have seen say that 60 of the 80 were made available to saf along with our normal 25 for the summer transfer window, and that all unused funds roll over to the next transfer window.

    Even Sir Alex has said that the money was available but he didnt use it so the kids could get a chance to step up and i agree with this idea. macheda, wellbeck, da silvas, obertan, nani, anderson, and others all have a chance to save United lots of money by becoming united class.

    All of these kids could come good if given the chance/if they take it. If not i expect like every other united fan to see close to 100m pounds spent next year and some that arent cutting it to be sold.

    This is when we will know if we have the money or not. I have seen no evidence or statement that states differently yet.

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