Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Glazers maintain ManU still not for sale

4

March

You may have heard a bit during the past few days about a group of businessmen known as the Red Knights attempting to take control of Manchester United, the Glazer family's prized possession and one of the top soccer clubs in the world.

But the owners of the Bucs seem about as willing to sell ManU as they are to do interviews. In other words, not gonna happen. If you believe their adamant denials, then this story will end with the Glazers remaining in control of the franchise, allowing Bucs fans to continue to ask aloud how much the mounting debt on the soccer club affects the Glazers' investment in their NFL property.

And here's something to think about: Even if the Glazers were willing to sell, how much do you think they would ask for? They made the purchase five years ago for $1.4 billion, and they are certainly going to want to turn a handsome profit, which they're entitled to. So, even if the family has a change of heart, the chances of a deal getting done would still be remote because financing a multi-billion-dollar purchase in a global recession isn't exactly an easy thing to pull off. The price would be prohibitive, to say the least.

For now, Manchester United chief executive David Gill maintains, "The owners are long-term investors. They want to keep the club for many years to come. The Red Knights can put a plan together, but unless the owners want to sell, and they've given no indication that is the case, then they can't buy the asset. It's not for sale."

The Wall Street Journal has a thorough look at the situation in today's editions (thanks to my Twitter follower @jprowell for the assist).

For the time being, this whole story might make for some good theater, but don't expect a surprise ending to this episode.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:56pm]

    

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