A cloning update from the science desk at ant n cleopuss towers tonight, and news from none other than Manchester Uniteds rather distinctive owner Malcolm Glazer. For generations the rich have tried to find ways to cheat death or extend their lives, often going to great lengths, using their considerable finances to try to extend their lifespans.
We can exclusively reveal today that Malcolm Glazer, using researchmaterial from the early US cloning experiments, has cloned himself! When his current body dies his genes will live on to run his companies in the form of his son – a genetically identical copy of himself!
The Glazers latest plan is to saddle Manchester United, (until a few years ago the richest club in the world), with ever increasing levels of debt to fund their scientifically advanced experiments.
Since becoming a PLC, United have invested carefully in their training facilities, stadium and squad, prudently building generators of increased income (much to the dismay of plastic scousers such as myself). When the Glazers bought the club they purchased a business with extremely solid foundations, a large and expanding stadium and a world class facility for youth and team development at Carrington.
Since this time, and because of the way in which they purchased United (with debt – secured against the clubs many assets), the club is no longer profitable and is paying extraordinary amounts of interest on its many loans. This season the only reason that the business was able to report a pre tax profit was due to the sale of (diving) Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world record fee. Worse than this however, is the fact that the level of debt is growing, rather than being repaid. Currently Manchester United are over700 million in debt, not after investing madly in their squad as Real Madrid have done to develop their team and build future success, but simply to gain the benefit of having new owners. Revenues have been maxed out in recent years too, winning successive league titles and having successive runs in the champions league have helped cover the interest on their loans. If we subtract this onfield success from the equation, webwurld feels strongly that the Glazers have made a largely negative impact on the club.
They might counter this with the assertion that turnover has increased since they have been steering the ship, and that their contacts have resulted in some pretty impressive sponsorship and associated revenues. This is true, however revenue would have increased anyway, and they have not acted responsibly in their financial stewardship of the club. One example of this is the new 80 million pound shirt sponsorship deal with Aon which starts next season, a wonderful source of revenue for the club it is indeed. However the Glazers have already drawn down almost half of these payments, supposed to be split over the 4 years of the sponsorship deal which has yet to start. They are borrowing from tomorrow to pay for todays excesses, any owner of a credit card will tell you this is unsustainable in the longer term.
The latest brainwave from the Glazier clones is to sell the family silver to generate more income to pay off the clubs debt. They propose selling the Carrington training ground and even Old Trafford itself, then leasing them back to the club, providing another significant operating cost to the business – which will have long term impacts on the clubs profitability and future investment, but may help them reduce their debt mountain in the short to medium term.
If anyone really believed that the clones had the best interests of the club at heart, or were real football supporters, this is disproved by the recent revelations that together the clones and their father have taken over 22.9 million pounds out of the club in loans and professional fees since their takeover.
It is increasingly clear that the Glazier clones are simply out to make a fast buck. The major reason behind their ‘purchase’ of one of our countries most famous clubs, is that they hope that the current revenue sharing agreement which guarantees lower clubs in the premier league a certain proportion of revenue generated through TV deals will be ripped up, leaving United free to sell their own commercial rights internationally in much the same way that Real Madrid and Barcelona currently do. They would then be able to finance the debt they have created much more easily and sell the club on at a healthy profit, after using it to pay themselves enormous fees in the meantime.
Ask yourself honestly – what expertise do they really bring to United that wasn’t there already in 2005 when they went ahead with their mad scheme? Are they really worth over 700 million pounds?
And what of Michel Platini’s assertion that Chelsea and Man City could be barred from future Champions League competitions because of their debt? He does this as he says the stability of football clubs is important – they must be here tomorrow. Unfortunately the (intellectually challenged) Platini happens be complaining about the two clubs where an annual debt of 100 m is sustainable! In the process he has strategically ignored the situation at Man United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and others who have mush riskier business models. He also makes a monkey out of himself as he continues to show his distaste for the manager in the premier league who is concerned with managing his club properly and actually making an annual profit – arsene Wenger . Although, as the Spoiler accurately states, this dislike is probably more about poor Michel feeling threatened by Arsene’s ability to do a better job than himself as head of UEFA when he finally leaves Arsenal. Cleopuss and I believe Arsene is more likely to look first at the French Managers job, where he may win something significant, putting more of Mr Platini’s successes in the shade.