Saturday, June 11, 2005

United, United now for sale

Malcolm Glazer has announced how he plans to make money out of his purchase of Manchester United. Among them are plans to raise ticket prices, cap transfer spending to £25 million a year, and to play a match in Tampa each year.

The People's Republic are not sure this will be enough to cover the debts made from the initial purchase of the club, so we offer Mr. Glazer the following advice free of charge (after all, we wouldn't want to bankrupt them). Firstly, to make maximum income from their yearly tour of the States and also to make sure they do not get sued for use of the term "football", we propose that they should rename the club "Soccer Club United's of Manchester" (or S.C.U.M. for short). Secondly, they should relocate to Birmingham, or perhaps even London where there will be a bigger natural fan base. Alternatively, big Mal could relocate them to Milton Keynes, exactly halfway between the two, so that they could play their new city rivals the MK Dons in a money-spinning match that would be known as "the franchise derby".

Manchester United fans may be upset over the purchase, and while the People's Republic sympathizes with the true fans that have supported the club man-and-boy for several decades, the truth is they have had it coming. Man United has been for sale ever since they put the club on the stock market in the early 90's. Their previous owner, Martin Edwards, continually attempted to make money out of the shares he inherited from his father, selling them again and again to anyone who offered a decent price and even at one point attempting to sell the club to the Devil's own company, Sky Sports. Add to this the merchandising tie-up with the New York Yankees, the summer tours to the Far-East and the U.S., and the infamous episode where they played in the World Club Championships instead of the oldest cup competition in the world, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

Of course Mr Glazer turned around the fortunes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who used to be the laughing stock of American football, but the difference is Man Utd are (were?) a successful club already.

If he wanted to turn around the laughing stock of English soccer, he should have taken over Birmingham City.

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