I Don’t Profess To Be An Expert But I Do Believe Common Sense Counts For Something
The longer the situation continues to manifest itself and foments. The more precarious the situation becomes concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . With the Glazer family’s interests in both the Buccaneers as well as the Premiership League soccer team Manchester United taking up a large part of their business interests and concern. The estimated value of both concerns has to be close to $2.2 billion conservatively. It is estimated that United alone is worth in excess of $1.55 billion . But that doesn’t take into account the mountain of debt that the Glazer family has encumbered the team with at this juncture. That figure now stands at $1.15 billion .
Now on the face of it , you may not believe this to be a cause for concern but bear this in mind. If United is to compete on the lucrative front of European club competition and that means within the Champions League club competition. Then the team and in particular the organization will have to radically bring down the mountain of debt that it has been laden with , in order to meet the strict guidelines that will be soon enforced by UEFA , governing all teams entering European club competition . There are to be no allowances given to any team . And that is a direct edict from UEFA President Michel Platini . Many believe this to be Platini’s idea of trying to curtail the economic might of such teams as Manchester United, Arsenal , Real Madrid, Chelsea , AC Milan and AC Monaco F.C , F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid . But in reality nothing could be further from the truth. What Platini is actually doing, is trying to stave off teams from being financially irresponsible and places themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. But you’d be hard pressed to prove that point to his critics , who feel that this is just the French man’s way of making it somewhat easier for French teams in particular to get a leg up on their fellow European competitors , who in a number of cases have far wealthier owners than those in France.
Manchester United for its part in just the last year alone sold its most popular player, Crisitiano Ronaldo to Spanish giants Real Madrid for a world record sum of $135 million . But that wasn’t the be the last of the Spanish soccer giants’ extravagant spending as they made further outlays totaling $80 million to acquire several other players to add to the ‘Galactico’s already vast display of global soccer talent. The Spanish side much like its English counterpart is also laden with a great deal of debt but therein lies the dilemma. Whereas, Madrid appears to have everything under control , it appears that Manchester United may well soon have to embark on a sale of a number of its players on the team’s roster. And if the rumors are to be believed then the next player who may well be leaving the team will be England international, Michael Owen .
For United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson , this can’t sit too well with him or his coaching staff , team members and in particular the fans of the team. Instead of being trying to remain competitive , this maneuver will make the team even less so. Furthermore, if as envisaged this is but only the first of what could one of several moves to reduce the debt of the team. Then one has to ask what has the executive board members of the organization been doing in allowing the Glazers in allowing to go unchecked as they’ve literally brought the team to the edge of a financial precipice ? For their part the Glazers have been less than truthful or even transparent for that matter in the business dealings of the club. Suffice to say, that since they’ve taken over the team ,profits have steadily decreased while the prices have gone up on average of 45 % over the past four years on ticket prices covering the whole area of United general admissions as well as the ancillary sales associated with the club.
Though the situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers doesn’t mirror that of its sister company within the Glazers’ holdings. One thing is now becoming abundantly clear concerning the NFL franchise , it will now work on the cheap, rather than making use of its resources by way of the NFL mandated salary cap. Albeit , that for the upcoming season the league may well have to operate without a ‘salary cap’ for the year. And what with there being a March 8th deadline for an agreement to be in place for the renewal of the league’s collective bargaining agreement . It would appear that the impasse between the two sides will not be averted. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his union counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith are now said to be playing a rather dangerous game of ‘chicken’. Wherein, the financial losses for both could run into millions of dollars and that doesn’t include the goodwill that will no doubt be lost amongst the fans .
Courtesy of The Guardian UK
• Group of wealthy fans called Red Knights met in London
• Red Knights working on proposal to be put to Glazer Family
By Owen Gibson , The Guardian
The group of wealthy and well-connected Manchester United fans known as the Red Knights today confirmed that they are putting together a bid for Manchester United.
“Following the intense media speculation overnight, we can confirm that a group of high net worth individuals, who support Manchester United (known as the “Red Knights”), met in London yesterday. This group is supportive of current management but are looking at the feasibility of putting together a proposal to be put to the Glazer Family regarding the ownership of Manchester United,” it said in a statement. “These discussions are in early stages and no contact has been made with the Glazer Family.”
The group, led by Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, said that for their proposals to be viable, they would need the backing of Manchester United fans around the world. They will work with the Manchester United Supporters Trust to galvanise support among fans who have already protested against the Glazers’ ownership model.
Since the Glazers were forced to outline their business model in the prospectus for the £504m bond issue with which they refinanced the debt loaded onto the club when they bought it in 2005, fans have joined together to protest. The total debt, including the high interest hedge fund loans secured on the Glazers shareholding, stands at £716m.
“For such a proposal to be viable, it would require the involvement and support of Manchester United supporters worldwide. The Red Knights have been liaising with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (“MUST”) and their representatives attended yesterday’s meeting,” added the statement. “As a first step, the Red Knights want supporters to demonstrate their commitment by joining the free online membership of the Supporters Trust www.joinmust.org
It added: “Any new ownership model would aim not only to put the Club on a sound financial footing, but would also aim to put the supporters at the heart of everything the Club does.”
Membership of the Supporters’ Trust has broken through the 50,000 barrier since the green and gold protests that followed the bond issue have proliferated.
O’Neill yesterday met other powerful City figures interested in exploring the possibility of bidding for the club, including the stockbroker Keith Harris, who has taken a lead role in putting the plans together.
Others believed to be at yesterday’s meeting in London included Mike Rawlinson, a partner at the City law firm Freshfields, who advised United on their takeover by the Glazers in 2005.
In order to read Owen Gibson’s article in its entirety just click unto the link provided.
For Buccaneers’ coach Raheem Morris and GM Mark Dominik the upcoming NFL Draft will be the most important thus far of their still young professional careers at the helm of their respective positions. Coming off a rather disappointing 3-13 season within the NFC South division of NFL . Both he and the general manager know that the draft decisions to be made , could either make a statement that they know what they’re doing or it could very well set the franchise back at least five years. Though not everyone was sold on the drafting of quarterback Josh Freeman , it has to be said that he was a far better option than any that the team had available to them at the time. It would appear also that the team may well cut its ties to wide receiver Antonio Bryant and then look to the draft as option. The situation has only been exacerbated further by Morris’ reluctance to use a far more productive player in Earnest Graham , while he continued to showcase the efforts of Derrick Ward , which has proven to about as much of a success as the short lived singing career of Paris Hilton. As articulate as Morris on the surface appears to be. At times he’s either at a loss for words, as he’s become overwhelmed with the volume of work or he just chimes in with the most asinine of comments regarding the team !
With NFL Combine having taken place in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium , home to the Indianapolis Colts. Morris and Dominik were both in attendance to assess and gauge the talent available there. And with there being several other ‘Pro Days’ to be held between now and NFL Draft Day of April 22nd-24th 2010. Hopefully, this will be enough time to give them both as well as their coaching staff enough time to make a full assessment of the team’s requirements. The Buccaneers will have five picks in the first three rounds of the draft and hopefully with the third pick overall in the first round , ‘the choice taken will be a prudent one’. Given the team’s alleged financial constraints and the apparent unwillingness of ownership to spend money. It will be hard to determine what sort of choice that team of Morris and Dominik will be allowed to make. We know that financial commitment of in excess of $50 million will have to be made to a player taken that high. So given the choice, it will be interesting to see if they do take a pick that high in the first round or pursue the option of trading down with another team for a more viable picks and less financial constraints that would be placed upon the Buccaneers’ organization .
One might well ask how it all could come to this for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ? And the answer to be given by most fans may well be ………..’I don’t know ’ ! That would be a fair assumption on the part of the fan. But consider this , since the upheaval of the previous regime of Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen . Rumors have been flying around the Tampa community that the Glazers were in deep financial trouble concerning their investment in the Premiership soccer club and that it was taking a toll on other parts of the family’s sporting interests. his was in essence, a creation of their own making because of the way with which soccer team had been bought. The leveraged buyout placing the team’s assets as collateral alongside several bank loans has exacerbated the whole situation for club, as well as the Glazers. The bank loans and the commitments made, have to be repaid and the banks in question aren’t going to sit around waiting for their money. At the same time should the crisis fall over into the family’s ownership of the NFL franchise . Then it would only exacerbate things further and it could well bring the attention of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell into play and several members of the league’s hierarchy who overlook their ‘Finance Committee’. It’s not clear what actions can be taken ,if as such the team’s ownership aren’t declaring any financial hardship on their part. But it has been abundantly clear that things are very awry within the ownership hierarchy of the Buccaneers’ organization and that the Glazers have been less than candid about the situation altogether.
Courtesy of The Tampa Tribune
By Ira Kaufman , The Tampa Tribune
The NFL free agency period begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday. For seven consecutive days, The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com will feature one position each day. We’ll provide an analysis of the position and list the players to consider: Bucs under contract for 2010, and Bucs and notable NFL players scheduled to become free agents.
OK, Bucs fans. You be the general manager.
No unit on the Bucs benefited more than the secondary when Coach Raheem Morris demoted Jim Bates in November and assumed the defensive coordinator duties. Tampa Bay yielded only six touchdowns through the air in those final six weeks, after opposing passers burned the Bucs for 22 scoring passes in the opening 10 games.
Although he didn’t register an interception for the first time since his 1997 rookie year, cornerback Ronde Barber turned in another solid season with 93 stops, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. On the left side, Aqib Talib flashed the skills that stamp him as a future star, leading the Bucs with 17 passes defensed and tying safety Tanard Jackson with five picks.
Jackson overcame a monthlong suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and proved he belongs in any conversation listing the league’s premier safeties, returning two of his five interceptions for touchdowns. In his first season as a full-time starter, safety Sabby Piscitelli struggled in coverage and failed to establish himself as a dependable tackler.
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A great deal of speculation has been made as to what the Buccaneers may well do as to their first pick in the draft. And though neither Dominik or Morris has given any inclination as to what that might be. It seems clear to some that they may well be open to offers of trading down. That’s unless a player of their choice is there after the first two picks that are taken. Now given the fact that the Glazers aren’t open to spending a great deal of money despite their assurances to the contrary. I firmly believe that they may well choose to forgo the pick and trade down with another team. It just stands to reason that an organization that is now essentially devoid of an ownership that shows concern for the organization now shows itself to be nothing more than a bunch ’ penny pinchers‘. And much of the malaise for both concerns has been brought about by the complete lack of business acumen shown by the Glazer family as a whole. They give a complete new meaning to the words used in the movie ’ Forrest Gump’ …………‘stupid is as stupid does’ . Everything about the way that they have and still continue to conduct their business affairs suggests stupidity on their part. Need one say anymore on the subject ? I think not as they’re a ‘two bit organization’ with ‘two bit ambitions’ !
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………
‘Forrest Gump’ (1994) starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright-Penn, Sally Field, Mykelti Williams and Gary Sinise. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front office is the NFL’s answer to ‘Forrest Gump’. There’s some semblance of intelligence there but we aren’t all sure how it’s being shown.