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Unread 25-01-2010, 06:32 PM
Default Re: 70p of every pound United makes to be siphoned off by the Glazers

I have to say that Andy emailed that FT piece to me for an opinion before he sent it to them and they've changed nothing - not a word. I didn't feel his analysis or conclusions were in any way sensationalist.

If you're talking generally about media coverage, there have been one or two particularly good approaches - David Conn and Owen Wilson in the Guardian online have been excellent. Of course, on the flipside one or two others have taken their usual chance to have a dig - Martin Samuels for instance?

I'm surprised you associate me with transfers. It's one of the things I tend to keep away from. It's so difficult to get reliable information on transfers I feel it's an area where there are often many right and wrong answers, based on the little data available.

As far as your bond investors are concerned, I think you might be surprised. I can't see L&G being involved as the issue is unrated, it probably wouldn't fit their profile, not for the corporate bond fund anyway. Many institutions would see the offer as too risky. As I'm sure you know, the old plc investors would have been equity funds, rather than bond funds, and they would have a lot more information on company performance and profitability. Not to mention buying equities gave them a voice in the running of the firm, bondholders are just another creditor.

Interesting comment from a voice from the past too, today;-

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Global Economist Jim O’Neill, a former shareholder and board
member of Manchester United, said the club has too much debt and its bonds are unattractive.

“There’s too much leverage going on with Manchester United,” O’Neill, a lifelong supporter of the 18-times English
soccer champions, said in a Jan. 23 interview. “It’s not a good thing. I’m not a buyer of the bond.”

The club issued more than 500 million pounds ($807 million) of seven-year bonds in pounds and dollars last week to refinance a similar amount of bank borrowing. The club took on the debt after the U.S. Glazer family bought it in a leveraged buyout in 2005.

“I value my long-term support for Manchester United better than anything else,” said O’Neill, who held 1.66 million pounds
of the club’s shares in 2005 when he stepped down from the board as the Glazers took the club private.

A spokesman for the Glazer family declined to comment.
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