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Buc's Owners $1.9B in debt


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LONDON -- The American owners of Manchester United are 1.6 billion in debt, leaving their control of the club in doubt, the BBC reported Monday.

The BBC said its investigation found the Glazer family's debts are $570 million greater than previously known. Malcolm Glazer and his sons also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Glazer family has been the subject of protests by a group of Manchester United fans who want it to sell the team.

All the extra debt comes after the Glazers borrowed extensively against their shopping mall business in the United States. The extent of the debt could fuel a further revolt by a group of United fans who oppose the Glazers' ownership.

The Glazers took over United in 2005 in a leveraged buyout worth $1.4 billion.

The BBC said it saw mortgage documents showing the Glazers have borrowed $570 million against shopping malls owned by their company First Allied Corporation. That's in addition to $1 billion in debts tied to Manchester United and $95 million to the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers released a statement Monday trying to reassure their fans that the team is not in financial trouble.

"Buccaneers fans should know that the Glazer family is as financially well-positioned as ever before. Companies they own generate revenues in excess of $800 million each year," Jonathan Grella, the team's director of communications, said in the statement.

"Sophisticated real estate experts know that the family's refinancing of their commercial real estate before the global meltdown has proven to be the wise move.

"While First Allied represents only a small portion of their asset portfolio, it continues to generate significant profits, enjoys over 90 percent occupancy, and has long-term non-recourse financing.

"This franchise remains committed to bringing the resources to build its next championship team."

The Glazers have said they have assets totaling $2.9 billion.

"I don't think anybody can be satisfied with how Manchester United are being run," Dave Whelan, chairman of Premier League club Wigan, told the BBC program "Panorama."

"They have got somewhere in the order of a three-quarters of a billion pounds worth of debt. That has got to be eliminated and eliminated quickly."

The research for the BBC program was carried out by Andy Green, a London financial analyst who is part of a campaign by disgruntled United fans to oust the Glazers.

Thousands of United fans attended matches at Old Trafford last season adorned in green and gold colors instead of the club's usual red. The homage to United's original 19th century colors is a protest against the Glazers.

In March, United chief executive David Gill said the club's debts were easily covered by the income.

"In an ideal world people would like to not have a mortgage on their house, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy the benefits of living in that house and can't afford that house," he said.

The Glazers have said they will not sell the club.

Forbes magazine recently estimated United is worth $1.8 billion -- making it the most valuable soccer team in its rankings for the sixth straight year.

The Glazer family has said that money will not be an issue in running the Buccaneers.

"Our football people have never been told no because of money,'' Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer told the Tampa Tribune in late March. "Money will never be an issue when it comes to building this team the way we think it should be built."

Bucs officials, however, have said season-ticket sales are down and there is a real possibility of local television blackouts this year. Tampa Bay has sold out every home game since Raymond James Stadium opened in 1998.

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$1,900,000,000.00 in debt?

Makes me feel better about my Visa bill.

lol. thats funny. It some what makes you feel better but not entirely lol. Can we predict a Mccoy hold out for them? They really did over spend on some of their players only to have them under perform or leave the next year. Antonio Bryant was a huge mistake for them last year. A former Cowboy reject has 1 good year with the bucs and then got a contract that I think paid him like over 50 K a catch or something crazy like that.

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This is a cute topic, "BBC says this"... :lol:

So, who exacly is this "BBC"?

Ok, I do think it's kind of funny you don't know who the BBC is, but this is a non story. 1.9 billion in debt really isn't suprising for people who own as many assets as those guys. No story her at all really.

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$1,900,000,000.00 in debt?

Makes me feel better about my Visa bill.

Yaa but their like the trumps, 2.9 billion in holdings and making 800 million a year. They could pay off that 1.9 in a couple of years. That would be nice to be able to say. Rich get richer, the british fans will not get back manchester united unless they got someone thats got BIG POCKETS, I'm sure the Glaziers are not going to let it go without making a profit.

Their just PI$$ED a american owns their team. :P We'll they should be pi$$ed at the British guy who sold it. :P

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Their just PI$$ED a american owns their team. :P We'll they should be pi$$ed at the British guy who sold it. :P

Not true.

The fans are are pi$$ed because they went from the richest and most profitable sports team on the planet, a self funding business with 0 debt, to a team with $1bn of debt against the clubs assets.

They also went from being were a publicly owned complany that fans could own a share in, to being a privately run company with no fans ownership or involvement. Once Glazer acquired more than 30% of the shares in the PLC, he was entitled to acquire the rest and - under british company law - the fans had to sell their shares to him whether they liked it or not.

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Not true.

The fans are are pi$ed because they went from the richest and most profitable sports team on the planet, a self funding business with 0 debt, to a team with $1bn of debt against the clubs assets.

They also went from being were a publicly owned complany that fans could own a share in, to being a privately run company with no fans ownership or involvement. Once Glazer acquired more than 30% of the shares in the PLC, he was entitled to acquire the rest and - under british company law - the fans had to sell their shares to him whether they liked it or not.

I believe you. And boo to the deal that messed with the fans part ownership. :angry:

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Not true.

The fans are are pi$$ed because they went from the richest and most profitable sports team on the planet, a self funding business with 0 debt, to a team with $1bn of debt against the clubs assets.

They also went from being were a publicly owned complany that fans could own a share in, to being a privately run company with no fans ownership or involvement. Once Glazer acquired more than 30% of the shares in the PLC, he was entitled to acquire the rest and - under british company law - the fans had to sell their shares to him whether they liked it or not.

Seems to me they should be pi$$ed about that law more than anything

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