Dear Sir Alex,
In the long and great history of Manchester United you stand peerless as the man who transformed a club into a globally recognised institution. In November 1986 Manchester United was a club on its knees; a once great organisation, buried deep in mediocrity.
Plucked from the relative obscurity of Aberdeen, many doubted your capacity to bring success to a club that had not topped English football in a generation. You turned around not only the team but the whole ethos of the club and in the process brought joy to millions of supporters worldwide.
The by-product of your success on the pitch was a financial boom beyond compare. Your efforts, Sir Alex, brought untold wealth first to private owners and then to the city institutions and investors that bought shares in our club.
Today the club needs you more than ever. Once again Manchester United is an institution on its knees, with ownership by the Glazer family having piled so much debt on the books that the very future is in doubt.
As the owners and senior management travel the globe, stoking up interest in a £500 million bond issue, the books now show the club more than £716 million in the red. Credible analysis demonstrates that Manchester United will heamorrhage more than £560 million in interest, dividends and payments as a direct result of the Glazer family’s ownership before 2017. Even then the club will still be at least £500 million in debt – a legacy that will outlive your time at the club. Perhaps even tarnish your final years in charge.
There is nobody better at building teams than you but this debt truth means that the likelihood of another great Manchester United team emerging under your stewardship is hugely diminished. With your best player sold, funds not released for replacements and wealthy investors fueling transfer market inflation, the future on the pitch looks far less rosy than in the past.
Moreover, the fans are suffering at a time of global economic turmoil. Aggregate ticket prices have almost doubled in the past four and a half years. We now know that prices will continue to rise as the Glazer family sucks at least 79% of all future revenues out of the club.
For the first time in a generation tickets are readily available for matches at Old Trafford. As I write, even the Carling Cup semi-final fixture against Manchester City is not sold out.
Manchester United supporters, for whom the owners are only really stewards, cannot as you once so mistaken said ‘go and support Chelsea’. We love this club and believe that you do too. This is why it is now imperative that, as the club’s figurehead, you act:
- Speak out as you cannot be dismissed with any credibility
- Wear Green & Gold to demonstrate your affinity with the fans who have shown you so much support over the years
- Stand with supporters groups such as MUST and IMUSA in the campaign to rid this club of the Glazer scourge
38 thoughts on “An open letter to Sir Alex Ferguson”
Superb, absolutely superb. Sums up the situation concisely, Ed.
It’s sadly ironic that after all that he’s done for the club, it’ll likely be in the same state when he leaves as when he arrived. Surely he can’t bite his tongue for ever?
Might be worth proofreading before you send to the greatest club manager of all time to demand he take action on your behalf.
It’s a nice thought Ed, but I honestly think we’re fighting a losing battle. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do all I can to get rid of the Glazer’s like most other fans, but I genuinely think whatever we do is going to have a negligible effect. They’ll be sitting at home thinking “You can wear whatever colours and sing whatever songs you want but you’ve still paid for your ticket”. Our only hope is that potential investors of these bonds are aware of the fans protests and it puts them off giving the Glazer’s any more money. Here’s hoping the green and gold campaign takes off inside OT.
As Liverpool owner Tom Hicks said of one of his leveraged buyouts: “every time you eat a bowl of cereal, you’re buying the company for me. That’s the way I run all my businesses”. The only way the Glazer family hears what we have to say is in the pocket.
A mass boycott of certain games would have a massive effect, but it’s unlikely. The reason being that a lot of people love watching United more than they love hating Glazer.
I agree with Stretty, the only way any campaign is going to have an effect is with a mass boycott of games.
If a campaign is to be serious, people have to stop going to Man United games, stop buying tickets, stop buying from the club shop, stop buying anything that will attribute profit to the Glazers. Until this day, moaning and groaning will fall on deaf ears. The Glazers will get Man Utd into a position where they can sell for profit, the rest is irrelevant to them. The players are assets. Strip the assets, sell the company, make a profit.
Agree with you,but Fergie will do everything to protect his team and players.It is obvious that he is being restricted in what he can do.We need strengthening and he is covering up the cracks.But these Glazers(the 3 Stooges)are out of their depth.
1.Keep the pressure on the Government.Write to them
2.Visit our MP’s(United fans are everywhere)
3.Write to Uefa (Platini & Blatter)
United are heading for disaster.The impact on football will be catastrophic.How many ex players are now managers?
How many kids have come through the ranks and now play throughout Europe?.
These ‘owners’do not understand the game,our history.They need to go.
If we finish with no trophies and out of the top 4(A possibility)……it would be worth it to get rid of the debt and these wannabees(The Paupers known as the Glazers)
superbly put, yet I feel Fergie will be satisfied with his incredible run as the most successful manager ever, knowing that it will not be repeated, and glow in the smug self-righteous smugness that befits the Knighthood he should never have accepted. What a perfect way to end his glittering career and years down the line blame the money men (which he will do) for the demise of this great club, to whom he paid the most respect and sold our supporters down the river.
The problem with this, is that by asking Sir Alex to stand with MUST and iMUSA, would put him in direct opposition to the Glazers. That would ultimately lead to his sacking, as the Glazers have no touch with the history and general feel of the club. It that what we really want? I’ll most likely lead to nothing. New manager (appointed by the board/Glazers), new (not necessarily better) ideas and the same economic situation.
I’m afraid our only solution would be to find a new (even richer) owner. By this, we’re most likely talking Arab or Asian moguls, with very little (if any) football knowledge and feel of the Mancunian history.
as someone has already pointed out, actions speak louder than words. the glazers aint gonna give two shits about what colour we wear ffs!
and as for the great man getting himself the sack, pmsl. what a joke of an idea. its because we still have him here that were still a force. get over urselves and get real. we should be supporting him not trying to hound him out. for all numpties like u know, he could only be staying on this long to see us through this period as only he knows.
people calling for him to quit, or attack the glazers are a DISGRACE imo.
Silence I fear… But perhaps we will read about the true feelings in an “explosive autobiography’ in a few years time.
Sr A won’t cut his own throat here that’s for sure (and why should he?).
Short termism now : I’d rather the Wizard concentrated on setting up a team to beat Citeh next week than speaking out against the Glazers.
If as you say your advice is followed and matches are avoided by fans, then you are pushing the Club towards oblivion. Most of us long to hear the truth from the Club itself NOT FROM THE MEDIA. Does anyone feel that there is a conspiracy out there to upset the players enough to take their minds away from the job at hand – win matches and championships, that is? The team is as good a team as ever and, if they set their minds to it, they can continue to thrive both in England and abroad. To hell with Cretin Tevez and his antics – the second leg will decide things and Manchester United will rule. Perhaps, if the Glazers are the blood-suckers as they are made to be, some kind soul(s) will step out of the shadow, buy the Club over from them, and save it. Anyone out there hearing this message?
WE NEED TO DO MORE ,, GET THE WARD OUT ABOUT WHATS REALLY HAPPENING TO OUR BELOVED CLUB. IVE WATCHED THIS YEAR IN HORROR OF NOT BEABLE TO BUY PLAYERS, WE CUDNT KEEP TEVEZ WE HAD NO MONEY . IF ROONEY GOES WILL THEN WILL YOU STOP GOING TO THE MATCHES. WE NEED YOUR VOCIE ITS YOUR CLUB TO . IF YOUR AT THE MATCHES SHOUT YANKS OUT. WE NEED TO GET EVERY1 AT THE HULL GAME SINGING YANKS OUT.. BOYCOTT GAMES WHEN WE NOW WHAT GAMES THAT ARE GOING TO BOYCOTT.. GO ON YOUTUBE THERE ALL LOTS ON MAN UTD FANS ON THERE GET THE MESSAGE OUT YANKS OUT .. PLAESE HELP US GET THE YANKS OUT..
maybe you should CC Santa clause in, just in case!
LOOK IF YOU THINK THE TEAM IS GREAT AT THE MOMENT WELL YOUR WRONG. WE HAV LOST 9 TIMES THIS SEASON. WHEN HAV WE EVER LOST 9 GAMES BEFORE FEB. LIKE WERE IS THE 80M FROM RONALDO .. WHY DIDNT WE BUY TEVEZ WHY DIDNT WE BUY THE YOUNG LAD FROM SERBIAN. DONT SAY WE COULDNT GET A WORK PERMENT FOR HIM.. WE HAVE NO MONEY TO BUY PLAYERS. I DONT WANT FERGIE TO GO ANY WERE. I WANT THEM YANKS OUT. I FIND ALL YOU SILLY GITS ON HERE STUPID . WHY CANT YOU SEE WE CANT BUY ANY1. NO MORE WE HAVE NO MONEY THE TEAM IS VERY LIGHT, LIKE WERES THE NEW PLAYERS FOR PAUL S. R. GIGGS AN GARY N.LIKE THEY ANT GOIN TO BE HERE NEXT YR. WHY IS THE 130M A YR LEAVING OUR CLUB.. COME ON WHY ARE YOUS ALOUDING THIS. IF YOUR PASSION ABOUT MAN UTD WILL STOP THINKING WE ARE OK WE ARE NOT OPEN YOUR EYES AN HELP THE TEAM AN CLUB WE NEED CHANGE.. BEFORE ITS TO LATE
Well said Alan.Too many head in the sand types!!!
I do not believe that our club has a level of debts it cannot service from its cash generation. Do not get me wrong, I do not mean to say that the debt is not sizable. The club’s latest financial statements show that the club made an operating profit (op) of GBP91 million, after paying all the costs including Valencia’s & Obertan’s transfer fees. This op was sufficient to pay the interest at GBP41 million. The other costs, which put the results into the red are all of a non-cash nature namely, depreciation & amortisation, all these amount to GBP81 million. These are manouvers in the financial statements that are very common in private companies. I do not exclude the possibility that the owners might have suggested to the boss to keep hold of Ronaldo’s cash until the end of 2009 so that they would report a profit not to put of potential bond investors. If the owners are unable to keep a competitive team it will be end. But I do beleive that the club is financially sound. If you recall well the club started reporting losses as soon as it went private. Does anyone really believes that matters went sour overnight. Let us keep the faith and focus on what is happening on the pitch.
Would people get some etiquette (as well as some basics in grammar) and stop writing in capital letters? It makes for painful reading.
If fans really care that much, than they should show it by hurting the Glazers where it really counts – the hip pocket. A half empty Old Trafford, home game after home game, will bring about their departure very quickly – out of sheer financial desperation. The media will hop on it very quickly, and nothing would send the message more tellingly to the yank owners about how United supporters feel about their stewardship then to see empty seats and dwindling merchandise sales.
Those who argue that it will hurt the team need to wake up – it’s already hurting, and will continue to hemorrhage year by year as dwindling funds and increasing debts suck the lifeblood out of the team. The teams success over the last three years was built on foundationss that were put in place prior to the Glazers arrival. Now, as transfer funds dry up, as old stagers like Giggs and Scholes reach their use-by dates, and as United become increasingly reliant on buying youth players en masse on the cheap in the hope that one or two diamonds turn up, the true legacy of the Glazer era is coming home to roost. If people don’t get the message behind the recent figures, showing a revenue colossus like United so saddled with debt that it only turned a profit through the sale of Ronaldo, then nothing will register.
The Glazers are a cancer on the club who are eventually going to kill it off. Supporters can stand by, stick their heads in the sand, and watch a once proud club die a slow and painful death, reduced to a level similar to that of Leeds. Or they can stand up and be counted by boycotting everything and anything that helps the Glazer regime to stay in place at United. Stop attending games. Stop buying merchandise. Attack club sponsors by writing to them and telling them you’ll boycott their products as long as the Glazers remain at United – and stick by it.
The end result is that it will drastically drop the team’s revenue stream, draw media attention, and bring the value of the club crashing down to a point where the Glazer’s either go bankrupt and are forced out through the terms of their loans, or are forced into a fire sale of the club at a more tenable price tag.
Supporter groups like MUST have to lead the charge by publicizing and orchestrating the boycotts.We HAVE to bite the bullet on this, because people power is the only thing that’s going to oust the Glazer’s. Complacency on the part of all will just see the agony prolonged over an extended period of time and see a once mighty club reduced to, at best, the middle ranks. The Glazer’s are already looking to sell off Carrington. Next will be the likes of Rooney. Then what – Old Trafford itself?
Great letter but do you think he will read it no number of protests will be effective for the glazers to leave.. The best way in my opinion will be to boycott a match.. If they see the stands empty and loss of ticket revenue will v the only possible way glazers will take smethin seriously and I just don’t get it y would anybody getting the chance to clear the debts and make a profit if they sell the club rite now try and increase the debts beyond measure?? I hope sir alex know what he’s doin.. He is the onli 1ne that can make the difference and nobody will have the guts to fire him
Hits the nail on the head, absolutely right.
Funny isnt it that when benitez spots his owners are up to the same thing in 2007 he is labelled mad by the media. At least he had the balls to stand up to the owners. Where is Fergie’s socialist beliefs now? Hiding behind his paypacket by looks of it
Ok but Liverpool is even more leveraged than United so Rafa’s complaint about money didn’t do much good did it?
TIMBO GREAT LETTER.. OK WE CAN DO WHAT CELTIC DID BY BOYCOTTING THERE GAMES AN PROTESTING AGAINST THERE OWNERS SO CAN WE.I HAVE BOUGHT 250 EURO,S WORTH OF MAN UTD STUFF THIS SEASON. I FEEL SAD BECAUSE IT WONT DO NOTHING FOR MAN UTD BUT HELP THEM YANKS MAKE THERE POCKETS BIGGER. THEY ALREADY OWN LOTS OF SHITE IN THE STATES. BUT THEY HAD TO COME OVER HERE TO OUR CLUB AN WRECKED WHAT THE BOSS HAS DID FOR MAN UTD.. LIKE IF THEY SELL THE TRAINING GROUND HOW WOULD ALEX FEEL. WHAT WOULD WE DO IF THEY SOLD OLD TRAFFORD. 717MILLION IN DEBT AND BY NEXT YEAR IT WILL NEAR 800MILLION. OK WE MADE A PROFIT OF 49MILLION. BUT IF WE DIDNT SELL RONALDO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT SUMMER WHEN BARCALONA OFFER 80MILLION FOR ROONEY. WILL YOU ACT THEN AN WHY ARE WE WAITING FOR M.U.S.T . IF YOUR AT THE MATCH ON SAT. WE NEED YOU TO SHOUT YANKS OUT LOVE UTD YANKS OUT LOVE UTD. LOOK IF YOU DONT CARE WELL THEN YOUR NOT TRUE TO THE CLUB. COME ON WE WON THE LEAGUE 3 TIMES AN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE YOUR THINKING ITS NOT THAT BAD . YE BUT THE TEAM WAS THERE BEFORE THEM YANKS TUCK OVER AND THEY ARE ROBBING US.WHY HAS THERE BEEN NOTHING BUT CHEAP BUYS WHY COULDNT WE SIGN TEVEZ AN OTHER PLAYERS CAUSE WE HAVE NO MONEY CANT ANYONE SEE THAT WE OUR POOR AN ACROSS THE ROAD THE KNIFES ARE BEENING SHARPENED. IF ANYONE ON HERE HAS ANYMORE IDEAS HOW WE CAN GET THEM OUT R TO SELL THE CLUB. POST THEM ON HERE YOUTUE ANY WERE YOU CAN GET THE MESSAGE OUT. IF YOUR PASSION LIKE ME THEN DO WHAT YOU CAN PLEASE FOR THE CLUB……
It looks like the Bond issue was fully subscribed…And why wouldn’t it be. In a time of poor returns on investment 9% makes perfect sense. The takers will be low risk pension funds etc…Interest on these bonds is paid quarterly.
The Glazers are now set for a good 5 – 10 years of theft. They now have no need to sell unless the income becomes so bad they cannot meet the interest payments.
Unfortunately for us the only way this will get better in the long term is for it to go very very wrong in the short term and for me, a bloody slaughter is better than the death of a thousand cuts over 20 years. That means action ASAP….In a couple of months season ticket renewal will come up…DO NOT RE-NEW…Without this revenue the cash flow of the club will be hit badly and early pressure will be put on the interest payments…the Glazers will retaliate with a sale/leaseback on the training ground and stadium, but we have to keep fighting..Once the TV Money dries up from no champions league, the inevitable result of under investment in the team, the financial model will become untenable and that is when the Glazers will be forced to sell and this time the fans have to be prepared to buy a significant stake in order that this never happens again.
There is absolutely no chance that Fergie will associate himself with any anti Glazer campaign right now. What is likely to happen is that he will simply retire in the next couple of seasons – a decision hastened maybe by a lack of funds for new players or worse, the forced sale of players like Rooney to pay down debt. If that scenario did play out what chances would United have in attracting a suitable replacement? Can’t see Mourinho coming in those circumstances or any one else worth his salt. Having retired Fergie can then tell us what he really thinks in volume 2 of “Managing My Life” !
The other issue concerning the Glazers out campaign is how can they leave? Is anyone prepared to buy them out for GBP 1.2bn or even for the GBP 700m they owe ? It’s probably just too much money even for the rich sheiks and Abramovich’s of this world. Even if someone did come along what problems would a new owner bring ? Doesn’t look good.
Bunch of Jerks, the lot of you!
You should have ALL bought a few shares when United were plc.
With every tru Red just buying a nominal amount we would have had a direct say in the running of the club and this situation would never have arisen.
And don’t tell me any of you didn’t have a couple of hundred quid spare when most p*ss up loads against the wall on a Saturday nite.
Having said that, with the likes of the Cricks having a big say (like when he got behind MUST to deride Sky’s takeover which would have been a much better state of affairs than this) we would probably have ended up worse off with no trophies at all this last few seasons.
Live with it.. or work bloody harder to get the money in your pockets to buy the club yourselves.
I had a lot of shares and was forced to sell as soon as the Glazers had over 30%. Once the club had gone public and the market cap was over 1bn in the late ’90s I don’t think the fans could have done something. We needed to buy and buy big in 1992 … but let’s be honest nobody actually thought this was going to happen. Easy in hindsight…
ye its easy to say that now , how can we buy back the club. im sure if every man utd fan in the world was to say give 50pound r euro. im sure it would beable to pay for the club. but how would you get every man utd fans money an who would hold the money. i would love our club to be like barcalona. not some gangsters from the usa just to rape our club and rob our history.. why is everyone on here fighting . we all love our club an we all want whats best ye. so come on think of ways to help man utd
Ed, That’s precisely the point.
Once United were floated it was well known that anything could happen.
And at launch the shares were peanuts. A few hundred quid’s worth bought by the many thousands of so-called tru reds would have turned the percentages well into our favour. (The club then was worth a ‘mere’ 40 million or so). But many just kept their hands in their pockets citing the usual affordability excuses and blithering on about Martin Edwards.
Now all that can be suggested is wearing putrid green and boycotting matches. That’s not gonna help any success on the pitch.
Look, if a single family (of whatever you wish to call them) can convince the planet to lend them enough to enable them to takeover the world’s most prestigious football club, why can’t they be matched by a well organised outfit with a better business plan based on rational, root support ?
All this talk is nonsense and has only come about because of media hype and speculation. The Glazers have said nothing and rarley do. SAF is in control and I go along with him when he states that buying players for 30, 40 50 million is insane – no value and also no guarantee that they will perform. We have talent (and I include Nani, Anderson etc) and it’s SAFs job to turn that potential into a trophy winning squad. Thats what he does, he’s been doing it for years and I for one still believe that he can do it again.
I have to say get rid of the glazers, they are bringing our proud game into disrepute, o know I’m a city fan but my son is a reds fan and it destroys him to see all the uncertainty in your club……… Looking forward to Wednesday, hope it will be a good match with no schoolboylike behaviour on or off the pitch
spot on mate.
i believe colours speak.
even if it’s just a symbol, it’s also a deed –
if you wear G&G, you automatically DON’T WEAR RED,
which is produced by Glazers and ‘owned’ by them.
if we keep wearing red shirts, we contribute to their income –
they gain money of gear as well, or most of all!
if we wear G&G, at least we don’t fill their pockets up.
one way or another, i believe ANY actions make sense.
100 little things will end up as a one major thing.
while speculating which action would be the most effective,
we should take part and support them all. that’s my opinion.
Just got back from the game was game and heartened by the volume of the protest inside the ground against the parasites. Heard about Fergie’s programme notes but not read them, but a mate texted me to state that he says “opposition clubs will be rubbing their hands with glee”about the protests, or words to that effect. I’m sorry but it’s not the protestors who are being divisive but the parasites. They are effectively using our club as a glorified credit card taking out personal loans of 1.22million each for all their gimp offspring out of the clubs revenue.This was an illegal financial practice until new labour legalised this practice in the Companies act of 2005. Even now it’s highly highly frowned upon in corporate circles. Let us be under no illusion that the bond issue was primarily motivated so the Gimps can take revenue out of the club to pay the terror-inducing interest on the Junk loans that were taken out in their name in 2005. Before this issue they couldn’t do this. In the bond prospectus the gimps were only listed as owning us and Tampa bay which gives credence to the growing belief that the Glazers are fast running out of money and therefore will continue to use our beloved club and hard earned cash as one of their few means left of personal enrichment. Finally just a word on all the Glazer apologists that surround the club whether it be Gill – who lets face it despite his £1.8 million annual wage will never retain a shed of credability given is volte face over the gimps – or the moral midgets of MUTV -Paddy stating that the Glazer protestors were nothing but a “few hundred people”- In the past month or so i’ve heard both Mickey Thomas -Sexton’s replacement for merlin- and Viv anderson -who was the a part of the worst United team i ever saw- take it upon themselves to defend the gimps and implicitly criticize the protestors despite being a million words away from even being a footnote in our great clubs history. Stick on the gravey train lads and while we battle for the soul and survival of this club.
drop atomic bomb at florida ! that the end of glazer family !!!