Monday, 30 July 2012

Youth players at United - patience is the key.

Fabio Paim. A name many of you will never have heard before. If you play a lot of Football Manager or follow Chelsea Reserves then his name will ring a bell.

“If you think I am good, wait until you see Fabio Paim”. These were the words uttered by a certain Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Sporting CP. We all know how the latter turned out, but the former, if Mr. Ronaldo was right, could have been something else.

Fabio Paim was the kind of player who, at the tender age of 13, would dribble past every single player on the opposition team, get through on goal and instead of shooting, would run back to the half way line and start all over again. That’s how talented he was. However, with no one able to guide him down the right path and teach him how to control his money, he became lazy and thought that he was far better than everyone around him.

After several unproductive loan spells including one to Luis Felipe Scolari’s Chelsea, Sporting CP decided to offload their bigheaded winger in 2010. Fabio Paim is now without a club, having last played for Primeiro de Agosto in Angola until getting released in April 2012.
Fabio Paim - to be this cool takes time
In an interview with Record shortly after being released from Primeiro de Agosto, Fabio Paim admitted making many mistakes in his career:   
“Today I look at ex-colleagues like Rui Patricio and Daniel Carriço and I think that I could be in their place, even at a higher level. But they always worked hard, whilst I made several mistakes. I'm happy for them, I am not envious; I do not hold any grudges, even when they tell me on the street that I could be better than Cristiano Ronaldo. The truth is that I could not handle the fact that football was not a hobby but a profession.”
Why Fabio Paim? Because he is the prime example of what could happen to many young footballers if they are given too much money and promised glory far too soon.

When news crept through that Sir Alex Ferguson refused to give Paul Pogba the contract he wanted, I could not help but smile at the decision. The old man is no fool. Players should not demand contract renewals, they should work hard and wait until they are offered one. A salary increase is a reward, not an obligation. Yes, Paul Pogba is a talented footballer and will probably enjoy a good footballing career but a large ego is not what reserve players need.  Look at Tunnicliffe: he gives his all every game and stays out of the headlines, hence his inclusion in the pre-season tour. The same can be said about Lingard, Petrucci and the Keane brothers.

These youth players will, in a few years time, be central to Manchester United’s plans alongside Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley & the Da Silva twins yet, they are not quite 100% ready for the big leap to the first-team. Lingard and Petrucci have shown flashes of brilliance so far in pre-season and Tunnicliffe has battled hard whenever he has featured but these are only pre-season friendlies. The difference in intensity compared to Premier League games week in, week out is substantial. Loans to the Championship or to the likes of Wigan (look at Cleverley) could be much more beneficial than sitting on a bench hoping to come on for 5 minutes at the end of a game in the 2nd leg of a cup tie.
Petrucci gaining experience in pre-season

This may sound absolutely logical to some of you but the amount of fans calling for some of them to be part of the first team next season is rather staggering.

A great example of what can happen to a player given an opportunity too soon is Freddy Adu. You will have heard of him. He made his debut at the age of 14 for DC United and holds the record as the youngest USA international (16 years and 234 days). Making the leap from the MLS to Benfica at the age of 18 was a great mistake for his career.

Playing only 11 games in 4 years at the Portuguese clubs and being loaned out rather unsuccessfully to a variety of clubs in France, Portugal and Turkey showed that he was nowhere near ready for the increased level of European football. Having now returned to the MLS with Philadelphia Union, Freddy seems to have found his feet again and, still only aged 23, seems to have his career back on track. The hype surrounding Adu was staggering and had he stayed a few more years in the MLS to develop properly, football could have had a new superstar.

What we, as Manchester United fans, do not want to see is a waste of talent. Our reserve team is full of potential ability but youth players need to be given time to grow at their own pace and not forced into a level of football they are unable to keep up with. Turning talented players into stars takes time. Rush things and Manchester United could find itself with a black hole where a potential galaxy of promise used to be.

By Tom Coast

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Friday, 20 July 2012

One Love - living the dream on United's tour of South Africa

By Natanael Pillay

The 25th June 2012 will always hold a special place in my heart; it was the day that I received my golden ticket. No, this wasn’t a ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory; although Scholes would make an awesome oompa loompa, this was the ticket to my El Dorado, my place of dreams; my ticket to watch Manchester United play AmaZulu in a preseason friendly.

I would have to wait a little over 3 weeks to get the chance to watch United play, but this only served to allow my excitement to grow. Not even the daunting task of having a presentation on match day could put me down. Once the presentation had been complete, there was no stopping me.

I arrived at the stadium a good 4 hours before the match could begin. I was surprised to see that there was already a big group of people already there, and that they too were as excited as I was. A few drinks later and I was ready to enter the stadium, and what a stadium it was.

As the crowd grew, the expectation also grew exponentially; every appearance of a Manchester United player brought rapturous applause. The excitement grew into a carnival atmosphere as the stadium grew close to its 51,000 capacity. A small group of supporters, including myself, had stationed ourselves near the tunnel and then broke into a little chorus of “There’s only one Sir Alex”.

It took a few hours, but a few players emerged from the tunnel. Even though it was the unfashionable Ben Amos and Sam Johnstone, the crowd appreciated all the Manchester United players.  Not too long after, the rest of the team came galloping onto the field and began their warm ups. Some were conventional, and others were just plain funny.

After the warm ups was complete, the stadium held its breath for the moment that we all had been waiting for; it was almost time for the match to begin. As the team walked out, I suddenly realised why supporters go to matches. We live in a digital world where we can watch the matches on TV or on live streams, but nothing beats the feeling of being at the match. Actually seeing the players a few metres in front of you; the supporters feel the same joy or pain that you feel; it’s the tension, the abuse thrown at linesman and the all-round atmosphere that cannot be recreated at home.

The actual moment of brilliance that brings you to your feet and sends the crowd into delirium is just unbelievable. There were a few moments like this such as Jessie Lingard slipping his way through the AmaZulu midfield, Dimitar Berbatov’s sumptuous volley, Davide Petrucci’s rasping shot, and even Macheda’s brilliantly taken goal.

For everyone else, the game was always about Kagawa and his debut. This was highlighted by the reception he received. It sent chills down my spine as you could feel the excitement just bursting out of people. Even though Kagawa was only on the field for a matter of minutes, it was as if every step he took made the crowd scream louder and louder and caused the vuvuzelas to be blown louder and louder; much to my annoyance.

The reason I said “for everyone else” was that I was more excited to see someone else play for United. He wasn’t a youngster by any stretch of the imagination and isn’t a typical modern day player. He is Paul Scholes, our very own Ginger Prince. The day Scholes retired was the day I realised I would never watch him in a live game, but his subsequent reversal of his decision and United’s tour of South Africa gave me the chance to watch one of my favourite players in the flesh. I didn’t miss the chance to gaze upon this United legend, as I took in every shimmy, every movement and every crisply placed pass.

For those living in the UK, this was a meaningless pre-season game; a way for United to increase their fan base. In all honesty, it was, but for me it was a chance to watch the team I’ve supported ever since I was a youngster, and it was one of the best days of my life. It didn’t matter that there were mainly youth team players in the team, as I wanted to watch Manchester United, the club. The players present didn’t really have a bearing on how excited I was for the game.

Many people started leaving early so they could avoid the traffic, but I made sure I stayed till the end. It wasn’t so I could get my money’s worth, but just so that I could take in every second of the match. So, this is my experience and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. Hopefully this will be the start of my match going days, maybe even at Old Trafford in the not so distant future. To those who have the honour of doing it week in week out, treasure it as I would do anything to do what you do. So go to the United matches with pride, and keep the red flag flying high!

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Anderson - is he worth the weight?

Marmite. You either love it or hate it. The same can be said about Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira, more commonly known as Anderson, within the Manchester United community.

Anderson joined Manchester United from Porto at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season for a reported hefty fee of around £20 million. From that moment onwards, pressure was on him to deliver straight away. What a lot forget is that Anderson joined at the age of 19, having only just recovered from a horrific leg injury meaning Sir Alex Ferguson had to give him time to adjust to England and get his fitness back. 

Back then comparisons with Ronaldinho were being broadcasted all over the media. Both started their careers at Gremio and both are Brazilian but in all fairness, that is where the comparisons end. Whilst Ronaldinho is known for his tricks and flicks, Anderson’s game has never been about showing off and attempting over-complicated skills. On the contrary, Anderson was always renowned for his bustling energy, ability to drive through the midfield and accelerate past slower midfielders with ease; something he demonstrated in his first few seasons with the club. An excellent article by Duncan Castles published on the Guardian website gives a good insight to his personality.

However, one detail that, five years on, people choose to ignore or seem to overlook is that, ever since making the switch to England, Anderson has never played in the position he played at Porto. In Portugal and for the Brazil youth teams, Anderson played in a more advanced. In the past, Anderson played in a very similar position to where David Silva plays nowadays for Manchester City: behind the striker(s), drifting out wide to the left. There, he was fully able to use his acceleration to get past players and create opportunities for himself or his teammates.

When Sir Alex Ferguson brought him to Manchester, he immediately decided to move him back up the field alongside another midfielder.  At the time, Manchester United had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani on the wings with Rooney and Tevez up front, so his chances to play in his favoured position were very limited. Considering everything, Anderson adapted rather well. In an interview with MUTV in 2009 (probably one of the only ones available in English), he admitted that he had to change his style of play to fit in at Manchester United, focusing a lot more on defensive work. This can be seen in his battling performances in midfield, using his strength (and rather large backside) to his advantage to shield the ball from his opponent in order to keep possession and pick out a pass. Remember that performance against Fabregas away from home? Didn’t they make a song about it?

During the 2008 season when Manchester United lifted the Champions League, Anderson played 9 of the 13 games on the road to victory and scored a penalty during the shootout (albeit not the best) in the final against Chelsea. During his first two seasons, Anderson took part in 76 games for Manchester United, 41 of them in the league. Not too shabby considering that a lot of the time, his competition consisted of Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher and Hargreaves (who at the time was in his prime).

Since then, Anderson’s career has been hindered greatly by injuries, mostly related to his knees. Rumour has it that “behind the scenes”, people are blaming his weight for this. But when his first major injury came on the 23rd of February 2010 in a game against West Ham, Anderson had enjoyed a great run in the team, scoring his first competitive goal against Tottenham and was in rather good shape. It is only during his convalescence that he picked up a bit of extra weight.

Regarding the weight, Anderson has never been a slight character. He has always looked rather stocky and as previously stated, uses that to his advantage against opponents. Whether or not he puts on weight or loses it, he will always appear to be on the large side. This is because Anderson is someone with an endomorphic body type. This means that he retains fat easily and finds it harder to shed it. To makes things a bit clearer, there are 3 types of body types: endomorphic (Anderson, Rooney etc…), mesomorphic (Drogba, Ferdinand etc…) and ectomorphic (Crouch, Fletcher etc…). As you may well have guessed, mesomorphs find it easier to put on muscle and achieve a “stacked” body whereas ectomorphs are leaner characters.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not an excuse for Anderson. As a footballer, he should work twice as hard as an endomorph to shed his weight just as Rooney did but with a lot of convalescence and inability to do cardio work with knee injuries, it seems understandable that he is more prone to gaining weight than others.

After his injuries, Anderson came back in the 2010-2011 season and played 30 games, helping Manchester United to the final of the Champions League once more with a brace in the semi-final against Schalke, doubling his Manchester United tally in the process. This brings us to this year, the favourite season for Anderson haters.  Only 10 games played in the league and 16 overall. Inconsistency & laziness are two words that recur a lot when discussions about Anderson crop up. Last season, Anderson achieved an average 85% pass completion rate in the league with 96% in the 2-1 win over West Brom and 97% in his early return from injury in that woeful 3-2 loss vs Blackburn. Hardly inconsistent.

It is understandable for fans to get annoyed at a player who, amidst injuries, plays woefully and fails to perform, but whenever Anderson has come back from injury, he has always given it his all. Remember that 7-1 victory over Blackburn during the 2010-2011 season? This was his first start in over a month. In that game, Anderson completed 95 out 99 passes, getting an assist in the process.

Regarding laziness, the main argument here is that he has not mastered the English language yet. Who cares? Manchester City fans don’t complain that Carlos Tevez still cannot speak the language despite having been in the country for longer. As long as Anderson can get his message across on the pitch to his teammates, that is all that matters. And so what if he does not give interviews left, right and centre? Anyone who has ever watched Anderson or even met him will know that he is an extremely shy person and does not particularly like being the centre of attention.

At 24, Anderson isn’t old but isn’t exactly young either. He has reached the time in his career where he needs to completely prove himself in order to guarantee himself a future at Old Trafford. Having had a lot of time off due to his recent injury, Anderson seems to have shed a fair bit of weight and looks fitter and ready for the new season. Fans who are calling for a new midfielder in order to compete in the Champions League, let me remind you of one statistic: every year Anderson managed to end the season or remain fit for large portions of it, Manchester United reached the final of the Champions League. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide on that one.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Kagawa - how will Ferguson fit him into his tactical revolution?

Shinji Kagawa has flown into Manchester this morning to begin life as a Manchester United player. In light of this, James from Written Offside had a chat with Titus Chalk, a freelance journalist from Berlin who earlier this week had written this piece on Kagawa for United's official website.

Did United's interest in Kagawa surprise you?

A little - not because of any lack of quality on Kagawa's part, but purely because I don't think United stumbled in Europe or finished second in the Premier League because of a lack of a quality number 10 - that is after all Rooney's position. Rather other areas of the team look in serious need of investment, especially central midfield and left-back, if Evra has another iffy season.

What would you say are his three main attributes?

Lovely close control, fantastic movement and vision between the lines and wonderful passing ability. He is also a fantastically hard worker and defends brilliantly from the front.

Do you feel he will play in the hole for United or will Ferguson attempt to turn him into a midfielder?

I think this is really the huge question surrounding Kagawa's move - what does Sir Alex Ferguson have in mind tactically for United over the coming seasons and how does Kagawa fit into that?

I think there are two possible answers - firstly (and perhaps also why there were those rumours about Lewandowski coming as well), he might be wanting to make United a higher, harder pressing side, to beat Barcelona at their own game. Kagawa would fit that plan, Rooney, Valencia and Welbeck too - as they are all willing workers for the team. I think it would also explain why United have still made buying a defensive central midfielder not a priority: if you're defending higher up the pitch you might be able to get away with a Carrick or Anderson in the deep midfield role (Busquets at Barça is hardly a bruiser).

On the other hand (and we'll see soon enough if United do buy a central midfielder), perhaps Fergie does want to convert Shinji to a deeper role - there were some quotes from the player suggesting Ferguson had told him he wants to make him a playmaker - so he might pop up all the way back in a double pivot. I think that's a strange decision personally (although I don't want to second guess Fergie at this point!) - Kagawa probably has the passing ability for it but his finishing in and around the box is marvellous and it would be a shame to sacrifice that.

Where do you see Kagawa in five years? Will playing at United take him up a level?
Crikey, that's a long way ahead - I can't really answer that. I do think he is good enough to make a significant contribution at United though, if he is given the time and support to adapt to England and the Premier League. At Dortmund, they really went out of there way to make him feel comfortable and his translator was always on the team bus or bench at games and would even shout out Klopp's instructions to Shinji from the touchline. I spoke to him recently whilst negociations were still going on and at that point it wasn't clear whether he would also be moving to Manchester - it's hard to imagine Fergie letting someone have that same access (although the translator did accompany Shinji for his medical, so maybe he will be joining in some capacity). Shinji speaks no German and no English and it will be tough for him. I think he has the mental strength to succeed, and worked hard on his physical side too when moving to Europe - give him time and he could be a fantastic signing for United.

I read that you feel the Kagawa signing could lead to the introduction of a pressing game at United, do they have the personnel currently to carry this out?
See above - and also think back to Berba's agent's remarks about his player not fitting the game Fergie wanted to develop for United with much more movement. Maybe that's what he was talking about? Also, if the financial picture dictates that United will continue investing in younger players in their early 20s, why not? They have the energy to implement it, and working together in a collective pressing style could make up for their lack of experience or pedigree. It's worked wonders at Dortmund where the team is incredibly young, egoless, and have worked their balls off together to win trophies.

Who else from the Bundesliga could you see flourish in England and why?
There is such a wealth of young talent in the Bundesliga at the moment, it's hard to say - or rather, it's hard it's hard to say why they would move when they have such a great, supportive environment to develop in in Germany. I think that's why the German players who do move abroad aren't teenagers - rather players who are mature and ready to take a further leap in their development (eg Podolski moving to Arsenal - and Marco Reus staying put in Germany).

If I had to mention one player, I would say Sven Bender. His season was really ruined by injury, but if he can recapture his form and his starting place at Dortmund, he could quickly become a very coveted defensive midfielder. He has boundless energy, great positional sense and is a tough tackler. It's mindblowing sometimes to see much work he gets through in a game. A brilliant breaker who could slot very nicely into a side looking for a defensive partner in a central midfield two.

What areas of his game does he need to work on?
He could release the ball quicker now and then, but as mentioned in the Inside United piece, I think he's gone to the best possible club to learn that discipline. Fergie's track record at getting skilful dribblers to release the ball at the right time is rather good and I think Shinji will soak up anything the coaches at Carrington tell him.

How bigger a factor was Sir Alex in Kagawa's decision to join United?
I think pretty big - he obviously has immense respect for him and feels he can progress his game at the club. I think he also shares that winning mentality that Fergie looks for in his players (despite his deceptively playful smile and demeanour) - he has a steely, ambitious side and in that, will be a good fit for Ferguson's United.

And finally, the most important question. UK tabloids seem to think Kagawa's girlfriend is a porn star. Can you confirm or deny this rumour?!
I don't know anything about this I'm afraid, although I'm sure the red tops would love this to be true! He got the mickey taken out of him a little when he first arrived in Germany for pointing out in one of his first interviews that he had never seen so many tall, blonde women in his life as in Dortmund, so perhaps a slight ladies' man tag has stuck to him!

A huge thanks to Titus for taking the time to answer these questions. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking this link.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Phil Jones - approaching the crossroads of his career?

A lot has been said about Phil Jones. He has gone from the top of the world, to down in the dumps. The Englishman made his big break, at 17, against the formidable Didier Drogba. At that stage, Drogba was at the height of his powers yet Jones didn’t look at all fussed. Not many centre backs in world football can say this, but Jones bullied the Ivorian and was duly proclaimed the new John Terry.

It wasn’t for his conquests with his best friend’s ex, or trouble with alleged racism, it was for his steel and maturity beyond his tender years. This talent did not go unnoticed, but it wasn’t just Jones’ talent that caught a certain Scottish manager’s eyes. It was Jones’ drive and will to succeed that led Sir Alex Ferguson to stump up £16.5m on the teenager. That moment was Jones berating his Blackburn teammates during their 7-1 drubbing at OT. Sir Alex saw a winner, and it could have been set in stone that he would be a Manchester United player. So where has his career gone since his big break?

Jones was always destined for greater things, and everyone, including Blackburn, knew that Ewood Park wasn’t the place to achieve those dreams. With the English elite after his signature, it seemed as though Liverpool were in pole position to snap him up only for Manchester United to swoop in and get their man. 

Before Jones could link up with United, he had the small matter of the U21 European championships to look forward to and he did not disappoint, unlike another high profile youngster (Jordan Henderson). Alongside Chris Smalling, Jones forged a great partnership. The tournament didn’t end on a good note as England was knocked out in the semi-finals, but the pundits were in awe of United’s two centre backs. So with Jones’ great performances, the excitement grew over his competitive debut.

Jones made his much anticipated first appearance against Tottenham and showed glimpses of his talent and drive. One moment in particular stands out for me, and that was when Jones tracked back against the lightening quick Gareth Bale to make an important block. It wasn’t just his speed of recovery, but his insatiable need to get back and make that block. It was almost superhuman!

A string of impressive performances led some to compare Jones with the legendary Duncan Edwards. Very high praise indeed, as from what we hear about Duncan Edwards, we can assume that he was a once in a generation type of player. Jones could not have had a better first half to a season, even if he tried a million times. So where did it all go wrong?

The second half of the season brought a loss of form and a few injuries for the youngster, and that culminated in Jones being used as more of a utility man rather than a specialist centre back.
Jones’ loss of form was alarming and brought people to question if he was even good enough for Manchester United. It was strange as these were the same people who claimed Jones would rise right to the top.

It wasn’t the bad form that cost Jones, but his faults. His great moments covered the little errors that became more frequent during the end of December to May. So what are his problems?

What I noticed at first glance was Jones’ tendency to be caught under the ball. At centre back and full back, this is unacceptable but not a train smash. This is just a simple case of judgement that will come in time. Jones is also caught out of position too often as was found during the 3-2 loss to Blackburn at OT or when playing at fullback. He tends to want to push forward all the time. This can be put down to youthful exuberance which will work its way out once Jones matures. For a player of his class, Jones seems to get the simple passes wrong, which can lead to dangerous situations at the back.

All of the aforementioned points can be worked on, and if Jones can rid himself of these errors, he will be back to his best. I don’t believe that Jones will fade away at United; I believe that he will be part of a new generation of Manchester United greats. For me, it is not an “if”, but a “when”.

Jones has everything required to make it. He has great pace, a great engine, he is a physical beast and his reading of the game seems to be exemplary. We have seen how his reading of the game can create chances. A few of his trademark lung bursting runs have come on the back of great reading of space and movement into that space so he can receive the ball from his teammate .

Nothing is certain, as injuries can rear its ugly head, but with the attributes that Jones possesses, there is no reason why he cannot succeed. We will hopefully see Jones in full flight during the 12/13 season, possibly as a midfield general.

If you want to read more on Phil Jones, have a read of this post by Tom Pattison

Check out Phil Jones' season highlights below:

Written by RedNat91

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Manchester United IPO - what it all means

By Winston Dias (Follow me on Twitter)

 LUHG – Love United Hate Glazers

Ask any United follower what they think about the Glazers and they wouldn’t mince words in expressing themselves.

Ask any United follower what they think is the best possible alternative to the Glazers and you can surely expect silence or an answer that says ‘should be owned by the fans’ without actually expressing how the fan could own a club that the owners don’t want to sell.

The United IPO prospectus seems to have jolted a majority of their followers who see this as another ploy by the Glazers to make more money out of their precious club.

The way I see it, it’s just a small step in the Glazers losing their control over the club in the near future.

Let’s examine what this whole IPO situation means

Man Utd have finally agreed that there is debt on the club.

United have never said there is no debt on the club, the figures are published annually and are for all to see.

United have finally agreed that the debt is getting in the way of more signings and possibly a change to the wage structure.

This bit is true. We have had David Gill stating that we are still very competitive in the market. The truth being far from it and very evident in the prospectus that it is affecting us and/or will affect us in the future.

This IPO is not good for the club / The response to the IPO will be poor – remember the Asia IPO plan

The IPO is backed well by underwriters, the offering plans to raise about $100 million whereas the IPO in Asia planned to raise over a billion and therefore was not thought of as realistic by the market. Jefferies have in the past raised upto $250 million and $100m is well within their reach although whether they play a part in the future if this IPO is successful is another question. The IPO at face value to the common man might not look attractive but an investor would look at the potential of growth and with United its almost guaranteed that it will be huge. With the debts cleared and the income we get versus our expenditure we could be one of the most successful business houses.

This IPO does not do anything to decrease the Glazers control over the club

This is true to a certain extent. Shares B which are owned by the Glazers give them 10 times the voting right as compared to Shares A which would be offered initially.

Depending on how successful it is, there are chances of more shares being released to the public. Again depending on the valuation chances are that a new class of Shares – Type C could be made open to the market. Or more of Type B with additional voting rights to the initial buyers compared to the new one.

Eg. Currently Share Type A – Voting right 1 Share Type B Voting right 10
Future: Share Type A – Voting right 4 Share type B voting right 5 and finally share Type C voting right 1

The IPO has the power to effectively reduce the overall control the Glazers exert on the Club though changes will be gradual.

Manchester United – Biggest club in the club will now be registered in the Cayman Islands thereby damaging the reputation of the club.

This is perfectly legit and in no way damages the reputation of the club,.
The Glazers who own the club are based out of the USA and therefore would be liable to pay up to 35% tax. In a smart move they have created a new company that would be registered out of the Cayman and therefore the US would have no jurisdiction on it.
What would you rather have, save a significant amount in taxes in a perfectly legal manner or fund the US Government by paying them tax?
Oracle, Intel and a lot of A graded companies are registered out of the Caymans.

Time to press the panic button?

If I thought there was a way in which Glazers could lose their control over the club and also the club would be rid of its debt then I would reserve my comments for the future. This is an opportunity for the fans to buy the club in a few years time. I don’t expect Glazers to sell the club completely but there could be 49% split to the fans with Glazers owning 51% and have a slightly higher degree of control than the fans.

In summary, let not the hatred for the Glazers mask the fact that this IPO could be in our best interests. There is no guarantee that this initiative will be a success but I will take that over Glazers having undisputed control over the club and a debt that has the potential to derail the progress of the club, if it has not done so already.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, please leave them below and Winston will be happy to answer them.