SBD/Issue 59/Franchises

Are Glazer Family's Financial Issues Affecting ManU, Bucs?

Glazers Trying To Secure Refinancing
Package For Part Of ManU's $1.1B Debt
Manchester United Owners the Glazers are "struggling to refinance their enormous debts amid concerns about the impact they are having" on the club, according to Ducker & Power of the LONDON TIMES. The Glazers have been "trying unsuccessfully to secure a refinancing package for part of the club's" US$1.1B debt "for months, having failed in 2007 and last year, because of the bleak global economic climate." The "main concern is understood to centre around" the US$286M "worth of debt that the Glazers are personally responsible for, not the" US$846M of loans secured against the club. The Glazers are "believed to have been trying to refinance ... so-called Payment In Kind (PIK) notes, money borrowed from US hedge funds that 'rolls up' at an annual interest rate" of 14.25%. It is "understood that United are operating well within the financial terms set by their lenders." However, Perry Capital and Citadel -- the "two US hedge funds that provided the Glazers with PIK loans -- get a range of rights over the club in the event that their financial performance falls beneath a certain level, including the right to appoint their own directors to the board" (LONDON TIMES, 12/5).

DOWN BY THE BAY: The Glazers also own the Buccaneers, who are 1-11 this season, and PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio noted the team for months has been "dogged by claims" that it "isn't spending enough money on players." But the "proof will come in the coming offseason." With the salary cap "apparently poised to go away (at least for a year) as of March 2010, the extent of the team's spending on players will go a long way toward proving that the Glazers are serious about improving the quality of the team" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 12/5). In St. Petersburg, Gary Shelton wrote under the header, "What Do Glazers Think Of Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Season? Well, It's Anyone's Guess." The Glazers are the "ownership family where everyone is a silent partner." Shelton: "They are Tampa Bay's Secret Society, the owners who live in the cone of silence, and they could turn a thousand mind-readers into illiterates. Whatever they may be thinking, they are not sharing" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/5). 

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