Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

No One In The Premier League Has Any Money

Illustration for article titled No One In The Premier League Has Any Money

One team is having broadcast revenue payments withheld to cover their debts. One manager might have been paid via offshore accounts to avoid taxes. And Manchester United could be forced to sell off Old Trafford itself.


We took Liverpool to task for being cheap, but they're rolling in it by comparison. Man U is more than $1 billion in debt, thanks in no small part to Malcolm Glazer's stewardship.

Things have gotten so bad, they've had to take out a new $120 million loan to sign players this coming summer. They were unable to hang on to Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's talk that Real Madrid or Man City could put in a Godfather offer for Wayne Rooney.

But the Glazers gave a sneak peek of the worst-case scenario, in a message to potential investors this week:

The indenture governing the Notes (bonds) will limit our ability to sell or transfer, but not prohibit us from selling or transferring, our training ground facilities and our stadium. Although in the sale or transfer of any of these properties, the transferee will be required to enter into a long-term lease with us to enable us to continue to have substantially the same access to such property as we currently do, if we sell or transfer either or both of these properties, we will no longer control them."

Yes, they've actually looked into selling off their 100-year-old grounds to raise money. This sounds attractive to Glazer because of the Bucs' sweetheart lease at Raymond James Stadium, but just gives English soccer fans another reason to resent the recent influx of American owners.

But look, it's not just us! Portsmouth has a Saudi owner, and he's been driving them into the ground just as efficiently. They've received at least five players via transfer that they've been unable to pay for, and now they won't receive their $11 million in TV revenue payments because of it. I'm sure that will thrill the players, who have been paid late on three separate occasions.


Portsmouth can at least be commended for finding a creative, if not technically legal way to save some cash. Former manager Harry Redknapp has been charged with tax evasion, after it came to light that the club paid him $300,000 via his Monaco bank account, in order to get around the taxes.

So, to our American readers: if ponying up for Josh Johnson is the fix to all your team's financial issues, consider yourself lucky.


Manchester United finance shock: Have Glazers put Red Devils on the road to meltdown? [Daily Mail]
Pompey suffer fresh blow [The Sun]
Harry Redknapp accused of cheating taxpayer out of £40,000 [The Times]