Thursday, May 12, 2005

Malcolm Glazer and the Manchester United Takeover

The lead story on RTÉ's nine o'clock news tonight was the buying by Malcolm Glazer of John Magnier and JP McManus' shares in the English soccer club Manchester United, a move that opens the door to a full Glazer takeover of the club.

So what? People buy and sell goods and chattels every day. How is this news? It's not like Glazer is from some country verging on the third world who needs to launder money fast after regieme change in the old country meant that a man in business needed to cover his tracks fairly lively - I could understand the eyebrow being raised at that. But Glazer is a legimate US businessman who's interested in buying a business. He's made a lot of money out of and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he'll make a lot of money out of and for Manchester United. Big deal.

What would be interesting, of course, would be if he did what An Spailpín Fánach would do, which is flatten Old Trafford, and build a factory on the site dedicated to selling Royal Family souvenir china in Asia. Man U already has a big fanbase in Asia, and this way the Mancunians of Bangkok and Phnom Penh would have something just as British as the Giggsy Premiership shirts on their backs to put in their dressers at home. You have to see the big picture when you're in business you know. You snooze, you lose. Greed is good. Up, down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton. Hurrah for free enterprise. Turn that dollar.