Why the credit crunch is good for Liverpool but bad for Manchester Utd
Global belt tightening brings mixed fortunes to the big four
Manchester Utd’s £14m-a-year- AIG shirt sponsorship looked to be on rocky ground earlier this week, and the future of the deal looked no more certain as the US Federal Reserve rescued the insurance behemoth with a £47bn refinancing package yesterday: rather understandably, they will no longer consider sports sponsorship a ‘core activity’.
According to this morning’s Guardian, however, the frailty of the American International Group should not concern United as much as the intentions of the Glazer family. Malcolm and co have been forced to spend $150bn on ‘PIK‘ loans in recent months, the interest on which is a hefty 14.45 per cent. A Glazer representative insists that “the investment is for the long term,” although the Guardian strongly suspects ex Football League chairman, United fan and major dealmaker Keith Harris is touting for a new buyer.
In light of current affairs, keeping Cristiano Ronaldo on the books looks like a questionable decision – that £100m would be thoroughly useful at the moment, and they almost certainly won’t get an offer as ridiculous as that again.
Over in Liverpool, however, the crunch could have an entirely different effect on the club’s fiscal future. The much-maligned American combo Hank Hicks and Billy Bob Gillett appear to have expereinced trouble with creditors earlier this year, and the economic climate may soon force them out of the door. Don’t be surprised if a Dubai-based consortium take over at Liverpool before Christmas…