Why Manchester United should have stuck with David Moyes

Opinion: What makes a successful football club?

Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 12:01

Soccernomics says: “Perhaps the main service a manager can perform for his club is to avoid spending much money on transfers.”

Global superrich elite
But there is loads of money in football nowadays, largely because a new global superrich elite has invaded the arena, believing it can win glory by the scale of its wealth. Of the seven top teams in the Premier League at present, six are owned by billionaires, all living outside Britain.

Manchester United is owned by Florida tycoon Malcolm Glazer, who bought the club in 2005 for close to €1 billion, most of which he borrowed against the assets of Manchester United, which has burdened the club with interest payments of €72 million a year. As the Manchester United Supporters’ Club said at the time: “The fans will effectively be paying someone to borrow money to own their club.” Liverpool is owned by an American corporation, Fenway Sports.

Chelsea is own by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the 50th richest person in the world, who has a fortune estimated at about €11 billion. Manchester City is owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Investment and Development Limited, of the United Arab Emirates, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. His personal wealth is estimated about €38 billion, within a family fortune estimated at about €380 billion. Arsenal is owned by Stan Kroenke, another American businessman, who has personal wealth estimated at more than €3 billion. Tottenham Hotspur is owned by ENIC Group, an investment company owned by an Englishman, Joe Lewis, a currency trader who lives as a tax exile in Bahamas. He made his “killing” betting with George Soros against the British pound crashing out of the European exchange rate mechanism in 1992.

Only Everton is controlled by someone living in England, someone interesting. This is Bill Kenwright, a film and West End theatre producer.

While at Everton David Moyes was one of the few football managers to achieve a higher rating for his club than the size of the wage bill suggested. Manchester United should have stuck with him.

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