Dilardo: Spreading it over a longer period of time does not take the debt away. It’s a ‘bury your head in the sand’ attitude, living on the never never. The interest payments are still there and at £45m, it’s £45m which should not be going out of the club.A positive reaction? What for delaying the more than likely inevitable? As for what Glazer may do – he has not done anything positive at our club; and for what the team may win – it’s not all about winning.
A: No, it doesn't make it go away, but it's there now. And until someone comes forward and says – I will buy the club and pay off the debt, any discussion about "making it go away" is purely academical. The fact that "a group of potential buers" is trying to stir things up is highly suspicious – if they're after the best interest of out club, why don't they come forward? Instead of giving themselves a pretentious nickname, why don't they say – we're here and we want to raise money to but the club off Glazer and pay the debt? It makes absolutely no sense, and it's sad that so many supporters are so blinded by their hatred to Glazer that they do not ask themselves these elementary questions.
As for "winning not being everything", it may not be the reason we support the club, and our support may not be conditioned upon it, but it is very much everything. And for you to claim you think it is not is either naive or hypocritical of you.
Dilardo: Yes, there clearly is. A new owner; The Red Knights in a takeover; fans raise the capital (with or without The Red Knights) and have a structure similar to that of FC Barcelona.
A: Yes, "The Red Knights"… What do we know of this group? Better yet, what does Keith Harris know of this group? Who are they and why do they feel the need to hide in the shadow of this nickname? If I were after the best interest of club, and wanted to raise capital to buy the club, I would shout it out on every street corner in Manchester. The fact that whoever this is still prefers to hide should raise some important questions. Obviously, you want to believe in it so much that you ignore these questions, but this is potentially a crucial mistake.
You've mentioned FC Barcelona a number of times in your comments – but FC Barcelona's management is a corrupted one, their chairmen splash out the club's money to bring in questionable players, and because they have the best interests of the club at heart, but because they want to keep their position. They're politicians, and corrupted ones at that. Every time the elections are near the club enters a swirl of restlessness that has a bad affect on the team, and the fact that the chairmen are replaced so frequently leads to instability and to the chairmen just working on staying in office. Is that what you want for us? And just so you know, the price for a behind-the-goal ticket at Camp Nou is 33£, which is higher than Old Trafford's 27£. It seems like the ticket prices at Old Trafford are actually not bad at all.Dilardo: Again, it’s not all about winning trophies. The great success we have had over the past 20 years will come to an end, or slow down at least, at some point. Team success is cyclical, nothing goes on for ever, for a real-life case see Liverpool FC.The squad is not being strengthened each season. Take this season for example; as good as Valencia has been and the goals Owen has scored, they, at present, aren’t quite the replacements for Ronaldo and Tevez. Take away the attitudes of Ronaldo and Tevez and ask any United supporters at the end of last season would they want to keep those two, or get rid and get Valencia and Owen, you would have a large majority in one camp – and I don’t need to tell you which one that would be. There was £80m from the Ronaldo sale that we keep being told is available for players, but it was clearly used to pay off the interest on the debt that the Glazers have placed around the neck of our club.A: I ask myself if we didn't win any trophies under Glazer, if you would still repeatedly claim that "winning isn't everything". I suspect you just feel it helps your case. We are not Liverpool. Liverpool failed to renew their squad in the start of the 1990's by bringing in younger, more talented players. Then the club just started to replace managers every season, experimented and eventually they did do something right in 2001 and 2002, but again they failed to keep strengthening their team. Liverpool is an example of a REAL case of a takeover that went bad, with the Americans constantly interfering with the running of the club, and failing to commence the much anticipated move from Anfield because of their debt payments. Glazer, in comparison, recently announced that there is a plan to further expand Old Trafford's capacity to 96,000. So they're buying players, expanding the stadium, staying out of the footballing side of business and under them the club has seen a bright period of success. So you're basically moaning about some "doomsday" scenario that is most likely to not happen at all.
Dilardo: A 42% rise in 5 years is huge. You question whether it is a fact that the rises are due to the debt? You come across as an intelligent person, you surely don’t need me to tell you that it is. Anything that can line the Glazers pockets more so than when their mugs first surfaced will be put into action.A: That's not what I said. What I said was you cannot distinguish which income is used for which expense. Because of that you simply cannot claim that the rise in ticket prices is used to cover the debt. Some of this rise, as I wrote before, is due to inflation and to the fact that ALL Premiership clubs raised their ticket prices substantially following the new TV deal of 2007.
Dilardo: If there was no loan, then there would be no question about where the money is going. Clearly prices have gone up to service the debt.
A: That is only "clear" to the anti-Glazer gang.
Dilardo: Hypocritical? Ungrateful? Please expand. If we were to disappear, how would Glazer cover his debt?A: As I noted earlier, look at Liverpool. They postponed the building of the new stadium to service their debt, and their ticket prices are higher than Old Trafford's. Ferguson was given an open hand in the transfer market, Old Trafford is by far the largest club stadium in Britain and still being expanded to be in-line with the continent's greatest grounds. Has the club with the supporters as shareholders did that?Dilardo: So the players that we released didn’t bring money into the club???
A: Again, you did not understand what I was saying. I'm saying that unlike at other clubs, no players were released for the sole purpose of servicing the debt; if Ronaldo hadn't wanted to go United would've kept him, and Tevez was offered the money he wanted. So there was no financial issue in their departure.Dilardo: Regarding your table - who cares what other clubs charge. Two of the clubs mentioned are London clubs where everything is more expensive; from a pint to the purchase of a house. Liverpool, a northern club, have their most expensive ticket at £10 cheaper than ours. What you need to recognise if the increase in ticket prices over the past 5 years rather than how we compare to other clubs.A: If you don't compare, how can you say the prices are high??? Because of how they were in 1996??? If you check how much milk cost in 1996 you'll see that its price has risen as well – there is something called inflation… 1$ of 2000 is not equal to 1$ of 2010. Because of that, the only way you can really have a sense of the justification to a ticket pricing policy is comparison with other businesses in the same industry and of the same caliber. It's a basic notion of business comparison, and it's valid when comparing football teams as well. You're right about London- I checked Spurs' ticket prices and they are substantially higher than those at Old Trafford as well, all the more reason not to complain on ticket prices. You chose to highlight the highest ticket prices at Old Trafford and Anfield – but who cares hoe much the suits pay for their tickets, we care about the real supporters, and they are the ones complaining. In that department, a seat in the Stretford End is 10£ cheaper than a seat at The Kop. So what are we complaining about?
Dilardo: Again, it goes back to winning trophies. So, taking that into account, after the Treble season, it would have been fair to increase the ticket prices by 90%?
A: No, but there was an increase in ticket prices, and yes – it was justified. And again, the 42% represents inflation and the nationwide price increase following the new TV deal, as well as the improving quality of the offered product – the football team. And keep in mind that prices would stop being raised the day it causes United to struggle to fill Old Trafford to capacity. But 72,000 supporters every time out (discounting away supporters) prove that the prices are still at a reasonable level.Dilardo: Yes, it’s not just about winning trophies, which some supporters seem to be happy with, it’s about doing it in the right way. At United there is a tradition of how the game should be played and how things are done. Albeit failing with the players he brought in, even Abramovich got the attractive football element right.A: ARE YOU SERIOUS???? I'm shocked. How do you think Fergie would react if the management – be it Glazer or "The Red Knights" – bought a player without even consulting him, and make remarks in the press as to how they think the team should play? Even the most anti-Glazer supporters hand it to him that he hasn't meddled with the footballing side of things. The fact that you think even that isn't right doesn't put a positive light on you.
Dilardo: Really – are you unaware of the millions Benitez has frittered away on ordinary players?
A: Yes, but only last summer did the Americans tell him – "Have as much money as you like and bring in whoever you want". Don't you read the papers/watch TV/surf the web?
Dilardo: And take a look at the healthy state that Portsmouth, Leeds and Newcastle are in due to their takeovers by people who had no idea …A: Exactly! Glazer does have an idea – he already owns a sports team, unlike the owners of the teams mentioned above, Abramovich, or anyother new owner in the Premiership.Dilardo: Very lucky? Doesn’t want to change anything? He just wants to increase prices, make staff redundant and pile us into debt. But apart from the, hey, everything’s rosy, what’s the fuss about eh?A: Please expand on "making staff redundant". Other than that, the other claims have been dealt with and I do not want to get repetitive.
Dilardo: You have evidence to prove he doesn’t want to? Because he’s doing a great job of destroying the club as things stand today. Supporters don’t need to be up on ‘business lingo’ that tries to make this whole episode sound a natural and healthy state for the club to be in. People can see what’s happening and are reacting as a result.A: News just in! Everyone are now presumed guilty until proven innocent! Dilardo, I am your father. Think that I am not? Why don't you prove otherwise? That is how stupid your case sounds here. Yeah, wow, what a mess we're in – our debt doesn't need be paid until 2017, we're chasing a historic fourth title in-a-row, considered one of the best teams in Europe, we have a young squad playing the best football in England at the moment, what a shit state of affairs it is to be in.
Dilardo: The supporters can run the club, as happens at Barcelona. The funds can be raised, it’s a case of how it will be administered. You say at the end of your piece "Should the club collapse financially, there will be many takers who would love to buy the club and keep it at the top."Those ‘takers’ you mention, some will have way better intentions than Glazer, or be United supporters themselves – such at The Red Knights. It’s better this happens now rather than when the club ‘collapses financially’.A: I've dealt with the Barca claim. You know what – I totally agree with you. Should a buyer present themselves, who are accomplished sports team owners that have the funds not only to buy the club but to continue bringing money into it, and have the managing ability or can offer people with managing ability who will run it and WILL STAY OUT OF THE FOOTBALLING SIDE OF BUSINESS, I would be all for Glazer to be bought out. But that isn't the case, is it?
Dilardo: The supporters can run the club, as happens at Barcelona. There would be a board and people elected for periods of time.Glazer could put us on the market now, but why would he when there are millions more to be made from us?
A: Again, Barca…
Dilardo: The debt would go as part of the takeover. Part of the payment would be to pay off the debt and the other part would be Glazer’s profit.
A: As I said, I would be all for that, but where are those buyers? I guess nobody knows who they really are, what with the shining armor and all… Dilardo: He makes way more from us than from his American football team, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out why we are his most prized possession. Normal people look after prized possessions – maybe someone forgot to mention that to Glazer.A: You're right. No money has been invested at the club, the club doesn't try and improve to keep at par with the greatest European teams. It seems you ignored half of what I wrote because I dealt with these issues and you didn't even make a reference to them, you just keep repeating the mantra of "Glazer – bad, Red Knights – good".
Dilardo: This has to be a mistype? Taking 75p from every pound does not sound like 'he has every intention to keep investing at the club'A: I see you have placed a hidden camera in his wallet… Who came up with this number and what detail did he provide with it? I'll tell you – an interested party to the takeover group made that statement, and he provided no detail whatsoever.
Dilardo: You've 'followed the Premiership since 1996' - a lack of knowledge? I think you will find there are many United supporters who are against Glazer that have plenty of knowledge and have followed United for decades. Spite towards Glazer - are you surprised?A: I did not mean that kind of knowledge. And you will find just as many United supporters who have been supporters for decades and don't share this blind hatred to all things Glazer.
Dilardo: We have a Ronaldo to sell every year? Shot self and argument in the foot.A: No, it was just an example. For a club with an income of over 1 Billion GBP annually, 45 million cannot be separated into sources from which the expense was paid.
Dilardo: It can if he stays as owner.A: So now we're down to "yes it will, no it won't"…
Dilardo: This has got to be a joke. Taking 75p in every pound, making payments to himself - not coming to matches (Abramovich does at Chelsea) wonder why Uncle Malcolm doesn't? Small price? Our future in the balance for a few pieces of silver (league titles, cups). The club may be better off if we never won anything again - at least those who put winning things above everything else would go and support another team and leave the real supporters to enjoy their club.A: So if he came to matches it would make such a difference? You're exaggerating, and I wonder if you will think the same if some obscure group presenting themselves as United supporters bought out the club and it would then turn out they do not have the funds to keep the club going. We'll go down to the Unibond League and win nothing ever again – but hey, at least the supporters will be running the club.
Dilardo: It really is not all about trophies. Club staff are being made redundant, free refreshments stopped for club workers, stewards getting sacked for returning banners to supporters, fans having season tickets confiscated for flags brought into the stadium or singing songs. I would suggest that doesn’t happen down at Stamford Bridge.
A: Here you are just being repetitive and making a nonsense case, these are no reasons to claim that Glazer is bad for the club. And I can assure you that should Chelski fans sing songs about Abramovich like our supporters sing about Glazer, the reaction will be by far fiercer than the one experienced at Old Trafford, just look what happened to Mourinho when he spoke against him.
Dilardo: The situation couldn't really be much worse. Alternatives - Glazer off and new owners with an interest in the club aligned with that of the supporters; the Red Knights takeover; or fans buy the club and run it as at Barcelona.
A: Dealt with this already… WHO THE HELL ARE THESE "RED KNIGHTS"???There really can be no other outcome if United are to survive, let alone prosper in the long term – Glazer has to go. NOW.
A: I beg to differ.