Amidst the crisis-club headlines and the stories about all our good players and our manager leaving, a salutary tale for those who think a hostile takeover is in the best interests of Arsenal from the Telegraph’s Jim White. He warns that, while on the surface all looks rosy with the Man U takeover, there’s still the small matter of the Â£700m of debt to be paid back.
Yes, Man U are splashing a seemingly unstoppable amount of cash on players, and yes, we all wish Wenger was doing it too, but as Jim White points out, it’s hardly as if the money is coming from the goodness of the heart of the owners. Season ticket prices – bucking a general trend – have risen by up to 14% at United, and worse still, those who swallow this rise in prices are now ‘obliged’ to buy every single home cup tie on top. According to White, some season tickets there will now cost Â£500 more than they did last season. They impose these rises because they have no choice – there’s money to be paid back.
Let’s not forget that if a new owner comes in and attempts to buy our club, he or she will have to find something in the region of Â£700m when current debts are taken into account. He or she will have to borrow money to do this, and rather than taking this debt on personally, they will pile it on the club.
It’s money that needs paying back, and who ends up paying that money back? The fans, for the most part. Assuming all goes well, the fans will pay back the debt placed on the club themselves, leaving the owner(s) with an asset worth Â£700m. And the fans with what exactly?
Does that sound fair?
Unless I’m missing something, I can’t see the benefit of that in the long-term.