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I forget things. I’m getting old…

Submitted by on February 12, 2010 – 12:10 pmNo Comment

Good breeding

The Guardian, like many interested in David Gill’s apparent debt u-turn, has also got wind of the 2004 interview in which he explains why the Board of MUFC Plc had told the Glazers to do one.

The following is taken from their online Digger column:

The zeal with which Manchester United stewards have torn down banners at Old Trafford bearing any reference to the Glazers’ controversial stewardship has created the odd headline in recent days.

So Digger was surprised to find a revealing question-and-answer session from 2004 still on the club’s website. The interviewee was David Gill, then as now United’s chief executive.

He was being asked why the club had broken off negotiations with the Glazer family, who at the time were mounting a hostile takeover of the club. Reading Gill’s comments, you could almost imagine him having scrawled the protest slogans himself.

For instance, how about: “We’ve seen many examples of debt in football over the years and the difficulties it causes; we know what that means and we think that is inappropriate for this business”?

Or: “We have very vocal fans and one of the key strengths of Manchester United are those fan groups”? (A view that seems to have changed rather over the past four years.)

Or even: “It’s important to note that we don’t have an issue with the Glazer family: it is about leverage”? (The club website helpfully explained that leverage means using debt to finance a takeover offer but United fans need no such clarification today.)

By contrast, for the record, Gill said earlier this month: “I would appeal to the fans to be sensible and get behind the team.

“We are a very well-run club and, given what’s happening at other clubs, people should be proud of what’s happening at Manchester United.” Silly fans. Whatever made you think debt was a bad thing?

I wonder how history will judge the apologists if the predicted Leeds United impression comes to pass. Ferguson, Gill et al might wonder.

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