January 15, 2010

Premier League is having some money problems

I recently got in an arguement with a JustSON reader when I declared the NFL the most popular sports league in the world, citing that it makes the most money out of any sport in America and the world. The reader said that more people watched the Premier League on television, but I shot back that money = true popularity as opposed to rating numbers. It was basically a battle of philosophies.

I guess I was right, Deadspin recently posted numerous examples about how many Premier League teams are out of money, including the New York Yankees of UK soccer, Manchester United.

Man U is more than $1 billion in debt, thanks in no small part to Malcolm Glazer's stewardship.

Things have gotten so bad, they've had to take out a new $120 million loan to sign players this coming summer. They were unable to hang on to Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's talk that Real Madrid or Man City could put in a Godfather offer for Wayne Rooney.

But the Glazers gave a sneak peek of the worst-case scenario, in a message to potential investors this week:

The indenture governing the Notes (bonds) will limit our ability to sell or transfer, but not prohibit us from selling or transferring, our training ground facilities and our stadium. Although in the sale or transfer of any of these properties, the transferee will be required to enter into a long-term lease with us to enable us to continue to have substantially the same access to such property as we currently do, if we sell or transfer either or both of these properties, we will no longer control them."

So do any of you want to argue the popularity of the NFL vs. the popularity of the Premier League now that Manchester United might become a renter now instead of a home-owner?

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