EPL, Football, Joel Glazer, Manchester United, Mark Dominik, NFL, Raheem Morris, Sports, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Is a Straight Line

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Is a Straight Line

It appears that when one embarks upon a journey there are numbers of ways that one can go about planning it . You can take the path of least resistance knowing that if you’ve mapped out a plan then the journey and effort itself won’t be too laborious . Or one can go about this journey without a plan and essentially trying to overcome whatever obstacles are thrown your way and then seek to overcome each one at each moment it is in your pathway.

Plain but simple these are also the decisions that one also may well have to make in life as we proceed along its path. However we’re told that in life we have to be able to face adversity look it stare it straight in the eye and do our very best in order to deal with it and then overcome it. What if the obstacles at times that are thrown in front of us are ones of our own making ? How should one deal with them? Work to overcome them? Deny that they are and look elsewhere for assistance or perhaps simply just give up? Tests such as this are things show character if we choose to face them head on. However when we choose to deny them then along the way we’re liable to meet more of these very same obstacles in life.


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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

In article in the online forum of ESPN.com there’s a piece that deals with the burgeoning debt and finances of the Glazer family and the very fact that their most prized sporting assets are very much facing financial difficulties. As owners of the NFL’s __ Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English Premiership soccer team Manchester United the Glazer family were thought to be the envy of the sport’s world. As the proud owners of Manchester United perhaps the most recognized sporting brand in the world , with its legions of fans the world over. This has given the semblance of respectability that the family may well have desired. But in their earnest rush to attain that respectability they have essentially “sold their souls to the Devil” and have little to in return to show for it all . Granted , United has won a Premier League title and have become a perennial contender on the European front. But in the midst of it all the sons of Malcolm Glazier have become financially irresponsible and have began to hide behind a whole line of false truths and misleading statements concerning their own financial stability and that of the two sporting franchises.

Courtesy of InsideWorldofFootball.com

Glazer family £1 billion plus debt threatens ownership of Manchester United

June 7 – The scale of debt held by the Glazer family, the owners of Manchester United, is even greater than first imagined after it emerged that their business empire owes £1.1 billion ($1.6 billion), which could threaten their ownership of the three-time European champions .

According to an investigation by BBC’s Panorama programme, to be broadcast tonight [Monday], the Americans are carrying £392 million ($568 million) of previously unknown debt relating to mortgages taken out on 63 of the 64 shopping malls owned by their company First Allied Corporation across the United States.

Four First Allied shopping centres have recently fallen insolvent due to low occupancy, while the report also suggests the malls do not make enough money to fund the mortgages.

They have also borrowed £66 milion ($96 million) against their American Football League team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The explosive findings suggest that the Glazers’ other business interests are unlikely to be able to pay off Manchester United’s £717 million ($1.03 billion) debts and cast further doubt on on whether the club will have funds to spend on transfers this summer.

United have always insisted Sir Alex Ferguson will be given cash in this transfer window but the Scot has suggested he will keep new arrivals to a minimum.

The research for the programme was carried out by Andy Green, a City analyst and United supporter who is a keen backer of the ‘Green and Gold’ campaign to oust the Grazers.

“The Glazers have called the US property market appallingly bad,” he said.

“They borrowed money at inflated valuations right at the top at the top of the cycle.

“In their core business in the USA they got is absolutely wrong.”

Panorama quotes Dave Whelan, the chairman of Wigan Athletic, as saying: “I don’t think anybody can be satisfied with how Manchester United are being run.

“They have got somewhere in the order of three-quarters of a billion pounds worth of debt.

“That has got to be eliminated and eliminated quickly.”

In March, United chief executive David Gill claimed the club’s debts were easily covered by the income.

He said then: “We have an element of the debt that is very easily serviced by the cashflows of Manchester United, we are in a sport that is getting bigger all the time and as one of the leading clubs we should benefit from that growth.

“We believe we have a much more appropriate and flexible financial structure in place.”


At present the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are close to $100 million in debt and the Manchester United soccer club has amassed debts totaling $1.56 billion and rising. In the midst of this all , the Glazers have sought to renegotiate the financial obligations owed on this debt to their various creditors without much success. And why should the banks in question acquiesce to their requests to begin with ? Many of these very same banks had to be bailed out via their various sovereign governments and it would be something of a folly if they were to now bail out Manchester United , while not actually making funds available to small businesses much less a home owner looking to refinance their mortgage.

As the Premiership season has ended with United having finished as runners-up to Chelsea who once again made off seriously with some domestic silverware , having won the Premiership title and FA Cup . And in doing so they joined a select few teams that’ve completed the “domestic double” in having won both the Premiership league title and FA Cup in the same year. And whereas , Chelsea doesn’t have to worry about its financial stability as it is owned by Russian billionaire tycoon Roman Abramovich . The same cannot be said of Manchester United and their owners, the Glazer family under their patriarch Malcolm Glazer. With each passing month things are becoming more acute not only for both sport’s franchises but also for the family and their business interests. Their primary business interests outside that of the two clubs is that of their commercial real estate and mall holdings in First Allied Corporation . The company is one of the pre-eminent companies in its field . But as we all know with these dire economic times the consumer hasn’t been always been willing to spend much of their disposable income in many of the big box stores that First Allied has as its tenants. That being said the Glazers would have us believe that they have a 90 % occupancy rate at all of their various commercial real estate properties across the nation. If only that were true to begin with. On average the industry as a whole has lost many of their retailers and occupancy rates are averaging at best no more than 72 % .Somewhat of a misleading figure to begin with don’t you think that was forthcoming from the Glazers ?

In the midst of this all , the sons of Malcolm Glazer who oversee the sports holdings of the family have been less than upfront as to their intentions concerning both teams. And given the fact that the Buccaneers at present still owes the Tampa Bay Sports Authority in excess of $1.2 million for which the city of Tampa has yet to collect on this debt, which is in excess of two years old. It has me wondering what else is going inside of the ornate boardrooms of the Buccaneers’ organization . In this day and age when a city is now obfuscating their responsibilities to their citizens by not collecting monies owed to them but would seek to cut much needed and vital services to the community. I’ve got to ask myself in whose service are the city and in particular is Mayor Pam Iorio beholding to ? If not its residents then surely it can’t be to the Glazers at this juncture can it ?

And as ambitious as the aspirations are for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this upcoming season . This Raheem Morris coached team will be hard pressed to surpass last season’s anemic record of a 3-13 in what was a horrendous display of football on all fronts. Morris , himself, had made the statement that ” throughout the season the team had improved it showed in their determination and play”. Now I’m not one to ridicule a coach in merely his second year on the job. But what the hell was he looking at throughout much of the season ? How the hell had the team improved when with each game they simply regressed and became worse over their entire regular sixteen game schedule ? In the midst of this all watching over this debacle were Avram , Joel, Bryan and Edward Glazer the sons of patriarch , Malcolm Glazer. The quartet are now entrusted in looking after the family business and its sporting interests. Let‘s just say that the job that they‘re now doing borders the mess that was orchestrated by Rick Wagner as he presided over GM and led the automotive giant into bankruptcy and looked to apportion blame elsewhere because of his rather asinine executive decisions as he presided over the company as its Chairman & CEO.

With the 2010 NFL Draft having come and gone , with the Buccaneers taking Gerald McCoy as their first round draft pick and third overall. It is hoped that McCoy along with the other picks taken by the Buccaneers in the draft will be enough to bolster what was been a very under achieving that team that was lacking in depth on all fronts !. No leadership, no play-maker but most of all no sense of urgency from either the team or coaching staff that seemed to be learning its trade whilst on the job. And this was meant to be a positive change of direction for the team and organization as a whole from the reign of Morris’ predecessor Jon Gruden ? Truth be told they’re now further into an abyss than they ever were before and all of the rosy speeches being made by Morris and GM Mark Dominik cannot hide the fact that the Buccaneers as an organization are on a slippery slope to nowhere and that they’re heading there fast !

If things should get much worse financially for either of the two sporting interests or even for First Allied , then there’s very much the possibility that the Glazers may well have to sell one if not both of their sports’ holdings. Some fans may well feel that this would be for the better given the tact taken by the family in their business dealings and obvious misinformation to the public and fans alike. But then again what’s new ? As normally this is very much the way that we now have many of the owners acting with regard to their baubles as it concerns the ownership of a major professional sports franchise. Never mind what they do by way of conducting themselves as it concerns their business practices and businesses in general. Simply look at the actions of Goldman Sachs , the now defunct Merrill Lynch , Bank of America and you can easily understand why it is that the economic meltdown came about within the financial industry and spread like wildfire across the economic landscape. Honesty and integrity went out the window as these executives chased after the almighty dollar foregoing financial expediency and their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders and the public alike. It is no different now with the Glazers and how they’re now treating not only the Buccaneers and Manchester United fans but also the residents of the city of Tampa. They simply cannot be trusted to be upfront and tell the truth , instead they choose to be evasive and lie about their present predicament. Somehow this will end up costing someone a great deal of financial pain and the burden at the end of it all may well be placed upon the shoulders of the fans when it’s all said and done.



Picture gallery for your perusal


Doubt my word on this all ? Then simply watch as everything now begins to unfold. One way or another there’ll be a lot that will come to the fore as this all begins to play itself out. Much of this could have been avoided had the Glazers shown the temerity to simply tell the truth right from the start. But as we know the “The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Is a Straight Line “. And having the courage to tell the truth has never hurt anyone , if anything it shows character and honor when taking such a stance . At this juncture is that what we’re actually seeing from the Glazer family ? I’ll leave it for you to be the judge of that !.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………………

Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac gives you an acoustic version of his self penned mega-hit “Trouble” .

Cato June, Derrick Brooks, Football, Ike Hilliard, Joel Glazer, Joey Galloway, NFL, Raheem Morris, Sports, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Warrick Dunn

I Get It Then I Don’t ……………


I    Get  It  Then    I   Don’t   …………





Listening  to the  local  sport’s talk radio  shows   here  within  the   greater  Tampa  Bay  area.   I’m   finding  it  all  the  more  bewildering   to  see  the  bloodletting  that’s  now   taking   place   within  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers  organization.   There   have  been   those   who   favor   the   moves  that’ve   taken  place. And   there  have   been   others   who   by  their   very   outrage   have   made    it  clear   that  it’ll  be  their   duty   to  call  out  the  organization  and   in  particular   the  Glazer  family   and  the   ineptitude  that  they’ve  shown   in   handling  this  all.




With the announcement that   came with the  very   fact  that  the  Buccaneers  had  made  the  decision  to  cut   defensive  stalwart   Derrick Brooks,  Joey  Galloway,  Warrick  Dunn,  Cato  June  and  Ike  Hilliard.   It  all  but   sent  a  message   as  to  how  messy  the  business  of the  NFL  really  is.     GM Mark   Dominik  along  with  coach   Raheem  Morris   all  but  made  it   clear  that    this   was   nothing    more   than a  business   decision  and  the  fact that  the  organization  was   now   moving   in a   new   direction.     Well that  new   direction  and  the   furor  that  these   maneuvers   have   created   has  led to an  outcry   not  heard  within   the  community    in a  long  while. 




Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers' coach  Raheem Morris  checks  an e-mail  message  following  a news conference  at the  NFL Scouting  Combine  in   Indianapolis , In.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Todd  Meyers  ............
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coach Raheem Morris checks an e-mail message received having just attended a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis , Indiana . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Todd Meyer .......................




This   may  well  be  nothing   more  than  a   business  decision  which  will  save  the  organization   money .   But  the  haphazard   way    in  which  management   went   about   in  dealing   with  this   smacks   of    stupidity  and  sheer   ineptitude.  It  may  well  have   not  been   the  decision  of   Dominik  and  Morris’  to  have  made.   But   the   thinking   is  that   this   came  down   from    up   on  high.    And  with  the  Glazer   family    in  the  guise   of   Joel  ,  Bryan and  Avram (Ari )   all   sharing   in  the  running   of   their   father’s   business  interests.  It   gives    credence  to  the   fact  that    the  Buccaneers  along   with  that   of   their   ownership    in   European   soccer   club   Manchester  United    has   placed  them  in  somewhat  of   an  unenviable    situation. 






 ving   bought  the  latter   through   privately   leveraging   the    club   for  a  sum  in   excess  of   $ 1.6bn   .  It  may   well   give   credence  to  the  fact  that  the   family  may  well  be  in  some   dire    financial   straits.    The  debt   has to  be  serviced  and   repaid. And  with  the  banks   clamoring   for  any  money   that  they’re  owed.   It  can  be  said   that   the   family   is   under   a  great  deal  of  pressure.  This  situation  was   handled   with  the  all  the  aplomb   of   a  nuclear   device    going   off.    The   explosion  was  loud   and  clear   and    felt    right  across   the  community.    Brooks   for   his   part   has  handled  this   all  with a  great   deal  of  class . As   too  have  his   former   teammates  who’ve    accepted   the   actions  of  the  organization. 




Derrick  Brooks  addresses  members  of  the  locally  convened press  at the  Buccaneers'   headquarters  in  Tampa, Florida.  The  Buccaners   had formerly  made  the announcement  that   Brooks  along  with  four  other  players  on  the   team's   roster  had  been   cut   from the  team.   picture  appears   courtesy  of  getty  images/ Frank   Eldridge ...................
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive lineman Derrick Brooks speaks to the locally convened press at the Buccaneers' headquarters in Tampa , Florida. Brooks was there to take questions from the press after it was formerly announced by the organization that Brooks along with four other players had been cut from the Buccaneers' team roster. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Todd Elridge ................




The  fallout   from  this  all   has  been  met   with   some dismay  and  nowhere   has   this  been  more    prevalent   than   within  the  news  media  and   in  particular    the   sport’s   talk   show  medium.    This  will  be  the   feature   story  for  the  ensuing   days  ,  if   not   weeks.   As   this   will  be   dissected  and   analyzed   as   much  any     media   story     out   there.   All  of   a  sudden  anything   concerning  the   Tampa   Bay   Rays   or     Tampa  Bay Lightning    will   become   almost   irrelevant.    





Well  it’s   now  too  late   for  a  do-over   and   if  anything   with   the   $62m  that  the  team  is   under   the  NFL salary   cap  will   go  a  long  way   in   determining   the   intentions  of  the  franchise.   With   free  agency    now   in  the  offing.  And   with  there    being  a  number   of  needs  that    have   to  be   addressed   by    the  team.   It   will   be   very   interesting   to  see  the   sort   of   decisions   that’ll  be   made   by     GM  Mark  Dominik  and    coach   Raheem  Morris.  And as  of  now  the   clock   is  now  ticking   on the  franchise ,  its  management  and  ownership  as  a  whole.






The   loss   of   Brooks  while    monumental,   it   is   very  hard   to  see  who’ll   now  be   viewed  as  the  inspirational  and   vocal  leader   of  this   team.    All  of  which   leads me  to  believe  that  the  franchise  will  be   in  for   some   very   rough and  turbulent   times   ahead.   Brooks    brought  to  the   game   a   desire   and   passion  to   play.   But    even   more   so    there  was    that  will  to  win   and   exert   himself    to  do  whatever   it’d   take.   Unfortunately   on  the   team   there  is   no   one    there   now   who    possesses    those    infinite   traits.    And  it’ll   definitely    be   some  time   before   we  can   truly  assess   where  the   team   stands  as  to  its   presence  as   a  contender or   pretender    amongst   the   franchises  within   the  NFL.





This   much  is   certain    where  they   now    are   and  where  they   envisage   that  they  want  to  be .   It  is    so  far   apart   that   it   doesn’t  warrant   thinking  about   at  this   juncture.   Talk  is    cheap   but   it’s   the   actions    of    a   franchise    that   goes   a   long   way  in  dispelling   any   apprehensions  that  the   fans   may  well   have   as to  supporting  the   franchise.

AC Milan, David Beckham, EPL, La Liga, Los Angeles Galaxy, Manchester United, Philip Anschutz, Real Madrid, Serie A, Soccer, Sports

Just When You Thought There Was Sanity Within Sports Something Leads You To Believe Otherwise …………..


Now I know that  for  a  fact that there aren’t that  many soccer  fans  amongst the  throngs  who congregate  within  this  forum.   So I  won’t  prevail  upon  you my inherent  love of  the sport. Other than  to surmise that growing up  in the UK it played  a  great part  in my upbringing. That being  said  I  also  had  other  recreational  activities that I  pursued  with a  passion . Namely  the martial  arts  where  I  obtained  a  black  belt  in  karate.






On  however  to the  bare  bones  of this  article . As  many  of  you  know the  global  soccer icon   known  as  David  Beckham was  lured  here  to the  United  States  to increase the  profile  of the game of soccer(football).  Having  played  much  of his career in  the  United   Kingdom  for the  much  heralded  Manchester United  and  continent of  Europe  for  Real Madrid  of Spain.   Beckham  was  able  to  parlay  his  inimitable  skills  into a   formidable  fortune  and  worldwide  notoriety.  After a  somewhat  untenable  situation  with the  Spanish  soccer   giant  Real Madrid  came   to  a  head  he  came  to  the  United   States with all of  the  unabashed  publicity  one  would  expect of a  superstar. 



David  Beckham  and his wife  Victoria     picture appears courtesy  pf  afp/reuters/ Tim Keeley  ...........
David Beckham seen here accompanied by his wife Victoria inthe principality of Monaco picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/Tim Keeley ...........



David  Beckham  and his  wife  Victoria  Beckham  seen here  in the  principality  of Monaco .   picture  appears  courtesy of  afp/reuters/Tim Keeley  ………..






Also  accompanying   him  were  his  publicity  seeking  wife  and  some time  pop  group  vignette  member   Victoria  Beckham and  their  three  children.  As  to her  own  actual claim  to fame that’s  something  I’m  still   trying  to   figure  out.   Well  Beckham  was  welcomed  with  open   arms   by  MLS (Major League Soccer)  and  offered  a  contract   befitting  of  a  king.   All   told  it’s   said  to  be  worth  upwards  of  $250m  over  a  period  of  ten  years.  The   vast majority  of  this  sum  would  be  earned  by  the  player   through  marketing and  branding  his   name  on almost  everything  associated  with  the   game  here  in the  US.   And  if that  wasn’t  enough  a  David  Beckham  Soccer  Academy  would  be  opened up  as well  on  both  coasts.






Now  it’d be  remiss  of  me  not to  opine on  this   further . But I  feel  that  it’s  best  not  to. Philip  Anschutz  the  multi billionaire  financial ,  media  mogul  and  owner  of  a  number  of  several soccer  franchises   within  the  MLS    would  be  the  main   architect  of this exercise.  And  it  would  be   the  Los  Angeles   Galaxy  where  Beckham  would  be  seen  and  hopefully  be  able  lure  the  more   curious  of  fans  to their   home  facility   at  the  Home  Depot  Center  in Carson, California. The hullaballoo which  followed  all  but  assured  us  that this  exercise  would  either  sink  or   swim  on  Beckham’s presence within  the  league.   The team  itself  was  marginal  at  best  and once  the  player got under  way   with  showing us all  his abilities. It  was  something  of  a  letdown. 




Beckham  shows his  fleet  of  foot  with an  intended pass  for a  teammate  for  his  new  club ............
Bekcham shows that he is fleet of foot with an intended pass for a teammate at his new club AC Milan . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Luciano Pozzolli ..................



Beckham shows  that he is fleet  of  foot  with  an  intended pass   for  a  teammate  at  his  new  club  AC  Milan.  picture appears courtesy  of  getty  images/Luciano  Pozzolli  ……………..







Granted  there  was  an  upswing   in  ticket   sales  across   the league   and  the  television  made  its presence   felt  in the  guise  of  ABC  and   cable  entity  ESPN.  But  it  became  short lived  once we   saw  that  the player   wouldn’t  be  on  the  field  on  a  regular basis  because of  recurring   injuries   suffered  prior  to  his  introduction   to the league.  That  of itself  was  enough    was enough  to suggest  that this  would  a  disaster  of  monumental  proportions. Especially   for  the  fans  who  may  well  have  felt  that  they  were  being   short  changed.    His  inauspicious   start  only led  to  further   ridicule  of  the  sport   and  the league itself.   And   much  of  it was  thoroughly  deserved.



Beckham  in a publicity  pose  after his  loan  agreement  is  confirmed .  The  player is  now  on  loan  to  Italian  soccer  giants  AC  Milan ............picture appears  courtesy of  getty  images  ..........
Beckham seen here in a publicity pose after his agreed loan to Italian soccer giants AC Mlian ..... picture appears courtesy of Luciano Pozzolli ...........



Beckham  in  a publicity  pose  after  his  loan agreement  is confirmed  to  Italian  soccer giants  AC  Milan.  picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/Luciano  Pozzolli …………………..






Now  enjoying   something  of a  rejuvenated  career  with  Italian  soccer  giant   AC Milan  where  he’s now  on  loan  to  the  team.  The  player  is  now  said to  be  interested   remaining   with the  club and  making   the  move  a  permanent  one.  Albeit   denials   have  come thick  and  fast  from  all  parties  concerned  other  than  the  player  himself  directly with the  press. As to  what  this’d  mean  for  the  fans   of  the  Galaxy   much  less  the  domestic  league  here  in the  US remains  to  be  seen.  It  oughtn’t  to  come  as  a  surprise  to  anyone  at all.  The  league is  barely  surviving  now keeping  its  head  above  water with the  all  too   fiscal  conservatism  that’s to be   expected   in  these   dire   economic   times.   As  for  the  management  and  ownership    of  the  franchise   what   started   out   as  an  extravagant  publicity  gimmick . It  now  seems   that  everything  could  come  crashing  down  around  its  ears.  The  player   probably  relishes  the competitive  zeal  of playing   in  Italy in  one  of  the  best  soccer leagues  in the  world in  Serie’A.   When  compared   to  that  of  the Western  Conference of  Major League  Soccer  and  the  league  in its  entirety. The  difference  is  as  clear  as  day  is  to  night.  Why  eat a  rib  roast   when  you  can  have   filet-mignon  instead  ?   




Beckham  in action  for  AC  Milan  ..........
Beckham in action for AC Milan ..... picture appears courtesy of ap/Arturo Emigliano................



Beckham in  action for  AC Milan.  picture  courtesy  of  ap/Arturo Emigliano ………….




As  to what  may  transpire  between  all of  the   parties  concerned. In  this  case  the  Los Angeles Galaxy  , MLS  and  that  of  AC  Milan  itself. It  has  to be  said  that  it  will be  very interesting  to  see  how   things  will   unfold. Clearly the  loss of  the player  will  be  significant  to  the fortunes  of  not  only the league  but  also  the  Los  Angeles Galaxy itself.  Barely   two  years  into  this   ten  year  agreement  it  would seem that  there is  a  stark   reality   that  Beckham  feels  that  he’d  be  better  served elsewhere  playing in  Italy.  Rather than  suffering  the  ignominy  of   toiling   in  the  US even  though  for  a  large  sum  of  money.  But  nowhere  near the  recognition  and  notoriety   that  he’s  usually  accustomed  to  when  playing   in  other  parts  of  the  world.  It  appears  that  when   money  doesn’t  always   buy   you a great deal of  happiness . But  in  some  cases   it  doesn’t  hurt  to   try   your  hand   at  it. 







For Beckham , Anschutz  and   all  concerned  in this  particular   fiasco  it has  been  all   about the  money  and  rarely  anything  else.  Who’d  have   thought it  ? For  $250m Beckham  was   brought  in   to make the   statement   that   the   exercise was a  worthwhile  endeavor    and  that  the  game  would  be   better  for  it  here  in  the  United States.   All   the  money   in  the  world  it appears  can’t   make  up   for  the  futility , stupidity  and  overall    just  downright  lack  of  common  sense.