Jim O'Neill must be in hog, er PIIG, er BRIC heaven: it appears his employer, Goldman Sachs, is about to become the proud owner of O'Neill's all time favorite Manchester United. At least that way the reason for an AIG brand still advertised on the front of all ManU players' shirts will finally make sense: call it bailout advertising, in which AIG (indirectly) paid about $160 billion in taxpayer money to Goldman and a few others so its name would grace the uniforms of Goldman's latest acquisition. According to Sky News, a consortium of investors, which includes Goldman Sachs and law firm Freshfields, affectionately called the Red Knights, is preparing to acquire the soccer team from the much hated Glazer family, which in the span of several years has gotten ManU's debt/GDP ratio (or some other BS metric) to be almost as bad as that of the United States. Alternatively, it is oddly ironic that the bank that does God's work will soon be the owner of the Red Devils. The question: will Lloyd soon be sitting in satan's box at Old Trafford?
Sky's city editor Mark Kleinman, who broke the story, told Sky's Jeff Randall: "I should caveat all this by saying that the Red Knights campaign is at a very early stage, and while it has the support of influential fan bodies such as the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), it’s possible that those involved may conclude it’s not ultimately viable."
He added: "Having said that, the summit - the first formal gathering under the Red Knights banner - is the most significant evidence so far of the seriousness of the campaign to win back control of United."
Any serious offer would need to raise around £1bn, Kleinman said.
A statement from the Glazer family said the Old Trafford club was not for sale.
Many Utd fans are bitterly opposed to the Glazer family, staging weekly protests at home games while dressed in green and gold shirts and scarves.
They are angry that the club has been allowed to accrue debts of around £700m. The Glazers' recent £500m bond issue has crystallised opposition among fans to their continued ownership of the club, Kleinman said.
They claim the the debts have prevented manager Sir Alex Ferguson dipping into the transfer market.
With the bulk of England's other soccer teams directly and indirectly owned by the Russian mob, it only seems fitting that Goldman would find its next natural calling to be an involvement in this particular sport.
We look forward to all English soccer referees soon having direct access to Redi, Sonar, Sigma X, and any other "advance" look facilitation systems, which will make team appearances on the pitch irrelevant, as refs will soon know (with at least a 90 minute window) just how the game will end, thus making it a moot affair. This will be doubly true if Fidelity or Putnam are coming to the game.