Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 11:08 UK
Manchester United's gumshoe super-fan

By John Sweeney and Andrew Head
BBC Panorama

United fans protest banner
Fans have reverted to the club's original colours in protest

The controversial owners of Manchester United would not be blamed for seeing Andy Green as the fan from hell.

Such is Andy's dedication to the cause that is his chosen club that he has made it his mission to find out more about the Glazer family's business dealings - especially their debts.

A staunch supporter not only of the players on the pitch, but of the fan revolt known as the "Green and Gold" Andy is also, by day, a number-cruncher in the City.

And he has spent a lot of time crunching Man United's numbers.

"I realised if you dug hard enough you could find out the details of every single mortgage they had in the United States. After weeks and weeks of doing this, I now have a totally clear and absolutely verifiable picture of the US shopping centre business."

He is not happy with what he has found, uncovering mortgages on 63 of 64 shopping centres totalling £388m ($570m).

Cash flow

That would be manageable if the shopping centres were profitable, but the paper trail revealed that many aren't generating enough income to even cover the mortgage.

Fan Andy Green
City analyst Andy Green researched the debts held by the Glazer family

"Around a quarter of them cannot pay the interest on their mortgages already. Another quarter are coming off interest-free deals and when those deals end, those shopping centre won't be able to pay their mortgages either."

Green predicts a serious cash flow problem for the Glazer family, who were badly caught out by the collapse in US commercial property values. Some of their properties are now in negative equity.

"The Glazers have called the US property market appallingly badly. They borrowed more money at inflated valuations right at the top of the cycle."

In their core business in the US they got it absolutely wrong
Andy Green, City Analyst and Manchester United supporter

The banks have put 28 of the Glazer shopping centre on a 'watch list', which means they are worried about the loans.

Green's search of county court record in America turned up four First Allied shopping centre that have already gone bust.

Panorama interviewed receiver Chris Salomone who took control of one of them, Crosswoods Commons in Columbus, Ohio, in February of this year. He told me he is struggling to find a buyer.

"The property is currently on the market for $1.5m asking price and most likely we will sell for even less than that, which is substantially less than the original mortgage."

That mortgage was $3.7m, leaving the Glazers with negative equity of more than $2m on this one property alone.

Fan from hell Andy Green is not impressed.

"These are people who tell us not to worry about Manchester United debt because they are great businessmen. In their core business in the US they got it absolutely wrong."

Panorama: Man United - Into the Red, BBC One, Tuesday, 8 June at 2235BST and then available in the UK on BBC iPlayer


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific