Team Glazer Piles Up The Credit

June 7th, 2010

“Our football people have never been told no because of money. Money will never be an issue when it comes to building this team the way we think it should be built.” — Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer, during a March interview with the Tampa Tribune about the state of team.

Just read the quote above a few times to soothe yourself after soaking in today’s Team Glazer news from the BBC.

The reputable British public broadcasting arm reports Team Glazer has borrowed $95 million against the Buccaneers (whatever that exactly means) and is over $1.5 billion in debt, far more than previously thought.

Mortgage documents seen by the BBC show that the Glazers have borrowed £388m ($570m) against shopping malls and £66m ($95m) against their American National Football League team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In addition to their mortgages in the US, a portion of the Glazer family’s £700m Manchester United debt will soon see them charged interest at a rate of 16.25%.

Fans fear that, despite the club’s record of success on the pitch, the Glazers’ leveraged buy-out of United has saddled the club with debt and that may mean that there is no spare money in the future to buy a new generation of star players.

The BBC report goes on to explain how it uncovered previously unscrutinized aspects of Team Glazer’s financials — with the help of an agenda-driven disgruntled Manchester United fan determined to force Team Glazer to sell the soccer team.

… But Mr Green discovered that the Glazers’ shopping mall mortgages had been bundled with other loans as Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities. Those bundles are publicly traded and therefore require the Glazers to provide detailed information on all the mortgages, which are then publicly available in the US.

Mr Green found mortgages – confirmed by the BBC – on 63 of 64 First Allied shopping centres, totalling £388m ($570m).

Now Joe has no idea of the rules governing how an NFL owner can use his franchise as an asset. So Joe’s not sure whether borrowing against a team is a common or acceptable practice. And again, Joe doesn’t know what “borrow against the Buccaneers” really means when the books are opened.

But Joe is quite certain that if the BBC is pulling a Dan Sileo here, Team Glazer and its new pit bull will be all over it shortly.

Right now, Joe’s glad to see Team Glazer is eager to borrow funds and rack up credit. Perhaps that’ll make them more likely be the player in 2011 free agency that Mark Dominik claims they’ll be.

49 Responses to “Team Glazer Piles Up The Credit”

  1. tampa2 Says:

    They can put their new “pit bull” on this all they want. THey are in some deep doodoo on both continents with that story. I’d bet that Dan Sileo is in his office with the shades down laughing his ass off (lest he be fired for laughing)!
    I feel sorry for old Malcom. After all, he did spend the money to make the Bucs a winner. But his 3 scrooge sons have pilliaged the coffers, it seems, while showing the world how the ultra rich do it.
    I just hope that Eddie Debartolo has the holding company that loaned them the 95 million, and he forcloses! Bet they borrowed that 95 Million before they hired Morris. Had it been after, they could only have gotten 95 thousand! It is a hilarious story either way!

  2. Joe Says:


    They can put their new “pit bull” on this all they want. THey are in some deep doodoo on both continents with that story. I’d bet that Dan Sileo is in his office with the shades down laughing his ass off (lest he be fired for laughing)!

    At the risk of irritating some people locally, let’s think about this for a moment.

    Some of the top journalists in the free world and some of top federal and English investigative units on both sides of the Atlantic have tried to connect the dots between the Glazers and Madoff. Scotland Yard, FBI, Times of London, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the British rags, the New York tabloids, Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, CNN, CNBC, Fox Business Channel, Bloomberg… all have tried and poured over court documents and none of them — none! — found one iota of evidence.

    Joe personally knows of a guy that spent weeks going over those court documents each day every day and there was nothing there.

    But Dan Sileo was able to crack this case? Really?

    Again, the fact that this Green character is behind this BBC report, Joe’s very suspicious. To be frank, aside from the beancounters, no one really knows.

  3. d-money Says:

    Joe i found this in an article about the recent sale of the Rams…

    “NFL teams can borrow a maximum of $150 million using the club as collateral. Owners have borrowed more than that, however, by creating holding companies and borrowing against personal interests. Those loans must be approved by the league. ”

    At $95 million the Glazers arent even close to the limit set by the league. Like you said i’d be suspicious of anything this Green fellow says. He’s out to make the Glazers look bad no matter how he has to twist the facts.

  4. Eric Says:

    I agree with you Joe that it would take a team of CPA’s to figure out what the Glazer boys are up to. I was under the impression that NFL had some strict restrictions about using an NFL franchise as collateral. I also think if that was the case the mortgage/lien would be recorded for the lending entity to perfect its interest.

    But, given the current economy, and the fact the Glazer empire has a lot of commercial real estate investments, I think the collar may be a bit tight.

    Which explains the low payroll, and the hiring Rah draft building “plan”, which I still insist is an utter farce.

    Im not saying they are on the steps of the bankruptcy court, but they are not in current competitive spending mode, on the American Football team anyway.

  5. RahDomDaBest Says:

    The Buccaneers ownership are re-building their bank accounts, cutting costs and using revenues to pay off all their debt. That is about the only re-building they are doing.

    The Plan is unraveling because the Bucs are NOT going to sign their young restricted free agents… and then lose them next season… what is going to happen is the players NOT CHOOSING to RE-SIGN will be the proof in the pudding of just how f—–d this organization is being ran.

    You can’t build a young team and NOT sign restricted free agents and expect to win… that equals farm team, not solid foundation.

  6. Joe Says:


    Joe’s not anti-Team Glazer or pro-Team Glazer; no ax to grind either way. Since this Green character was the one digging for dirt, Joe wonders what evidence he came across that he did not bring to light for the BBC folks that perhaps would have underminded his effort to buy the soccer team?

  7. JimBuc Says:

    How about this simple question: where did the BBC get the $95 million figure for the Bucs “debt?” The answer to that question alone should tell you something about the BBc piece. Joe, do you know where the $95 million Bucs debt comes from?

  8. Louie Says:

    Thanks to d-money’s research, we know the NFL allows teams to borrow again the team. $150M is a safe amount (about 10% of the team?). I don’t blame the Glazerhouses from using the equity in any of their assets to build their empire. However, there are two major red flags I see, 1) the interest rate (if correct or even close correct) — 16.25% is incredible and indicates the Glazers had to be desperate to accept those terms. 2) They seem to have borrowed against commerical real estate. This is also bad given the current real estate market. There’s a good chance some of those are underwater or worse – bankrupt.

    I’m not surprised Jimbuc is questioning the amount borrowed against the Bucs as one of his primary arguments is that money from the Bucs hasn’t been used for ManU. This article shoots a serious hole in his argument.

  9. Joe Says:

    Joe, do you know where the $95 million Bucs debt comes from?

    LOL If Joe knew the answer to that, you think he’d be running a blog??? 🙂

    Joe is not a high-priced CPA and never pretended to be, hence why Joe lives in a modest St. Petersburg condo with standard-def TV pining away for Rachel Watson in a futile attempt to find a reason not to open another bottle of Caybrew.

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    You can be suspicious and skeptical all you want. The only thing I know as fact is that over the last 5 years the Bucs have spent less on player payroll than any other team. And in the good ‘ol days of the late 90’s and early 2000’s they spent MORE than most teams. So that leads me to be suspicious as well – suspicious that the Glazers have serious money issues.

  11. MTM Says:

    This latest statement just proves what everybody already knew. The Glazers are in deep sh*t. It not going to get better in Tampa. Until an ownership change is made.

  12. Eric S Says:

    Exactly lightningbuc. That’s the only proof I need. When there is smoke, there is usually fire. And it is burning like hell all through Tampa. The Glazers are in serious debt. It is as simple as that.

    I don’t think the Glazers were involved with Madoff. They got in debt on their own.

  13. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Anybody invloved in real estate and still has the assets are MORE THAN LIEKLY in debt in regards to those assets… the real estate bust has killed many many business as well as personal wealth… and even banks and hedge funds. Debt is a major problem in Europe as it is in the US…this latest fiasco is a huge shift in this country’s economic rules of engagement… i would not be surprised in the least bit if the Glazer’s have to go bankrupt and default on many of their investments…. to include the Buccaneers.

  14. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, the only place that $95 million is mentioned is in the David Conn blog and it is mentioned there with respect to the Glazers’ purchase of the Bucs. Is debt from 1995 relevant to a story in 2010 about the “Glazers” debt? Silly.

    How about a simpler question, actually a two-part question. You don’t have to be a CPA. Did the “Glazers” just successfuly issue a 500 million bond offering? Would the largest investment banks in the world underwrite the debt without a full financial disclosure?

  15. JimBuc Says:

    No surprise that there is talk of Madoff on this board. Lowest common denominator

  16. admin Says:

    Joe here –

    JimBuc – Calm down. There two mentions of Madoff in this thread outside of YOURS. ..One poster writing that he doesn’t think the Bucs had anything to do with Madoff. And one by Joe saying that any mention of Madoff is ridiculous and would have been flushed out long ago.

    Second, you ask where the $95 million comes from. ..Twice in this story BBC goes out of its way to write that they’ve seen documentation of what they have. So Joe would say that now it comes from the BBC.

  17. D-Rome Says:

    I guess Sileo was right about the Glazers all along…

  18. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    No, D-Rome – Sileo wasn’t correct if you’re referring to anything he was saying regarding Madoff, SEC stuff and things like that.

  19. LaughingCat Says:

    Hey Joe (where you going with that gun in your hand)

    I took the Dan Sileo comment more like: He was right, the Bucs are in bigger financial straits than they claim.

    You are correct, if the mention of Sileo laughing meant Dan was right about the Madoff comments, Tampa2 should stnad corrected. But we are all laughing (and crying) that it appears the Bucs might be part of a highly-leveraged financial gamble. This kind of gamble got tens of thousands, if not millions, of people in trouble the last decade.

  20. LaughingCat Says:

    And that is why Sileo would be laughing, behind the scenes.

  21. JimBuc Says:

    Joe — not excited so no reason to cal down. Tampa2 believes the Madoff story, that is why I mentioned it. No offense intended. I did not even notice your comment and certainly was not trying to imply anything about the site.

    The Bucs have responded, but I guess most will dismiss it.

  22. JimBuc Says:

    Oops, so excited I misspelled “calm”

  23. JimBuc Says:

    LaughingCat — you are illustrating the point I was making. If you read the Conn blogs, you would probably come to a better conclusion. But, instead we are talking about a report several steps down the line. Note the bit about the $95 million Bucs debt. This is how Joe described it:

    “The reputable British public broadcasting arm reports Team Glazer has borrowed $95 million against the Buccaneers (whatever that exactly means) ”

    When did the Glazers borrow $95 million against the Bucs? Well, when they purchased the Bucs in 1995. Did they do so more recently? Well, they are a private company but mortgages are public record. I don’t see any mortgage. Hmmm…

    Funny stuff.

  24. JimBuc Says:

    Gotta love this. Florio runs the Bucs response (Sure Joe will do the same), but then closes with this:

    “The statement contains no denial of the existence or magnitude of the total debt load, which reportedly now exceeds $1.5 billion. And regardless of reality, the perception remains that the Bucs aren’t spending enough money on players — and it’s triggering a presumption that the failure to spend money on players comes from a lack of money to spend on anything.

    Gotta love “and regardless of the reality.” LMAO

  25. Louie Says:

    @JimBuc, that perception will happen when you’ve spent the lowest amount of money on player salaries since 2004. It’s not a coincidence that the team has performed very inconsitently since 2004. At least Gruden could pull a winning season out of his hat on a shoestring budget. “The Dream” hasn’t proven he can do that.

  26. JimBuc Says:

    Louie — I agree about the perception. I even agree that finances play a part. I just disgree that the “Glazers” are in financial ruin. That part is just silly and, unfortunately, it is perpetuated by silly stories like the BBC story. You realize the “researcher” for the BBC piece was a Green & Gold supporter. Joe pointed it out above. Problem is, most will skim over that little nugget, because this type of story plays to the mythology and becomes instant “fact” when it is recycled over and over and over again by every media outlet. Funny actually, unless, I suppose, you are the Glazers

  27. lightningbuc Says:

    To JimBuc and Florio,

    In this case, perception IS reality! While the Glazers’ aren’t tied directly to Bernie Scamoff, their house of cards is about to meet the same fate as Bernie’s did – flushed down the crapper!

  28. Louie Says:

    @JimBuc, I’m not saying the Glazers are in financial ruin. I don’t care either way. They may well have their finances in complete control. But, for whatever reason, they aren’t spending the necessary money on the Bucs to make them a contender — and haven’t since 2004. People say it’s the CBA, but this crap has been going on for years. The timing just so happens to coincide with the Glazers’ purchase of ManU. It’s a valid argument to say the Glazers spending habits since 2004 are related to ManU. Before that, they spent wildly on the Bucs.

  29. Eric Says:

    Anybody loan me $20.00?

  30. JimBuc Says:

    Lightiningbuc — thank you for your enlightened view

  31. JimBuc Says:

    Louie — I did not mean to imply that you thought the Bucs were in financial ruin. I was speaking about the BBC report and all the people that buy into it without even looking at the facts (i.e. “researched” by Green and Gold supporter Andy Green, makes reference to $95 million Bucs’ debt, the amount Glazer financed in 1995.)

    I agree theat Bucs spending after 2004 reflects the ManU purchase, as well as, the economy, the lack of decent players drafted, now the CBA etc. I am only taking issue with the ridiculous, over-the-top reporting and the even more over-the-top commentary, which includes references to Madoff, among other things.

  32. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Holy crap. Why is the ranting JimBuc so defensive about the Glazer’s financial dispair???

  33. JimBuc Says:

    Expect that from you RahDom. But for the record, ranting about the reporting not the “financial despair.”

  34. JimBuc Says:

    RahDom: maybe you were postiing your shot at me when this post went up:

    “I agree theat Bucs spending after 2004 reflects the ManU purchase, as well as, the economy, the lack of decent players drafted, now the CBA etc. I am only taking issue with the ridiculous, over-the-top reporting and the even more over-the-top commentary, which includes references to Madoff, among other things.”

    How else could we explain your oversight about my “ranting?”

  35. lightningbuc Says:

    Please answer the following multiple choice question:

    JimBuc is actually:

    A) Joel Glazer
    B) Joel Glazer’s banker
    C) Joel Glazer’s financial adviser
    D) Joel Glazer’s towel boy

  36. JimBuc Says:

    lighningbuc — another common response. Don’t like the information so shoot the meesenger, in this instance attempt to discredit the meesenger by questioning his motive. Good stuff.

  37. lightningbuc Says:


    Twice you have attempted to spell my name, and twice you have misspelled it. I realize, though, that it’s hard to type and give Joel a massage at the same time.

  38. JimBuc Says:

    Thanks for proving my point lightbuc

  39. Louie Says:

    @lightningbuc, you forgot one:

    E) Joel Glazer’s lap dog.

  40. JimBuc Says:

    Well played, Louie. Speaks volumes.

  41. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Out of the 32 posts, JimBuc owns nearly 40% of them.

  42. JimBuc Says:

    How many of the other 60% are calling me a name? LOL. That should be an interesting statistic

  43. Louie Says:

    @JimBuc: 0% are calling you names. Yep, that’s interesting.

  44. JimBuc Says:

    Louie, you actually called me a name right:

    Louie Says:

    June 7th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    @lightningbuc, you forgot one:

    E) Joel Glazer’s lap dog.

  45. JimBuc Says:

    Louie? Louie? (crickets)

  46. Louie Says:

    Dude, that’s not name calling. Are we getting a little sensitive?

  47. Eric Says:


    Are you sure you don’t have the soccer modeling contract with the Glazers?

  48. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Eric gets a rim shot with that one.

  49. JimBuc Says:

    Louie, I am not hurt by the comment, get real. I was just pointing out the weak response