The Chicago Tribune threatened: Man United next?

Ann Pettifor: 16th December, 2008, 15.00PM

I notice that the magnificent Chicago Tribune and its 14,600 employees are threatened with insolvency by its owner Sam Zell.  Zell borrowed huge sums with which to seize the Tribune as recently as December, 2007. In other words, he raised most of the asking price not by putting up his own cash, but by persuading gullible banks to create credit, and saddle the company with $13 bn in debt.  It turns out that churning out stories to raise the cash to service that debt just did not prove possible.

Look out for Manchester United and other sports clubs – buried under mountains of debt – and lets together reckon how long it will take for the debt to be serviced by men in trunks kicking balls around a football ground.

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