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June 7, 2010 @ 8:40 am
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Bucs Respond To BBC Story Regarding Glazers' Debt

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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New Buccaneers director of communications Jonathan Grella issued a statement on behalf of the team and the Glazers in response to a BBC report that stated that he Glazers' debt total has risen to $1.5 billion for their purchase of the Manchester United soccer team. Read Grella's response in this story.
The Glazers are getting their money’s worth out of new director of communications Jonathan Grella. In his first statement on behalf of the Glazers and the Buccaneers, Grella issued a response to a report from the BBC in England that was picked up stateside by ProFootballTalk.com stating that the Glazers’ total debt for the purchase of the Manchester United English soccer club has reached $1.5 billion, which was more than the public had expected.

The report also suggested that the Glazers have borrowed $570 million against their shopping malls and more than $95 million against their NFL team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The following is the entire press release put by Grella, a former political p.r. guru who recently replaced long-time public relations director Jeff Kamis, addressing these topics.

“Buccaneers fans should know that the Glazer family is as financially well-positioned as ever before. Companies they own generate revenues in excess of $800 million each year.

“Sophisticated real estate experts know that the family's refinancing of their commercial real estate before the global meltdown has proven to be the wise move.

“While First Allied represents only a small portion of their asset portfolio, it continues to generate significant profits, enjoys over 90% occupancy, and has long term non-recourse financing.

“This franchise remains committed to bringing the resources to build its next championship team.”

It should be noted that Grella nor the Buccaneers denied the figures in the BBC story. The Glazers have maintained that neither the Buccaneers nor Manchester United is for sale and that they have stated their intentions to keep both franchises. The Glazers reportedly turned to a recent offer of $2.2 billion to sell the team, according to a report by TBO.com.

Still, the public perception exists that the Glazers aren’t putting as much money into the Buccaneers as they have prior to the acquisition of Manchester United in July 2005. Since 2004, the Buccaneers have spent the least amount of money on player salaries of any team in the NFL.

The team says that money is not an issue and they have resources to sign players to major contracts. In 2008, the Bucs made Jeff Faine the highest-paid center in the NFL. Last year, Tampa Bay signed Kellen Winslow to the richest tight end contract in NFL history.

Right now it does appear that the Glazers are taking a frugal approach due to the uncertain labor situation in the NFL. Once that comes to a resolution Pewter Report has been told that the Glazers will sign some players to major contracts. The candidates for those deals include restricted free agents left tackle Donald Penn and middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, as well as guard Davin Joseph.

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