Brits should be upset that BP execs don’t have American families in their best interests

Oil spill recovery preparations and procedures off of the coast Venice, Louisiana (© BP p.l.c.)

By Gregory Moore

Skimming through the sports annals this morning I came across an interesting tidbit on the Glazer family.

They are $1.68 billion in the hole from buying the Manchester United soccer team.

Yeah you read that right: that’s BILLION with a B.

As stated in an ESPN web story: “The American owners of Manchester United are $1.6 billion in debt, leaving their control of the club in doubt, the BBC reported Monday.”

“The BBC said its investigation found the Glazer family’s debts are $570 million greater than previously known. Malcolm Glazer and his sons also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All the extra debt comes after the Glazers borrowed extensively against their shopping mall business in the United States. The extent of the debt could fuel a further revolt by a group of United fans who oppose the Glazers’ ownership.”

“The Glazers took over United in 2005 in a leveraged buyout worth $1.4 billion.”

As you read the story you find out that the Glazer family is not welcomed owners across the waters and their fan base there lets it be known quite conspicuously with the wearing of colors from an olden time.

And if you keep reading, you find out that the study that the BBC is referring to was orchestrated by Andy Green, a London financial analyst who is part of a campaign by disgruntled United fans to oust the Glazers.

Pretty mundane stuff right?

I mean unless you’re a serious ‘football’ fan, do you really care about how fans of Manchester U feel about an American family?

You should because that perceived anger by a family owning one of Britian’s prized sports’ jewels will be part of the back story of the backlash that British Petroleum and other British companies will be facing in the coming months.

It shouldn’t be a group of soccer fans worried about who owns their beloved Premier league squad that makes headlines.

It should be the fact that very few in Britian understand the importance of BP taking full responsibility for its goof up in U.S. coastal regions.

What should be troubling to every American is the fact that no one from the British Parliament has taken BP execs to task on this issue.

What so many in Britian are worried about is their pensions and value of BP stock where in this country we are worried about whole industries being shut down behind this spill.

Katrina may have been the worst ‘natural’ disaster in the gulf region but this disaster is 100% man made and it is almost ten times worse; despite all of the press briefings coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Right now I could care less about production values and more about how to get this mess cleaned up so that coastal water ways can begin the natural healing process of ‘fixing’ the damage.

We may be hearing that from those in this country but I have yet to read anywhere where BP has understood the severity of this calamity that they allowed to happen.

Right now all I hear from across the pond is how much money this company could be losing and a perceived backlash.

According to the Corporate Counsel website,  “BP told its investors Monday that it has spent over $1.25 billion in costs since April 20 for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, and that rate of spending “is expected to continue for some time.”


What doe they expect to happen?

Heck if this happened to a US company where something damaged the Atlantic near England’s shores, you’d be hearing of a massive protests and uprisings.

And the British people would be wanting answers from that US company.

Well guess what?

We want the same darn thing.

And we want some compassion and understanding as well.

Not just from BP but from those high and mighty lords in the British government too.

This is a situation where the President is trying to do every thing he can to help galvanize his country.

Let’s face it, president Obama has a tough road to hoe on this issue and he is going to catch hell from all sides because people don’t already think he’s qualified for the job.

The problem is that in this country, you don’t go to school to become a President or assembly man; it’s serious on the job training.

And right about now we all need to be behind him on this issue because he is trying to get a foreign company to pay for their mistake that has now drifted onto our shores.

But it would be awfully nice if the Brits came on board as well.

One off their companies screwed up not just a coastline but several industries.

There are families at stake here and they deserve to not only be heard but compensated.

Our government can only do so much; it needs the assurance that enough pressure is being put on from BP’s home country that they need to step up their game for all the right reasons; not just to satisfy their bottom line.

And that should mean that thousands of British citizens are as irate as Americans are that British Petroleum is dragging its collective feet on this disaster in all areas.


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