English football's unwanted American families again dominate our headlines and it is a delicious irony that the country's greatest footballing rivals share such similar problems.
Around the time Tom Hicks Junior's email abuse of a member of a fans activists group forced him to resign from the board of Liverpool FC came news of the Glazers' latest financial plan for Manchester United, a £500 million corporate bond that, in the 24 hours following its release, has come under severe scrutiny.
Neither story should provide much comfort for followers of either club. Hicks stepped aside but his father remains in co-control with George Gillett. The source of the ire that caused the younger Hicks to pen the fateful words of "blow me f**kface" is believed to be the sending of an article about Rafael Benitez's transfer policy being forced to service the club's debts. Andriy Voronin and Andrea Dossena may be gone for a combined £6.5 million but a paltry £1.5 million is all the Spaniard has been granted to spend.
The "Spirit of Shankly" group, whose hectoring methods may well have annoyed the great man who gave them their name, have a victory but it is a small one. A junior partner - the dumb son - has departed but exasperation with crippling debts and on-field inertia can hardly be lessened by such playground activity.
Over in Manchester, the Glazers have, as ever, kept their own counsel yet have yet again swamped the back pages with their activities. When the Floridians arrived at Old Trafford, a significant proportion of the club's fans adopted a "wait and see" policy while others, a loud and active minority, publicly protested and then took their leave of the stadium, many never to return while the club remained under the control of the debt model used to buy the club.
The prospectus released on Monday, which features glossy pics of United stars past and present, and Michael Owen, has done little to assauge feelings of anger among those already in the dissenting camp. And those who have reserved judgement until now may now be feeling the burn of unease.
It did not take long to drill down, to use business parlance, below the headline figures. The pre-tax profit of £48.2 million would have been a heavy loss without the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Glazer family themselves have taken £20 million out of the club in "management and administration fees" and loans, and it seems the purpose of the bond itself is to raise cash to pay off the steepling "Payment In Kind" notes the Glazers themselves took out as part of their takeover.
The rest of the debt would seem to be still placed on the club, the very sticking point that forced so many away in 2005. In nearly four years of success on the field, United's debt has increased while interest payments, which totalled £41.9 million last year will likely rise as a result of the bond issue, which sees no paying off of the principal, being in essence "interest only" until it is due to be repaid in 2017, at which point another refinancing will almost certainly be necessary.
Unpleasant reading for United fans then, and equally so for who are angry at Mammon's grip on the game. Its effect has been, at the very basic level, to lead to a huge rise in ticket prices, which, on examining United's prospectus, hardly look likely to stop rising. Meanwhile, warnings to potential investors in the bond are signalled with the following sentence:
"We are dependent upon the performance and popularity of the First Team. Our revenues and, therefore, our ability to meet our obligations under the Notes, is dependent upon the performance and popularity of the First Team."
Considering the team's recent playing performances such foundations have a sandy look to them. Sans Ronaldo, United no longer possess the superiority they exerted for three seasons and have so far failed to take any advantage of their rivals' slips. Quality reinforcements are required yet the transfer window is already closed according to Sir Alex Ferguson, whose public backings of the Glazer plan and talk of satisfaction with his squad have riven a rift with supporters that few could have ever imagined a decade ago.
There are those who attack critiques of the Hicks-Gillett and Glazer regimes as Anti-American. Again, there may be those among the dissenters who do not care for those across the Atlantic, just as the reverse can clearly be true, but an American owner can be welcomed if his practice is not to leverage and pile the cost of financing on to fans and their beloved club. Aston Villa's benign Randy Lerner serves as proof of this.
If anything, the anger is levelled at a business practice which is by no means purely an American approach, as the collapse of finance across the UK, Europe and further afield have shown us.
For something that was once a source of enjoyment, a pure bloody joy, football fans now have to live in the real world and accept that what was once a game is now a business that must live by the rules of finance; lacking in romance as that is. United and Liverpool's debt models are nothing less than real and, for fans of both, likely to be a worrying constant for a long time to come.