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Glazer family not interested in selling Manchester United to Red Knights
Published : 28 May 2010 12:26:12
Speculation has grown since the turn of the year about a likely offer from the Red Knights group aimed at seizing control of the debt-laden Old Trafford club. The Glazer family have tended to remain distant from such talk, although sources close to the American owners have continued to insist there has been no desire to sell United. Related ArticlesManchester United finances in Panorama probeGlazers to keep cash in United coffersUnited to plead Hernandez caseFoster criticises anti-Glazer movement'Dimitar Berbatov not leaving Manchester United'Man United without Rooney for start of new seasonHowever, with supporter antipathy growing, fuelled by the highly visual 'green and gold' campaign that was launched in January, there has been a feeling that the Glazers might entertain the Red Knights if the price - which would have to be well over £1 billion - was right. But today, as they released their latest quarterly statement, the Glazers have rejected the thought out of hand. The statement read: "The board noted recent press speculation regarding a possible bid for Manchester United. "The owners remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club. Manchester United is not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers." The figures included within the statement show growth in all revenue areas, apart from matchday, which has gone down by £1 million compared to the same three month period last year. Overall debt now stands at £520.9m, although that sum does not include the controversial payment-in-kind (PIK) notes for which the Glazer family are themselves responsible and now attract interest at an eye-watering 16.25 per cent. It is the statement about the club's future that is of most interest though. United have become increasingly bullish recently about their ability to ride out the green-and-gold campaign, and the call for a boycott of season tickets that looks certain to accompany any rejection of the Red Knights bid. That now is certain given the strength of today's statement. Despite the debt mountain, the Glazer family have succeeded in making United a far more streamlined operation, with their satellite commercial arm in London netting over £200m alone. A huge number of sponsorship announcements have been made over the past four months as part of a targeted marketing operation. This summer, the club will head to North America on a lucrative summer tour, even though their World Cup stars, including Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand will not be involved. There will continue to be plenty of debate about Sir Alex Ferguson's transfer policy. Critics of the Glazer family continue to insist Ferguson is being hamstrung by debt. The United manager, though, states he does not see "value" in the market and prefers to concentrate on signing younger players for smaller fees, as he did with Cristiano Ronaldo. Defender Chris Smalling has already been recruited from Fulham, with Mexico striker Javier Hernandez due to link up with the Red Devils after this summer's World Cup.