Manchester United's accounts show the Glazers are doing what they intended
The accounts published on Friday demonstrate once again that, despite the objections of the supporters ranged against them, the massively leveraged business model they imposed on the club is doing what they intended. A debt burden of £700 million may make some of us queasy but not apparently the Glazers. As long as United continue to perform as well as they did in 2009-10 on and off the pitch, it is a weight the club can bear. Related ArticlesMan Utd reveal record profits and huge lossesMacheda explains Rooney 'chav' commentLiverpool debt a warning to UnitedRooney 'vulgar and working class''Berbatov can dominate league'United profits set to top £100mThe Glazers can thank a combination of luck, judgment and shrewd exploitation of the most marketable football club in the world for this. Luck because they secured long-term financing before the credit crunch, and judgment because the bold decision to replace it with a bond issue paid off. The exploitation is most obvious in the rising commercial income, up £12 million to vindicate their decision to aggressively pursue regional sponsorship deals. Operating costs meanwhile have fallen by £10 million. This is what their advisors meant when they talked about sweating a business harder. There are a couple of clouds on the horizon. Matchday revenue is stagnant and will remain so while the downturn lasts, and media income may have levelled out. None of this changes the fact that the club are paying simply for the privilege of having the Floridians as owners. Interest continues to cost more than £40 million a year, not counting the ticking PIK loans, money that would be available to the club were it not servicing loans. For that, no matter how stable the business looks, they will never be forgiven.
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