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Manchester United won't sign mercenaries despite 80m Cristiano Ronaldo sale
Published : 22 Jul 2009 17:42:48
United manager Ferguson has been critical of the escalating fees paid by clubs this summer, with neighbours Manchester City threatening to follow Real Madrid by breaking the £100m barrier before the start of the new season. City's latest signing, the Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor, has hit out at claims that he only completed his move to Eastlands to secure a £150,000-a-week salary. Ferguson has so far spent just £20m on Antonio Valencia, Gabriel Obertan and free transfer Michael Owen. And despite a spokesman for the Glazers admitting that United must pay over £43m a year in interest payments on the club's debt, the Americans remain committed to providing major funds for Ferguson to attract new signings. Tehsin Nayani, the Glazer spokesman, said: "The manager has a significant amount of money to invest if he wants to. "But the truth (as to why he hasn't yet spent it) is a lot more prosaic. The delay is because the manager has not been able to locate the players that he believes fit the Manches ter United mindset. "Those that are motivated to play for United. You don't want mercenaries, to pay over the odds for players not willing to give their all for the club." United stand to make around £6m from their four-game tour of the Far East, despite the global downturn that is beginning bite within football. And although season ticket sales and other revenue streams remain strong, Nayani admits that United are bracing themselves for a bumpy ride during the credit crunch. He said: "Our operating profits are climbing and we continue to secure significant sponsorship deals. Our stadium is packed out and we have very good media revenues coming in. "On a normal business level, Manchester United is in a very strong position and, so far, unaffected by the downturn. "It would be foolish to say there would be no impact, period, because you never know what's going to happen down the line, but our season ticket sales stand up well to comparisons in previous years. "I've been saying that one should expect an impact on our corporate sales, but every club is faced with that. "We do have debt to service and carry a significant amount of debt, but our interest payments are around £43.3m-a-year, while our operating profit was £80m topped by an extra £25m from transfer profits. "So we are talking about a net amount of about £60m and that is cash that can be reinvested in the squad, doing up the toilets or new carpets. "The point is, there is money coming in to United and one thing that is certain, because of globalisation and the growing middle classes in India and the Far East, is that the appeal of football is set to grow. We are part of that story." United arrived in Seoul on the latest leg of their tour last night with striker Dimitar Berbatov comparing life in Asia to Beatlemania. He said: "This is my first pre-season with the team and it's like being in The Beatles! Everybody is screaming and chanting Manchester United names. "I'm very happy to be part of it, but I think I can do better than I did last season. I think I can do more. "I'm here to score goals and I hope to score more and more for United this season."