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MUST slam Glazers over latest Utd figures
Published : 11 Jan 2010 17:56:59Rss feed
MANCHESTER United's anti-Glazer faction have claimed the controversial owners have landed the club with a £260million interest bill since they took control in 2005. The staggering sum includes the £41.9million paid out in interest in the year to June 2009, which contributed to turning what would have been a huge profit of £91.3million into a 'mere' £48.2million - a sum bolstered by the world-record £80million transfer fee received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo. It means that while as a pure day-to-day business, United are more streamlined and profitable than any club in the world, their financial model is dragged down by the huge costs incurred when the Glazers completed their £790million buyout. The Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), who are regular critics of the Glazer family, have responded in predictable fashion. "Most supporters have had enough," said MUST chairman Duncan Drasdo. "Under their ownership the club has become liable for more than £260million in interest payments alone and the latest trading statement would have shown a substantial loss were it not for the sale of Ronaldo. "The day the Glazers put the club up for sale you can expect celebration on the streets of Manchester." United's announcement was accompanied by confirmation they intend to raise £500million in bonds to clear the club's loans. It is thought the bond will be secured on most of the club's assets but not their impressive Carrington training ground. Tellingly, it is also being suggested that United would also be able to use up to 50% of their cashflow to pay a dividend to the Glazer family. That would provide an opportunity to repay payment-in-kind (Pik) loans lodged against the Glazer family that carry interest of 14.25%. In addition, United are entering into a new revolving credit facility to allow the club to borrow an additional £75million, which could be used to help buy players. Matchday, media and commercial revenues have risen, even though there is talk of a slump in corporate sales and various cost-cutting measures have been implemented to shave costs. Transfer kitty At the time of the Glazer takeover, it was suggested Ferguson would have an annual transfer kitty of £25million. Yet that figure has not been reached in overall net spend, while so far Ferguson has spent only a quarter of the Ronaldo cash. This has widely been interpreted as being due to a squeeze being imposed by the club's owners, although on Friday this was strenuously denied by Ferguson. "I don't have any concerns about the financial situation," Ferguson said. "There is absolutely no issue at all. I am really confident about that. "Concerns of the supporters are down to the fact that I haven't moved in the transfer market. But that is nothing to do with the Glazers or with David Gill. "It is simply because I am not going to pay £50million for a striker who is not worth it." However, at a time when Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour is effectively writing off a £92million annual loss, United's situation is far more uncomfortable. And while the Glazers could quite rightly point out the last three years - all of which have yielded the title and a minimum of a place in the Champions League semi-finals - have been among the most successful in the club's history, some fans fear for the future once Ferguson eventually steps down. "If it were a race, then United are dragging their owners behind them like a broken tractor, while City's owners are providing rocket fuel," added Drasdo. "It just shows what a fantastic job Sir Alex and the players have done that we are still ahead despite the deadweight of the Glazers' ownership. "It is in everyone's interest for the Glazers to exit and make way for a new investor interested in working with the supporters to build a stronger football club and business together. "Manchester United doesn't need a sugar daddy - we just need to get rid of the leeches." What do you think? Have your say.