United spend £225m on debt and interest payments

If you’ve read the Manchester Evening News or the BBC headlines today everything sounds great, maybe apart from the lack of Champions League revenue for next year is the only negative they’ve written but lets be honest its not only negative. The Guardian for me have written a much more realistic story but everyone can view the results at mufplc.com. Its all great having a percentage rising in revenues but as we’ve seen at Rangers that doesn’t mean anything if your expenditures are out of control. First of all the the bank balance of the club has dropped by an astonishing £99.7 Million in just six months. Yes £47m was spent on Young, De Gea and Jones but that still leaves £52.7m missing that was there six months ago. Some of has been spent on buying up the bonds which is the debt club owes, some of it is because of investment into the stadium and some of it will because of an increase in wages. Considering quite a number of players like Brown, O’Shea and others left the club but its surprising that the wage figures have still risen. For those of you asking why other areas of the team haven’t been improved upon whats already been spent today you have your answer. Wages (even if players have left), buying up debt and investment in the stadiums executive facilities.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has also out a strong statement condemning the owners over the way the club is being run. I’d join them in that. Since 2009 when Ronaldo went to Madrid, £225m has left the club on interest payments and buying up debt. This was originally the owners debt but they have been for years using the clubs money. So if there is anyone asking where the Ronaldo money went. That £80m plus another £145m of the clubs money has been spent on debt. A total of £92.8m has been spent buying back bonds which many would argue could be spent on the pitch, in the stadiums or on lowering ticket prices.

The BBC are quoted as saying “Match day revenues (up from £52.4m to £54.5m)” but they forget the big picture. Ticket prices were increased last season so I’ll find it insulting if anyone aims to use that as a good point. No doubt ticket prices will again rise in the coming seasons pushing more and more fans out. Lets not forget since 2005 many fans will have given up season tickets and now its not impossible to get a ticket like in the old days.

In the coming months there will be more rumours on the now famous delayed IPO the Glazers have been planning and again the questions will be where will the money go. I firmly believe it should go to pay down the debt which is on the clubs books and any of the extra funds should to go to the club to reimburse the money which has been taken out. I doubt they could ever make enough to do that and sadly again many believe it could leave the club to deal with the Glazers own problems in the United States rather than do the best thing for the club.

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  1. This post is interesting. I am an American United fan of the last 10 years or so, and I have been following the ownership and debt situation somewhat peripherally. This post really opened my eyes a little. As an American, I can tell you that a great majority of American professional sports teams are run exactly the way the Glazers are running United monetarily. It seems to me that your viewpoint is that the Glazers’ monetary status should be separate from the club’s. Well, in the States, there is no difference for any professional team. The owner and the club is the same. and so is their financial situation. The teams are run completely like for-profit businesses, and I believe that is what the Glazers have in mind for United. Tom Henry (majority owner of Liverpool and stateside baseball team the Boston Red Sox) will most likely do the same.

    1. Alex even through the Glazers may use the same business ideas as the NFL of just making money, the NFL has a completely different business plan to English football. First off in the NFL leveraged takeovers using debt like the Glazers did are banned. A Manchester United or Liverpool situation, would never happen as it wouldn’t be allowed. Its not allowed in a lot of European Leagues. The English games rules on finance likely haven’t really been changed since it was set up over 100 years ago. Europes other leagues have moved forward as they know football clubs aren’t just businesses. Even the Americans know this. Under Spanish Law for example all sporting clubs football or otherwise aren’t classed as normal businesses. They have extra protections in place and in Germany the model they run such be copied by all Europes major leagues. The 50+1 ownership rule should be in the licenses UEFA and FIFA give out to the FA and others. The NFL is different to the English Leagues. If you buy a football club you don’t do it to make money, so anyone who says its just a business has never looked at how the game works. Something like 70-100 football league clubs alone have gone bust since the 1980s in England. You’ll find many clubs won’t make a profit and if they do it goes straight back into the club. Add Scotland on its more that have gone bust. Germany haven’t had any go bust and its because they keep updating their rules and license rules. Its only now our Government is having to tell the FA and Premier League to so something about it. We’ll see stronger license rules come the summer and we should see leveraged takeovers banned but its a complete joke. United fans have been warning the Government and The FA since the early 1990s. Its taken them 22 years to do anything any all about it and we still have to wait until the summer.

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