Joel Glazer defends Manchester United debt levels and the dividend payments his family have issued to themselves.
It is long known (16 years) that the Glazer family took over Manchester United in 2005 to make money. They didn’t have the money to pay for the club, so they inflicted hundreds of millions worth of debt on the club to feed Malcolm Glazer’s greed.
During this time, £1 billion has been paid to finance the debt created by the Glazer’s leveraged buy-out. We shouldn’t forget that they have also taken out more than £100 million in dividend payments, yet Joel Glazer wants us to believe he is in it for the right reasons. As a fan (lol)…
“We think that Manchester United is a very well run club, and we think clubs throughout football could take a look at us, and there’s a lot of good to be seen when it comes to some of these things that are controversial,” Glazer told members of the fan’s forum, with quotes released on Monday (via ESPN).
“We’re able to spend with the top clubs throughout Europe, whether it’s wages or transfer fees, we’ve been able to keep our ticket prices low, we’ve not increased them in over 10 years.
“We’re able to pay a dividend but it’s a modest proportion of our five to six hundred million pounds of revenue; it’s less than three percent of that.
“We have debt, but a lot of other clubs do have debt as well. We pay a very low interest rate, mostly fixed interest debt. So, if interest rates went up it would not affect us, but we had made progress in reducing our debt over the last several years. The net debt was meaningfully reduced a couple years ago.”
A lot of fans will be focused on not just EURO2020 but the transfer market – and wonder whether the Glazers will spend to strengthen the squad this summer. Joel Glazer doesn’t want you to think the debt or dividends get in the way of the transfer kitty.
We’re sure his siblings nodded in approval.
Glazer continued: “It [debt and dividend payments] has never stopped in the way of us pursuing players or transfers on the pitch. “We may have walked away from transfers at times because the other side wanted an outlandish number. And while it’s easy to pay it that one time, it does have consequences.
“You do it once and the next person expects it, and then the next person expects it. And that’s not good, ultimately, for the club. So, we think that we’re able to accomplish all these things and still have.
“We’re going to keep investing on the pitch, which we did last year, and we plan on doing it meaningfully this year. So, we feel that we’re in a good spot.”
There’s also the pandemic excuse. He couldn’t leave that one out.
“The pandemic hit and we have had to use a lot of our cash reserves because we didn’t have any supporters in the stands, we didn’t have the matchday revenue, and that has affected us, like it’s affected all the clubs throughout Europe,” he said.
“The difference is we’ve been able to keep investing. We’re strong.
“Any other club that has won titles recently had years where they didn’t win the league, then they moved up, they were successful and then everybody appreciates the way their structure is set up.
“We think we’re on that path. We feel very good about where we’re at. But at the end of the day, we all share the same goal; to win trophies.
“And we will make sure that everything is being done to put us in the best position to win trophies, we’ll continue to do that. And we think we’ve set up a structure behind the scenes to deliver success.”