The attention of Manchester United supporters has once again been firmly focused upon the Glazer family. The American owners, who assumed control seven years ago through a hostile leveraged takeover, are looking to sell shares in the Old Trafford club on the New York Stock Exchange. It was initially promised that all proceeds from the initial public offering (IPO) would be used to pay down some of United’s debt, which stood at £437m at the end of June. The huge indebtedness of the club has long been linked with a shackling of Sir Alex Ferguson in the transfer market.
The Glazers, however, have reneged on the commitment to use all proceeds from the IPO to help relieve the debt burden. The Guardian has reported that the family stand to take for themselves a little shy of £100m. This notion is repulsive for United’s supporters, who, according to financial analyst Andy Green, have seen £520m taken out of the club since the takeover in 2005, £38m of which has gone directly to the Glazers.
There can be little doubt that the money haemorrhaging out of Old Trafford has affected transfer policy in the last seven years. The sum of £38m alone represents the size of fee that top players are commanding, an example being neighbours City’s signing of Sergio Ag