Manchester United’s transfer budget not impacted by debt – Glazer
The Glazer family have been scrutinised since taking over United in 2005, with the Red Devils saddled in huge debt ever since, though the criticism came to a head following the club’s decision to sign up for the doomed European Super League in April.
United fans have continued to call for further transfer funding amid the club’s trophy drought – dating back to 2017, while they have not won the Premier League since 2013, and investment to renovate Old Trafford.
After finishing second to neighbours Manchester City in 2020-21, United have been linked with Borussia Dortmund pair Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Tottenham star Harry Kane among other rumoured targets.
Under-fire Glazer attended his first fans’ forum earlier in June and addressed a number of concerns, including the debt and dividend payments.
“I know this is a subject that a lot of people have a lot of different views on, but when we take things and look at things as a whole, we think that Manchester United is a very well-run club,” Glazer said in quotes released on Monday.
“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 per cent of that.
“It has never stood 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 a very, very successful club and invest, and do everything that’s necessary for a club of our stature.”
⏰ It’s time for ??? ??????…
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 14, 2021
Glazer added: “I know this is clearly another area that has got a lot of discussion and debate over the years. We think we have a very comfortable position when it comes to this. 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. Unfortunately, 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. The difference is we’ve been able to keep investing. We’re strong.”
He added: “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 always headline numbers [for the debt], and then there’s the real costs on an annual basis and, again, it’s never affected our ability to operate in the transfer market or do anything else with regard to the club.”
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