What’s the story?
A group of Manchester United supporters delivered a letter to Old Trafford on the 29th of July, which stated that the club’s takeover debt might take ages to even itself out. To put things into perspective, if things continue in the same vein, the Red Devils might need another 158 years to wipe off the deficit that was accumulated after the Glazer family’s takeover last decade.
In case you didn’t know…
The Glazer family took control of Manchester United back in 2005 and in doing so, a sum exceeding £660 million was taken out to acquire the club. The following years have seen a part of the debt being paid back but there still seems to be a large outstanding amount the Red Devils need to take care of.
The heart of the matter
The supporters’ group, which calls itself the ‘Millions of Concerned Manchester United fans’, in its letter, pointed out that there are several areas the club needs to address with respect to the financial liability they incurred a decade and a half ago.
At the moment, only £44m of the £660m that was taken out has been paid back while the rest of the payment is still pending.
Moreover, they said that since the takeover in 2005, there has been an exodus of £750m from the club’s bank account that has solely been used for the purpose of servicing the debt.
The group also called for more transparency in the governance system adopted by Manchester United with Ed Woodward’s role coming under scrutiny.
It is believed that the aforementioned Woodward’s salary was recently given a 60% hike, despite him not covering himself in glory on the footballing front.
The other questions revolved around the Red Devils’ procedure for appointing a Director of Football and the functions that role would entail.
Additionally, the club had floated a few of its shares at the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. Though the above has delivered a dividend of 452m in the years since, the fans are still unclear about where the club’s money has actually gone.
Thus, at this juncture, the Manchester United fan base represents as disgruntled a bunch of football fanatics as any.
At the time of writing, the club had not responded to the questions the letter posed and it would be intriguing to observe how the Red Devils explain the inflow and the outflow of cash to the United faithful.
While the problems off the pitch have piled up for the Old Trafford outfit, they’ve fared rather decently on it. The Red Devils are yet to lose a pre-season game and have looked sharp on their travels so far.
Manchester United face Kristiansund on the 30th of July in their next pre-season encounter.Published 29 Jul 2019, 22:17 IST