The Glazer family deny having major debt problem

LONDON: The Glazer family have strongly denied a report from the Manchester United Supporters Trust that the club are sitting on a “time bomb” of debt. 

A trust report, due to be released on Monday, claims that the club’s interest payments have increased by £28mil (US$56mil) this year. 

It also claims that increased TV revenue and money from a new shirt sponsorship deal with American insurance giants AIG is being used to service debts. 

But a Glazer family spokesman on Sunday dismissed the report saying: “The story is inaccurate. Nothing has changed. 

“The debts continue to be comfortably serviced by the business, which is performing better than ever. As always there have been substantial funds for the manager to purchase players over the summer.” 

United have spent heavily since the end of last season, recruiting Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez, Nani and Anderson, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has not been restricted in the transfer market since the Glazers completed their £790mil (US$1.58bil) takeover in 2005. 

United fans have been hit with a 14% rise in ticket prices this season but the club have to fund rising player salary demands and keep stars like Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford. 

The Trust report claims the Glazer family “continue to face an extraordinary and growing debt problem”. 

“The interest bill is currently an annualised £100mil (US$200mil)-plus, of which £73mil (US$146mil) is payable this year and the other £27mil (US$54mil) in the future – a ticking debt time-bomb.” 

The report states that since last year’s refinancing, United and the Glazers have been faced with “a series of interest rate rises which have increased the annual debt service bill from £62mill (US$124mil) a year on the total debt of £660mil (US$1.32bil).  

Reports have emerged over recent weeks of potential buyers for United based in China and Dubai but the Glazers have stressed that they have no interest in selling and are completely committed to the club. – AFP 

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