No wonder Glazers don't want to give up United's commercial operation

CHRIS WHEELER: It’s plain to see why the Glazers are reluctant to give up Manchester United’s commercial operation after their latest financial results

  • Manchester United’s latest financial results came out at noon on Thursday
  • They announced record revenues despite competing in the Europa League
  • Follow Mail Sport’s new Man United WhatsApp channel for all the breaking news 

Manchester United have announced record revenues against a backdrop of continued frustration over the Glazer family’s refusal to sell up and the £1billion debt they have dumped on the club.

The only morsel of consolation for fans who want the owners out is news that the Glazers did not draw a dividend in the last financial year, having banked the lion’s share of £33.5m in 2021-22.

However, the owners did benefit from a £1.75m pay-out due to a share price rise on the back of their strategic review, launched a year ago, amid optimism they were ready to sell up.

United’s healthy full-year financial results underlined why Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani of Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe offered in excess of £5bn for a club valued at roughly half that figure on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sheikh Jassim was also prepared to wipe out United’s debts which have spiralled during the Glazers’ 17 years in power, recently surpassing £1bn for the first time.

Man United have announced record revenues of £648.4m in their latest financial results  

The results show why the Glazers are reluctant to give up the commercial operation at the club (pictured – United owners Avram (left) and Joel Glazer (right))

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It was reported that United’s net football debt alone – defined by UEFA as borrowings and transfer fees owing minus cash reserves – has grown from £12m at the time of the Americans’ leveraged buyout in 2005 to a record £862m.

However, Sheikh Jassim walked away when it became clear that co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer preferred Ratcliffe’s offer of £1.4bn for a quarter of the club, allowing them to pay off their four siblings and retain a majority holding.

Ratcliffe will assume control of football affairs at Old Trafford as part of a deal that has yet to be ratified. But it was plain to see why the Glazers are reluctant to give up the commercial operation when the latest results came out at noon on Thursday.

United announced record full-year revenues of £648.4m despite being in the Europa League last season. It eclipsed the previous best of £627m in 2018-19 when the club were in the Champions League.

It’s predicted that United will break the record again next year with estimated revenues of between £650m and £680m on the back of a new 10-year, £900m kit deal with adidas and £60m-a-year shirt sponsorship with Snapdragon.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe agreed a £1.4bn deal to purchase a 25 per cent stake in the club and he is set to assume control of football affairs, while the Glazers will run the commercial operations

United’s hugely unpopular American owners have drained more than £1bn out of the club since their leveraged takeover in 2005 and supporters have regularly protested against them 

Commercial revenues exceeded £300m for the first time at £302.9m, up £45.1m based on a £41.6m increase in sponsorship and £3.5m in retail.

Broadcast revenue was down £5.8m because United were playing in the Europa League rather than the Champions League, although that also meant an automatic pay-cut for the playing squad which saved £52.8m.

None of which is likely to appease fans desperate to see the back of the Glazers. Protests planned for Tuesday’s Champions League tie against FC Copenhagen were put on hold out of respect to Sir Bobby Charlton, but it won’t be long before the demonstrations begin again.


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