Manchester United are financially worse off thanks to their owners, the Glazer family, who have taken almost £90m from the club over the past few years. This is in contrast to the situation at Chelsea, where owner Roman Abramovich has invested £440m.
United are financed by one of the highest annual turnovers of any football club in the world, but that’s where the buck stops. All expenses and operating expenses have to be covered by revenue and none of the money comes from the Glazer clan, which also benefits as an annual dividend.
An analysis published by @SwissRamble on social media highlights the extent to which the club is being used as a cash cow. Between 2014 and 2019, United paid out a total of £89m to their owners.
Very, very serious. https://t.co/atgYz7BNZe
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) September 14, 2020
It is £89m, earned from annual turnover, that the club is worse off as a direct result of the ownership model at Old Trafford. To put it into context, this is the same amount as the world record transfer fee the club paid for Paul Pogba in 2016, already lining the pockets of wealthy individuals, many of whom run the club. I have little or no interference.
It’s not just that United has no additional financing, they’re losing money. The same data shows that the owner financing Arsenal, for example, is zero during the same period. Money isn’t being put into the Gunners by Stan Kroenke’s company, but it’s not being taken out either.
There are seven Premier League clubs whose owners have invested more than £100m in the last five years – Chelsea, Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham, Brighton, Manchester City and Wolves. Some of that spending has gone on promotion efforts – and it was a gamble – but compared directly to owner financing at Chelsea (£440m) or Manchester City (£142m), it makes grim reading. .
Roman Abramovich has invested heavily in Chelsea / Ben Stansall / Getty Images
At Liverpool, owner financing benefited £75m during the period in question, while no other club in the Premier League paid more to their owner than United. Tottenham are the next biggest victims in this regard, £40m worse off.
Owner funding at the highest level – ignoring those who have gambled big on promotion in the hope of a return in the form of more Premier League revenue – is not necessarily spent on players. , which could put the club at risk of financial breach. Fair play regulations, but improving infrastructure and facilities, which are exempt from the FFP microscope.
It’s no secret that Old Trafford is in relatively poor condition compared to other major stadiums. The roof has a chronic leak and lacks the flashy modernity seen elsewhere in the Premier League.
Old Trafford needs at least £200m of renovation work/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
A report back in February by ‘corporate financiers with detailed knowledge of the club’ conservatively estimated that the renovation works would cost £200 million, possibly more.
The backlash over the £89m taken out of the club and the figures paid to the Glazers has resulted in #GlazersOut trending on Twitter and a fresh wave of protests over the family’s ownership.
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