Colossal commercial deals and floating on the stock exchange have helped Manchester United reduce their overall debt to under £400million for the first time during their Glazer family era.
The Premier League leaders reduced their deficit by more than £77million to £359.7million – it is the lowest the club’s vast debt has been since Malcolm Glazer took over in 2005.
After raising £70million by floating on the New York stock exchange, scooping an unprecedented £357million shirt sponsorship with General Motors and increasing overall income to £360million, United have been able to stabilise their debt.
“Manchester United had a record first quarter driven by our commercial operation, which continues to experience extremely strong global revenue growth in new media and mobile, retail merchandising and sponsorship,” said United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“The team has also made a strong start to the 12/13 season – currently 1st place in the Premier League and 1st place (and undefeated) in our Champions League Group.”
Ten new Sponsorship deals were entered into in the first quarter with General Motors, Bwin, Toshiba Medical Systems, Yanmar, Kagome, Santander, Shinsei Bank and MBNA, Bakcell, and Fuji TV.
But fans of the Reds have not been boosted by the news of debt reduction and insist that being the biggest sports club on the planet should be enough to wipe out the deficit completely.
Season ticket holder and strong support of Manchester United Supports Trust – who campaign for a Glazer-free supporters-run club – George Wild attacked the club’s financial department for continually allowing the astronomical debt.
He told MM: “How can a £360million sponsorship deal not wipe off £360million worth of debt?
“The Glazer family’s role within the club in scandalous and they’re continuing to feed their greed with United’s presence and power.
“We should be looking to eradicate debt as soon as possible, as the world’s recession not taught us anything? Rangers, Portsmouth, Leeds and now Hearts – all suffered from their own spiralling debts.”