Glazers reported to be selling stake in Manchester United (go back to the homepage)
Manchester United is keeping silent on speculation that its US owners, the Glazer family, are preparing to sell up to 25 per cent stake in the club to raise over £400m to reduce its debt.
It was reported at the weekend that the American family – headed by Malcolm Glazer together with his sons Joel, Avram and Bryan – was consulting the United Bank of Switzerland to look at a plan that would see the club floated on to the Stock Exchange.
According to reports, United bosses hope the move will allow them to cut the massive £500m debts and reduce the £45m-a-year repayments they must make to service the debt.
It will also mean that the owners will be able to pay themselves and their investors dividends every year.
The American owners, who will still retain the controlling share, value the club at £1.7bn, a huge increase on the £800m they paid for the club in 2005.
A source said: “The belief is that the Glazers are trying to clear as much of the United debt as possible, but still retain at least 75 per cent of the club and therefore stay in full control.
“It’s a smart move. It’s a win-win situation for them because it also enables them to put a stop to the criticism that United is a Glazers’ closed shop.”
However a spokesperson for Manchester United said that the club did not comment on speculation.
The Glazers have been unpopular with many fans since buying the club and taking it off the stock market in 2005 with supporters saying they were uncomfortable with the levels of debt, despite continued on-field success.
However, by selling the shares, it will allow the club to be more transparent to both its investors and fans.
The source added: “If they take this route then they will be open to greater public scrutiny and many United fans will welcome that.”
There have been mounting speculations about the club's future in the last few months. In June it was reported that the Glazer family could list the company on the Hong Kong stock exchange increasing the value of the club.