Glazer accounts reveal Manchester United suffered 60m loss last year as debts reach 760m (go back to the homepage)

14 May 2008

Manchester United may be chasing a League and Champions League double on the pitch but their financial results show the club are sinking deeper into debt and posted a significant loss last year.

They have incurred increased debt to their creditors and have yet to pay out on some transfer fees for players.

Accounts released this week by Red Football Joint Venture Ltd, the company set up when American businessman Malcolm Glazer purchased the club three years ago, showed that the Old Trafford club posted a 58.2million loss in the financial year ending June 30, 2007.

However, that was a substantial improvement on the 135.3m loss the company recorded in the previous year.

The latest figures suggest that the club is being adversely affected by the global credit crunch.

Glazer, whose sons are board members and occasionally attend games at Old Trafford, borrowed most of the money needed to buy the club, loading it up with debt.

The Red Football figures showed that the club still owes 152m to hedge funds, at an annual rate of interest of 14.25 per cent, and that it paid off only 42m of the 81m in interest due on their debts last year.

However, the figures also revealed that the club had borrowings of 666m in the year to June 30 2007, up from 604m in the previous year.

That took the total owed to all creditors to 764m, including 56m in transfer fee instalments on players signed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Recent high-profile signings for the club include Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich, Carlos Tevez from West Ham and Nani from Sporting Lisbon.

The detailed figures contrast sharply with the club's announcement of the headline figures in January, which highlighted the 21 per cent rise in turnover and an operating profit of 75m.

Just last month, Forbes magazine named Manchester United as the richest in the world for a second straight season, valuing the club at 540m, an increase of 24 per cent on the previous year.

The holding company was upbeat about Manchester United's prospects for 2007-08, saying a record 64,500 season tickets had been sold before the start of the season and that the club would benefit from an increased share of Champions League TV revenues.