Does the Old Trafford outfit have any funds for summer purchases or are their debts just too big to warrant investing in Sir Alex’s squad?
Manchester United have been referred to over the last couple of decades as the ‘world’s richest club’. Even now as they are linked with countless players, worth over £30m each it would be easy to still brand them with the title. However, it wasn’t long ago that their financial worries came to light.
When the Glazer family took over at Old Trafford, they were immediately rejected by the red supporters because of the sheer amount of debt they thrust upon the then financially stable club. Three years later, the club was liable for the astronomical fee of £263m in interest alone! The overall debt, thought to be over £700m sparked widespread rumours that the club faced tough times ahead as there would no longer be transfer funds available to help compete among Europe’s elite, and there were even whispers of bankruptcy. This was swiftly denied by Alex Ferguson who explained there are funds to spend, however there is no ‘value’ in the market and refused to pay over the odds for any player (although a few previous transfers suggest otherwise; Berbatov , Carrick, Anderson, Nani).
6 months on from when the stories broke and now Manchester United are widely linked with £30m Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, £25m rated Luis Fabiano and £25m starlet Mesut Oezil. This means that either; the Glazers have found some form of investment to warrant such a high spending spree, United are about to sell a number of highly valued assets to pay for the incoming targets or the press has simply got it wrong.
Firstly, if the Glazers had found investment from somewhere it is highly likely that their PR team will have used it as a makeweight to prove to red supporters that they do want what’s best for the club. This hasn’t happened.
Secondly, although there has been the odd rumour that a United star is on the way out of Old Trafford (Berbatov to Bayern Munich, Vidic to Real Madrid), nothing has had much coverage, suggesting it to be less than likely.
Finally, these transfer target rumours have been circulating strongly around the European press for the duration of the tournament. Usually when the press are pushing a story this much they’re right.
Much like Manchester United’s balance sheet, it’s just not adding up. The worry is that if the Premier League giant continues to spend huge amounts on players in an attempt to keep up with Europe’s elite, their debts could swallow them and football could lose one of its truly great clubs.
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