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Manchester United Owners Set for Panorama Treatment: Glazers Set for Probe

Old Trafford club refuse to co-operate with show set to be aired early next month. Should be tasty!

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Sports News - March 21, 2010

Manchester United finances under Glazers to be subject of BBC Panorama investigation
Manchester United’s finances under the ownership of the Glazer family, the club’s £712 million debt and the £80 million raised by the 2009 sale of Cristiano Ronaldo are set to be the subject of an investigation by Panorama, the BBC current affairs programme.

United, who are due to announce quarterly financial results on Friday as a condition of the club’s £500 million bond issue, have yet to co-operate with the programme makers ahead of the proposed screening date of June 7.
But with manager Sir Alex Ferguson having not spoken to the BBC since accusing the corporation of “breathtaking arrogance” following a 2004 Panorama expose into the alleged business dealings of his son, Jason, the programme is unlikely to soothe relations.

Although the investigation is understood to be based on a broad theme of football club ownership and the game’s financial health, the situation surrounding the Glazers and attempts by the Red Knights to launch a supporter-backed takeover bid for United are believed to form the main thrust of the programme.
Despite the Glazer family’s consistently-stated determination to resist any takeover bid, supporter groups behind the green-and-gold anti-Glazer campaign continue to claim that the Americans’ business interests in their home country, which include nationwide shopping malls and real estate, are suffering as a result of the economic downturn.
Those claims, and suggestions that United’s income is being used to service the club’s debt, are understood to form part of the Panorama investigation. (Telegraph)

Now I am sure I am not the only one who hopes that the BBC programme digs some serious dirt on the Glazers but whether or not a televisual feast of embarrassments will have any effect on whether the Manchester United owners decide to leave is another matter.

Clearly the level of debt the club has been saddled with since the Americans arrived is mind boggling and hopefully the programme will try to get to the meat of that debt and present their findings in a manner that is easy to understand.

You see when we, the football fans, see that a club has amassed debts of £712m its hard to quite work out how this has happened. Its clear that the Glazers purchased the club with loans that they then have made the club pay the interest on but I would be interested to know how their previous debts with other ventures has been tied into the club, as these could be the types of problem that take decades to resolve.

Anyway, should be a programme not to be missed!

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