7 shocking numbers behind the Glazers’ reign at Man Utd

The Glazers have been one of the most controversial sports owners since their takeover of Manchester United in May 2005 as a series of financial missteps has landed them in hot water.

Plenty of fans and pundits alike have criticised their attitude towards the club and have accused them of using the side as a cash cow.

The footballing financial expert Kieran Maguire has expertly broken down their spending figures under the Glazers and some shocking truths have been revealed.

Generated income

Old Trafford is the biggest stadium in the Premier League with a capacity of over 74,000 which is regularly packed out on match days. This has been a huge revenue stream for the club over the years.

Under the Glazers’ ownership, United have generated a whopping £7.5billion in ticket sales and other commercial avenues as the club’s brand has grown exponentially.

The ways they have spent the generated income will shock you.

Wage bill

Wages have skyrocketed in football since 2005, but the Premier League has seen a boom like no other. The annual wage bill at United stood at £77million when they took over and this has increased five times since.

The Red Devils now have the highest wage bill in the Premier League with an average weekly wage of £178,000. David De Gea is their top earner as things stand on £375,000 per week, according to Salary Sport.

United have been guilty of handing out highly lucrative deals in the past to players who have ultimately not justified their extortionate weekly wage. This is something that Erik ten Hag has been keen to get under control.

Board earnings

Board members themselves have seen a healthy increase in their earnings since 2005 too. Payments to board members have increased by over six times in some instances since 2005.

The board earnings peaked during 2018 as the highest-paid director took home £4.1million for his role at the club. At just under £80,000 per week, that’s more than plenty of Premier League stars.

Lenders earnings

Lenders have perhaps benefited the most from the Glazers’ ownership as they have been paid £917million in interest payments on loans with interest rates of up to 14.25%. Shareholders, who many have the surname Glazer, have earned £167million over that period.

Despite this though, United have suffered an overall loss of £354million under the Glazers, which is staggering considering they recorded a Premier League profit of £278million from 1992-2005, prior to the Glazers’ involvement.

Poor spending

United’s recruitment strategy has been heavily scrutinised too as they have often invested in players without seeing much of a financial return.

Under the Glazers, they have spent over £2billion on players and have only recovered around a quarter of that from sales. High-profile deals for the likes of Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria are just some of the deals that didn’t work out.

Stadium infrastructure 

The lack of investment into Old Trafford has been a reoccurring talking point for Man United fans. United rank eighth in the Premier League for infrastructure spend since 2010 with only £98million being invested into this area.

Gary Neville in particular has been critical of the Glazers and their lack of investment into the stadium. “Anfield will be a more modern ground than Manchester United and Old Trafford in 12 months, that is unforgivable,” he told the Diary of a CEO podcast.

“Manchester City are lightyears ahead on and off the pitch. Tottenham have invested £1.3billion in a new stadium that’s out of this world. It’s a museum, it’s the best in the world.

“And if you go to their training ground, it’s an amazing, brilliant facility which is far better than Carrington where we moved to in 2000.

“In 20 years, Manchester United have not invested in the stadium, and they’ve not invested in the training ground that much. It’s a club that’s really struggling.”

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