13 ugly stats that prove the Glazers are Man United’s biggest problem

Quick Reads
Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer watching the Premier League game between Manchester United and Tottenham. Old Trafford, April 2010.

The Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United is under increased scrutiny after the club’s disastrous start to the season. 

United endured their worst Premier League season in 2021-22 and have now lost their opening two games of the 2022-23 season.

While the players have been criticised for their performances, the majority of fans believe that the Glazer family are the biggest problem at the club.

The 1958, a United supporters’ group, will stage a fresh protest against the Glazers before Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on 22 August.

“When a business is failing and it’s not performing, it is the owners of that business [who are to blame],” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports after the 4-0 defeat to Brentford.

“It is really simple. It is failing miserably. They took about £24million out of the club two months ago and they have now got a decrepit, rotting stadium, which is, to be fair, second-rate, when it used to be the best in the world 15 to 20 years ago.

“You have got a football club where they haven’t got a clue. They have bankers in charge of the football club, not making football decisions. They have not appointed a sporting director.

“We can look at the players all you like, but there are that many big things that need to be put right first, they have got to show up and basically face the music. Now is the time. They can’t keep hiding in Tampa and thinking that nothing is going to come back to them.”

Finance blogger Kieron O’Connor (AKA Swiss Ramble) has taken a look at United’s accounts, with a detailed, must-read Twitter thread.

Here are 13 of the most eye-catching figures.  

– United are the only Premier League club that pays dividends to its shareholders, with the majority of that money going to the six Glazer family members who hold shares in the club.

– Since 2016, United have paid £166million to their shareholders, averaging £22million a year.

– United have also paid £743million in interest since the Glazers’ leveraged buy-out in 2005.

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READ: Recalling when Man Utd fans tried to buy the club from the Glazer family

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– No Premier League club made a bigger interest payment in 2020-21 than United (£21million).

– Between 2010 and 2021, United paid £517million in interest payments. The other 19 clubs from the 2020-21 Premier League season paid a total of £536million in interest payments over the same period of time.

– Despite all the refinancings, United’s £592million gross debt is virtually unchanged since the Glazers’ arrival – it was £604million back in 2006.

– Only Tottenham, thanks to their shiny new stadium, have more debt than United. 

– United’s infrastructure spending between 2012 and 2021 amounts to just £136million. Manchester City have spent nearly three times that (£374million) while Tottenham’s new stadium and training ground has seen them spend around £1.4billion.

– The Glazers took £154million out of United between 2012 and 2021. No Premier League owner has taken out more money than them in the last 10 years.

– While the Glazers take money from United, City’s owners put £684million into their club over the same period. Chelsea’s owners also invested £516million while Aston Villa’s owners put in £506million.

– Between 2017 and 2021, Chelsea made more than five times as much in player sales as United. Wolves, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham, Southampton, Arsenal, Everton, Man City, Leicester City and Liverpool also made more.

– United’s revenue has dropped by £87million since 2017 while Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and City have seen their revenue increase. 

– The Glazers have sold some Class A shares in United over the years, making around £465million. But the club hasn’t received any of the proceeds from those sales. 

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