The club has refinanced more than £192m of high-interest debt which cuts our interest costs by about £10m a year. The Glazers have secured a new loan from Bank of America with far lower interest rates.
United have refinanced £177.78m of outstanding 8.75% interest sterling bonds and $22.09m (£14.6m) of 8.375% dollar bonds. The new loan would have an estimated starting interest rate of around 2.78% and that interest payments should come down from around £31m to £21m per year.
Earlier this month the club claimed it was on course to generate more than £350m this season after earning a record £91.7m in the three months to March 31. Net profit more than trebled year-on-year to £3.6m in the third quarter.
The club has approximately halved its total debts to £370m in the past three years.
People point to the trophies United have won since 2005 to argue that the Glazers haven’t been “that bad” for the club. However, the profits the club generate are being used to pay off a debt we shouldn’t have and are being withdrawn from the club by the Glazers. If we’ve won what we have in these circumstances, imagine what we could have won if we’d been able to reinvest all or most of our profits.
When the Glazers came in 2005 we feared that they would cripple the club. This hasn’t happened, thankfully, largely due to us having the greatest manager of all time. However, with the pressure of the debt on us, David Gill and his team have managed to generate more money for the club thanks to increased commercial revenue. Still, it is entirely possible that the club would have worked on this regardless of whether we were in debt or not.
Just because the Glazers haven’t prevented United from being competitive that doesn’t mean they haven’t been damaging. Hundreds of millions of pounds of the club’s money, which could and should have been spent on improving the quality of the team, has gone out of the club thanks to the Glazers.
That’s not to say that United would do a City/Chelsea and spend a ridiculous amount every summer, but there’s no denying that the signing of a world class player before Robin van Persie, particularly in midfield, would have made a huge difference to the club. In 2010 we lost out on the title by 1 point and in 2012 we lost out on goal difference. If the money the club generated was spent on the transfer fee and wages of one top class player, chances are we would have won the league every season since 2007.
So at least we’re moving in the right direction financially but that’s no excuse for softening our stance towards the Glazers, who we have been successful in spite of, not because of, since 2005.
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