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Manchester United - the trouble with the Glazers

Manchester United owners the Glazers are said to be looking to raise up to £250m for the club in a U.S share issue, and Manchester United fans will doubtless focus on the fact that some of these funds are likely to find their way back to the Glazers themselves.

But although some of the monies might end up staying in the U.S. with the family, other funds will be used to pare back debt (which in 2012/13 was costing the club around £70m a year in interest payments and, many think, impacting Manchester United's ability to go big in the transfer market), and yet more will be added to the transfer kitty manager David Moyes will have available to him in January - although the share offering will not happen until February at the earliest, Manchester United will doubtless be able to borrow against these proceeds to go big in the January transfer window if they choose to do so.

The trouble with the Glazers, of course, is that they aren't Russian oligarchs who treat the club as an expensive plaything, nor Arab oil sheiks who have more money than they know what to do with. The Glazers run Manchester United as a business, and that means remaining competitive in the transfer market and in all the big competitions, but doing so with an eye on the financials. And, yes, the family have taken substantial consulting fees from the club since they took control in 2005, but Manchester United is one of the family's investments, so why shouldn't they ?

And what's the alternative ? Some vocal Manchester United fans should be careful what they wish for - 9 managers in 9 years has seen Chelsea pick up 13 trophies (against Manchester United's 15), and the noisy neighbours are now on their 3rd manager in 4 years and have only 2 pieces of domestic silverware (plus one shared Community Shield with Manchester United) for all their troubles since that time.

Sir Alex Ferguson long ago recognised the reality of the situation, telling Charlie Rose on PBS only this week : 'There is a misconception about the Glazers buying the club.

'It created hostility and different factions - but you forget, the minute it became a PLC someone was going to buy it.

'The Glazers did buy it. And in my time with them they were nothing but supportive - very strong, single-minded people but always supportive of the manager and the things that happen in the club.

'I've absolutely no hesitation in supporting the way they're going about the job - very low key'.

images: © edwin11, © genius1keeper

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