A damning Twitter thread has evaluated why Manchester United fans have every right to be angry with their incredibly unpopular owners, the Glazers.
The thread that was published early on Tuesday morning by the Swiss Ramble’s Twitter account has dived into the Glazers’ financial mismanagement of the club in stunning detail.
Angry United fans have been getting involved in their droves after consuming the content – we’ll take you through it step-by-step below.
The cost of the Glazers to Man Utd
It’s no secret that the relationship between United fans and the Glazer family is at an all time low.
It’s been reported that fan groups are looking to stage mass walk-outs in next week’s fixture at home to Liverpool to force action.
Whilst Gary Neville has continued to trumpet his horn louder than ever when it comes to demanding the owners leave the football club – with his main gripe often being the ‘greed’ they demonstrate by extracting money from the business.
But just how much cash have they taken out since their arrival? And how have they managed it?
Dividend payments and the removal of funds
United are indeed the only Premier League club that pays dividends to their owners – and so in this case, to predominantly the Glazers.
Since 2016 alone they’ve taken out a ridiculous £166 million in dividend payments.
And whilst you could argue that the club has spent big in the transfer market, all of those funds were generated by the club rather than owner investment.
As a matter of fact, the thread reveals that from the last 10 years, no other Premier League owners have taken more funds from their club than the Glazers.
The £154 million they’ve pocketed represents a stark contrast to most other owners, who’ve invested heavily throughout the past decade.
Unsurprisingly, their ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City lead the way with their Abu Dhabi ownership group having pumped a massive £684 million into the growth of the business.
Needless to say, they’re reaping that benefit on the pitch.
Interest payments, loan repayments & debt
Think that’s bad? Well, it gets plenty worse yet…
Since the Glazers’ leveraged buy-out of the club in which they took out a loan of £600 million to finance the deal, United have paid a staggering £743 million in interest payments.
Narrowing that scope to the last 12 years, the £517 million paid out in interest is three times more than the next highest Premier League club – in fact, it’s about as much as the rest of the league combined (£543m).
Focusing on the last 12 years, #MUFC £517m interest payment is nearly three times as much as the next highest club, namely #AFC with £174m. Looked at another way, it is almost as much as the rest of the Premier League combined (£536m). pic.twitter.com/0kPnmd5F6e— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) August 16, 2022
The £147 million shelled out on net loan repayments since 2010 is second only to Arsenal – and that’s because of the development of the Emirates.
Whilst the club’s gross debt remains practically unchanged since the arrival of the owners nearly 20 years ago.
Chelsea and Spurs represent the only two clubs with a larger mountain of debt hanging over their heads right now, although Roman Abramovich has decided to write off Chelsea’s, whilst Tottenham’s was used for developing their state of the art stadium.
Even after all the refinancings, #MUFC £592m gross debt is virtually unchanged since the Glazers’ arrival. United’s debt was 3rd highest in the PL in 2020/21, but #CFC £1.5 bln was provided interest-free by their owner (now written-off), while #THFC £854m funded a new stadium. pic.twitter.com/enmRiiXm0u— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) August 16, 2022
Stalling commercial returns & more suspicious activities
Okay, so one thing you have to credit the Glazers for is making United a revenue generating machine.
However a concerning factor pointed out by the Swiss Ramble, is that United’s revenue growth effectively flatlined five years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting – with the fallout from the virus then causing commercial income to decrease by roughly £50 million in 2021.
To make matters worse, the club’s new £47 million TeamViewer shirt sponsorship deal is also a significant drop off from the previous £64 million Chevrolet partnership.
All in all, things are beginning to look very, very bleak for United both on and off the pitch right now.
And if that wasn’t enough to anger Red Devils fans across the globe, Swiss Ramble also believe that the family have been quietly picking up ‘directors fees’ that aren’t expressed on the accounts.
As can be seen in the graphic below, since 2010 a total of £110 million has been paid to the club’s 12 directors, six of which, are – you guessed it – Glazers.
Add that to the £465 million fortune made from flogging Class A shares in the club, none of which was re-invested and therefore stayed within the ownership group, and you rightfully have yourselves a seriously unhappy fan base.
Finally, the Glazers have made a fortune by selling some Class A shares in #MUFC, which works out to at least £465m (potentially £514m if underwriters took up the option to buy more shares). The club did “not receive any proceeds from the sale”, so only the owners benefited. pic.twitter.com/ncFnDUPe8u— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) August 16, 2022
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Check out the final graphic added below which provides a full summary of the estimated £1.599 billion the Glazers have cost United since their takeover.
Putting these elements together, I estimate that the Glazers have taken out £1.1 bln from #MUFC (interest £743m, debt repayments £147m, dividends £166m, directors remuneration £55m & management fees £23m). Total cost to United rises to £1.6 bln if £465m share sales are included. pic.twitter.com/5EfthOfKPs— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) August 16, 2022
Get them out immediately.