Manchester United not for sale, say Glazers

Image caption,
A statement from the board said the club was not for sale

Manchester United has once again said the club is not for sale and that the Glazer family owners will "not entertain any offers".

A consortium of rich businessmen dubbed the Red Knights emerged three months ago as possible buyers of the club.

But the Old Trafford outfit says the Glazers "remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club".

It came as the club announced a cut in debt from £543.3m a year ago to £520.9m for the January to March period.

In Man Utd's quarterly financial results, the figures also showed net assets of £794.9m and a cash balance of £95.9m.

The Old Trafford club said that in the nine months to March, year-on-year revenues were up 13.5% from £193.3m to £219.3m.

It also reported that quarterly match-day, commercial and media revenues had increased on three months ago.

However, losses for the quarter were up from £5.87m to £65.94m, mostly relating to various financing charges and costs.

Debt levels

The past few months have seen a battle played out in the media between the Red Knights and the club, with the pair offering hugely differing estimates of Manchester United's value.

Manchester United was bought by the Glazer family for £800m in 2005. In the 2009/10 season the club finished second to Chelsea in the Premier League.

They were also knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter finals, and have ended the season relatively unsuccessfully by their standards, winning only the League Cup.

Critics say the family has saddled United with massive debts, and the Red Knights have said that one of their priorities is to reduce debt levels.

In the last annual accounts, to July 2009, debts at the club's parent company Red Football Joint Venture increased to £716.5m.

'Top, top club'

Earlier this year the club launched a seven year £538m bond that enabled them to refinance much of their more costly debt.

Fans have launched a campaign to oust the Glazers, many boycotting the traditional red shirts and scarves and instead wearing green and gold, the original colours of Newton Heath, the amateur side which was founded in 1878 and became Manchester United.

However, the club does not believe it has fully maximised its revenue streams from global commercial opportunities.

Earlier on Friday, chief executive David Gill said that with the financing in place at the club and the growth in its commercial operations, Manchester United could "still be a top, top club".

"We can invest in the players, invest in the training ground - we have plans for that - invest in the stadium and do those things. The money is definitely there," he told the Independent.

"We are not in a situation where Alex is restricted in what he wants to do with the club."

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