Manchester United news

Woodward: Glazers better than others

December 3, 2013
By Richard Jolly

Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes the Glazers’ ownership of the club will be remembered more fondly in the future.

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And he believes United should have communicated better with their supporters to address their concerns about the debt the American family lumped on the club.

The Glazers financed their 2005 purchase of United with loans that the club took out, meaning debt reached over 750 million pounds and annual interest repayments were 72 million pounds in 2010.

It provoked anger among the United fans and the green-and-gold movement -- using the club’s original colours and opposing the Glazers -- became particularly popular three years ago, when they hoped they could find a way of dislodging the owners.

Now United’s financial position is healthier with turnover of 360 million pounds last season, and forecast to rise by between 60 and 70 million pounds this year, and lower debt and increased repayments.

Woodward, though, believes their money problems were never as severe as feared and he told the fanzine United We Stand: “I think we’ve been guilty of not communicating our overall strategy.

“I’m sensitive to the general feeling about being fearful about the future of the club under this ownership. I think we should explain what the debt means. I can understand that [the fans’ distrust of the Glazers]. Time will perhaps make them look better owners than some think, especially when they are compared to other owners.”

Woodward said he was unaware whether the Glazers intend to remain in charge of United or sell the club after a partial flotation on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2012.

He added: “I can’t answer for them as I don’t know what their intentions are. I expect them to be in an ownership position and involved in the club for many years to come.”

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