Manchester United news

Glazers set to confirm commitment

February 23, 2011
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Manchester United's latest financial figures will be released within days with the Glazer family expected to issue a statement ruling out any sale of the club.

The Glazers bought United in 2005
PA PhotosUnited saw broadcast and matchday revenues fall

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The release of the figures will place greater scrutiny on the rising wage bill, and include details of a potential drop in shirt sales as a consequence of the fans' anti-Glazer protest.

It seems certain that there will be further speculation about a United takeover by Qatar Holdings, even though it has been strenuously denied that any talks have taken place over a £1.6 billion deal. The Glazers are determined to put the story to bed with a definitive statement on their position at the club in the quarterly accounts.

Results for the financial quarter ending Dec 31, 2010, will be posted, possibly on Friday, with a statement to bond holders from the USA-based owners aimed at preventing the value of the bond growing due to constant links with a big money takeover. The club's high-yield bonds have risen to record levels due to the takeover speculation.

The Glazers issued a similar statement in their quarterly accounts last May, prompted by the ill-fated Red Knights' interest in the club.

Manchester United confirmed to ESPNsoccernet that their next quarterly accounts are due out "at the end of the week or the beginning of the following week", but the club have refused to discuss the impact of Wayne Rooney's massive hike in salary and the effect it will have on those figures.

The rising wage bill and the need for Sir Alex to invest big in the transfer market may yet persuade the Glazer family to eventually consider a £1.6 billion-plus offer to sell the club.

A Manchester United spokesman said: "At the end of each quarter the figures are presented to the bond holders within 60 days, so these figures will be available before the end of February. There will be no comment on any of the figures until then."

Rooney now has a basic wage of £160,000-a-week, which would rise to close to £200,000-a-week in the latter stages of his new deal. On top of that he earns bonuses for United's success and for goals and appearances.

The latest results will be yet another indicator of the Glazer's debt rating, always a subject to raise the temperature among the fan base.