Speaking to Sky News this afternoon from the New York Stock Exchange, David Gill has confirmed that he is in line to receive a pay-out as part of United’s floatation on the market:
Have you benefited personally from this floatation?
“It’s not uncommon for executives of any corporation to benefit as a company meets it’s goals. As long as that is an appropriate remuneration that reflects the demand for talent, then I am very comfortable with that.”
“There is an executive shares scheme but the details of that are yet to be decided. I’m well remunerated, I understand that. This is being done for the future of Manchester United and it is not something that worries me or interests me.” David Gill
The news is not unexpected but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the IPO floatation has rapidly morphed from a positive way to increase cash flow for reducing club debt into a way for the upper echelons of the United board to line their own pockets once more.
The cynic inside me doesn’t want to think that Sir Alex might be part of this “executive shares scheme” but surely there are few more executive individuals at United? He has made the club what it is. The sole reason that United have gained enough interest to sell these shares on the NYSE is because he has moulded the club into the global powerhouse that it now is.
I know that Sir Alex has publicly distanced himself from the possibility that he will financially gain from this market move but I can’t help but doubt what is really going on behind closed doors.
Here are a few other questions that David Gill was asked in the interview:
Only 10% of the shares are being floated. There are no dividends. People who buy the shares won’t have voting rights. What’s in it for the investors?
“They will be investing in a great company. I think we play in the best sport in the world, football. Sky is a big part of that. From our perspective, we can demonstrate the opportunities we have in terms of our sponsorship income, what is happening with our broadcast income. You’ll be investing in a great club in a great sport.”
Right now, Manchester United is primarily a business to the owners. Bigger sponsorship deals and increased broadcast income are becoming increasingly more important to the owners than success on the pitch, whether they like to admit it or not.
So £75m will go to into the pockets of the Glazers. Do you think that is going to go down well with fans? Surely that money should be used to pay off some of the huge mountain of debt Manchester United has?
“They own the club, they are entitled to it. I think what I would say the level of debt that we have had since they have taken over hasn’t had an impact on what we have done in that period.
“We are fully aware that what happens on the pitch is crucial to us and we will make sure we have sufficient funds to invest in the team going forward and we are comfortable with the amount of leverage we have had.
“We believe the growth opportunities coming ahead of us, including the Chevrolet deal, that we have a lot of interesting and good opportunities to improve our cash flow going forward.
“We believe that given the growth opportunities ahead of us, we have a lot of interesting and good opportunities to improve our cash flow going forward.”
David – don’t lie to us. Why contradict precisely what was written in the IPO agreement? It clearly stated that the debt that has burdened the club since the Glazer takeover. His blissful ignorance of the truth is getting rather grinding.
Why don’t you use this money in the transfer market in order to guarantee the future success of the club?
“We aren’t impacted at all by the capital structure. I have been in this business for 15 years and have known the owners for seven years. Do you think Alex Ferguson will not want to be investing in the team?
“We fully understand what Manchester United means to everyone around the world. Without doubt, we have sufficient funds to invest properly and sensibly in our playing squad. We’ve got great academy kids coming through. We’re very comfortable that we have the resources.”
Surely if the resources were truly there, then we would not of missed out on so many players in the past few seasons. Benzema, Nasri, Moura et al.
Do you feel you have the money to attract players of the quality of Robin Van Persie who you are negotiating with right now?
“Ever since I have been involved with Manchester United, we have had sufficient funds to attract and retain the best players. That is a key part of our business model. What happens on the pitch is a key factor as to what happens off the pitch.
“We’re very comfortable with what we are going to do in this transfer window and in future ones.”