The transfer window has been officially open for Premier League clubs from June 10. Manchester United, on the back of their worst season in Premier League history, are yet to sign a single player with pre-season set to begin on Monday. All their major rivals have strengthened considerably while the Red Devils continue to haggle over the price of a single player – Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. To top it all, the Glazer family are set to receive their bi-annual dividend payout on Friday despite the club going through one of their worst phases in recent times – both on the field and off it.
The Glazers will receive the the bulk of an £11 million payment being made to shareholders on Friday. The club is reeling under massive amounts of debt and the numbers do not make for pretty reading.
United released their financial statements last month and it stated that the net debt had increased by £52 million to to £496 million, a rise of 11 per cent. Currently, the English giants have a total debt of a seismic £591 million. The Old Trafford outfit remain the only Premier League club to pay dividend to their owners.
Dividends have been paid every six months since 2016, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
So today the Glazers pay themselves the lion's share of an £11m dividend at the end of one of the worst seasons in living memory. Reward for failure is poor practice in any business, and totally unacceptable given the current state of things at United.
— M.U.S.T (@MU_ST) June 24, 2022
After former Red Gary Neville‘s public outburst, now the club’s the club’s independent supporters’ trust known as Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have come out and termed the move as ‘totally unacceptable’ and ‘indefensible’.
Anti-Glazer voices on the rise
MUST put out a statement on Friday which read, “Today the Glazers pay themselves the lion’s share of an £11m dividend at the end of one of the worst seasons in living memory. Reward for failure is poor practice in any business, and totally unacceptable given the current state of things at United.
“MUST is advocating and pursuing a strategy of engagement with the club and its owners, to get a stronger voice for fans, but this payment is indefensible. We will be making this point, and demanding answers, in our direct meetings as well as through our representatives on the fans’ advisory board and fans’ forum.”
This is a significant step in the right direction as the body is known for its conciliatory tone when it comes to the owners.
The 1958, a protest group aimed at removing the owners from the club, have again unequivocally lashed out at the owner’s apathy towards their club.
It is important to note that the dividend scheme smacks in the face of everything the club requires at the moment. While signings for new manager Erik ten Hag are crucial to give the new boss a chance for on-field success, money is also required to renovate a crumbling Old Trafford as well as the training facilities.
United are now into their fifth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, and each and every one of them have been hampered by the ownership complaining of a lack of funds which has led to a sustained period of no silverware.
The club has fallen so far behind the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, an unimaginable scenario from the days of the legendary Scot. From top players choosing to go elsewhere to young starlets not thinking United are a big enough lure, the Glazer ownership stint is seeing new lows every day.