Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, will not be taking dividends from the club from now onwards.
The English club’s custodians made the decision to drop dividends coming out of the club through a unanimous decision by the board of directors, which mostly consists of the Glazer siblings.
This decision comes as United’s financial woes go from bad to worse, amidst the club being put up for partial or even a full sale.
United invested over £200m into the team last summer. The club’s latest quarterly revelations show a significant decrease in cash levels by an astonishing by £96.9m.
This has led to a drawdown on credit facilities that can be accessed by the 20-time English champions.
The Athletic reports on this development, “The change comes after Joel Glazer was questioned about the issue during a United fan advisory board meeting (FAB) in October. The justification for dividends was a prime topic during those talks.”
“Glazer was grilled on why money was paid to shareholders from club funds even when the team had its worst season since the Premier League was formed and United as a company made a £115.5million ($130m) loss.”
“Dividends worth £33.6 million were taken out of United during 2021-22, with the Glazers taking the majority of that money as largest shareholders. This happened at the same time that United drew down a further £40 million on available overdrafts, thus increasing the debt load on the club.”
The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), which recently issued ultimatums to potential bidders for United, reacted to the news and delighted in the fact that the Glazers had elected to not take dividends.
MUST stated that paying dividends amounts to rewarding failure and that these amounts should not be dished out until the issue of future ownership and new investment remain unsolved.
Undoubtedly, United fans will be pleased that the club’s parasitic owners have not taken money out for the first time in many years. However, the underlying issue is that the club from the outside appears to be going through a tumultuous financial situation.
For many supporters, the most desirable solution would be for the Glazers to finally sell up and go.