Manchester United Supporters’ Trust have condemned the decision of the club to pay the Glazer family £16 million per year in shares.
The Glazers currently own 83% of the shares at United, so they will receive £0.03 per share each quarter. This is the first dividend since United floated on the USA Stock Exchange in 2012.
Vice-chairman of the Supporters’ Trust, Sean Bones told the BBC: “The Glazer family have already cost us £1bn in interest payments,” said Bones. “They are sitting on an asset worth £2bn, which still has debts of over £400m, yet are now milking it for even more. How greedy can you get?”
United recently released their financial figures,which revealed that the club recorded a £38 million fall in revenue over the course of last year. United’s failure to reach the Champions League last season cost the club close to £35 million.
This summer, United decided to heavily invest by signing Anthony Martial for £36 million and Memphis Depay for around £20 million to help bolster their chances of European and domestic success. Unfortunately, United kicked off their Champions League group stage campaign with a disappointing 2-1 loss to PSV Eindhoven.
It could be argued that the spare £16 million that the Glazers are pocketing should be refunded into the club. Instead, the infamous family who purchased the club for an estimated £800 million are reaping the benefits of their shares.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has been firmly opposed to the Glazer family ever since they took over in 2005. In 2010, the Trust met up with a wealthy group of United fans in a bid to return the ownership of the club back to the supporters. However, the wealthy group dubbed as “The Red Knights” failed to meet the Glazers asking price.
The family are reported to be worth an estimated $4 billion, due to their business the First Allied Corporation. The business is the holding company for United and also the NFL team Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
A United spokesman said the Glazers were committed to investing in the team and that the dividend underlined the club’s strong financial position. United supporters can only hope that the family find a respectable and suitable buyer for the club in the near future to put an end to the nightmare ownership of the Glazer family.