Report Claims ManU To Issue $401M In Shares To Shore Up Transfer Spending
ManU's owners "are rushing to raise up to £250M ($401M) through the issue of shares and could make the move as soon as February," according to Alex Miller of the London DAILY MAIL. ManU Exec Vice-Chair Ed Woodward "insisted there were no imminent plans" to issue shares for the club, but American owners the Glazer family appears to have "cleared the way" to issue up to 23 million shares. The Glazers are expected to "keep some of that cash themselves," a move that is "likely to infuriate fans," to pay off debt on the club, which stands at £389.2M ($623.8M). The club is paying £70M ($112.2M) a year in interest and club officials privately admit that that "is crippling them in the transfer market." The club is off to a shaky start and there are concerns it could miss next season's Champions League, which would cost the club "in the region" of £50M ($80M). A source said, "If the conditions are right the Glazers will look to announce the issue of the shares as soon as February after a powerful showing in the January window." Football finance expert David Bick, of Square 1 Consulting, added, "They can't compete with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid in the transfer market without spending massive amounts of money and they can't do that until they dramatically bring down the debt" (DAILY MAIL, 10/5).