If you read the press on the subject of the “biggest clubs” in football a couple of weeks back you’d have seen Man U at the top of the list.
And you might well have thought that those guys at Untold Arsenal were a bunch of twirps, with all their talk 3 months earlier about how Man U was actually in serious trouble.
Now the truth has emerged.
As we know when the Glaziers bought Man U they put all the borrowings to buy the club, back into the club – effectively making the club pay for itself! But cleverly, for accounting reasons, a separate company is used to show these borrowings – which are now £666m – the highest ever in football history. That’s right – Man U have more debt than any club ever.
But that’s not all – Man U owe money everywhere – they are not even paying off the interest on their debts – and the total now due is an amazing £764m, which includes £56m owed to other clubs on players that the “Ferguson” character has bought BUT NOT PAID FOR. The warning to all of football is clear: if you sell to Man U it will be a while before you get paid.
Man U have to pay £81m in interest on debts a year – last year they managed to pay just £42m, before running out of cash. Now there is nothing illeagal here, but the situation can’t go on – and in 2016 the money must be paid unless Man U can find someone else to take on the debts. They have been trying to do this all year, but without success.
So now we can see – the income of £210m that Man U made such a huge fuss about in January (along with “profits” of £210m) was a sham – because it did not include all the issues relating to the borrowed money. Add everything together and Man U lost £58m.
So does this mean “trouble”? Yes it does, in my opinion, because the interest levels are rising (because each year they owe more and more interest not paid the previous year) but income can’t. Most Man U money comes from match days, and there is huge resistance to more and more price rises.
Arsenal on the other hand is completely solvent – and genuinely does make enough profit to pay for its borrowings (which are secured through the stadium). The mortgage is being paid off month by month, and there is still the bonus from the sale of Highbury and the redeveloped property to come through in the months and years to come.
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