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Anti-Glazer fans fume as power shifts to City

Manchester United's anti-Glazer fans are looking on in envy at how their club measures up to the new wealth at cross-city rivals Manchester City.

While United's £48.2m profits for the year to June last year are mainly as a result of Cristiano Ronaldo's £80m sale to Real Madrid last summer, City owner Sheikh Mansour last week wrote off more than £92m as the first instalment of his bid to turn the blue side of Manchester into Premier League champions.

United manager Alex Ferguson has insisted the club's massive debt has had no bearing on his transfer budget at Old Trafford, despite rumours to the contrary.

Club officials insist a £500m bond issue, confirmed yesterday, will have a positive impact on the club.

But the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), which has vehemently opposed the Glazer family since their controversial takeover in 2005, are not impressed.

"If it were a race, then United are dragging their owners behind them like a broken tractor, while City's owners are providing rocket fuel," said MUST chairman Duncan Drasdo.

"It just shows what a fantastic job Alex and the players have done that we are still ahead, despite the dead-weight of the Glazers' ownership.

"It is in everyone's interest for the Glazers to exit and make way for a new investor interested in working with the supporters to build a stronger football club and business together."

Not that United's day-to-day operations are in bad shape.

Matchday, media and commercial revenues have risen, even though there is talk of a slump in corporate sales, prompting various cost-cutting measures to have been implemented.

The Glazers could also quite rightly point out the past three years -- which have each seen the title won and places in the Champions League semi-finals -- have been successful for the club.

Yet the need to reduce interest on loans taken out to buy the club is obvious, and it is thought the bond will be secured on most of the club's assets -- but not their Carrington training ground.

Tellingly, it is also being suggested that United would be able to use up to 50pc of its cash flow to pay a dividend to the Glazer family, which would offer a chance to repay payment-in-kind loans lodged against the Glazer family that carry interest of 14.25pc.

In addition, United are entering into a revolving credit facility to borrow an additional £75m to help buy players.


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