United fans call for debt clearance details
Manchester United fans have challenged the Glazer family to come clean about their intentions for the club after it was confirmed a £220m debt is to be paid off by the end of the month.
The controversial payment in kind notes (PIKs) have been the subject of much debate due to the huge amount of interest they are attracting.
The current level is 16.25% and while this debt is levelled against the family themselves it was anticipated they would use money from the club to reduce it.
However in a letter issued by co-chairman Joel Glazer, he confirmed to the lenders of the PIK notes that the debt will be paid by November 22.
There has been no indication as to how this will happen or where the money has come from, although Press Association Sport understands the money will definitely not come from the club and speculation that the Glazers have sold off a chunk of United has also been rejected.
As if to emphasise the continued health of United as a day-to-day business three monthly results released today in line with the £500m bond issue showed turnover continuing to rise, especially in the commercial sector, and the debt reducing, albeit marginally.
But this has not appeased the supporters groups who have been so opposed to the Glazer family since their controversial takeover in 2005.
Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), responding to the news, said: "Now is the time for the Glazers to finally come clean and tell the truth about what is going on at Manchester United and what their plans are.
"What have they got to hide? No more secrecy. No more spin. Just tell the fans the truth."
It is doubtful whether these comments will have any effect on the Glazer family.
It is only a matter of weeks ago that United chief executive David Gill sought to allay fears about the club's long-term future.
This latest development does appear to confirm repeated statements from Sir Alex Ferguson that he has a large transfer kitty at his disposal and he alone is responsible for it not being spent rather than being kept back to pay off a portion of the PIK debt.
The most interesting figures from the quarterly results were a rise in total turnover from £57.7m to £63.3m compared to the same three months last year. The main reason for that is a rise in commercial revenue to £24.2m, up over 25%.
It was also revealed that United's gross debt had fallen from £514.7m to £509.4m up to September 30, 2010.