By Sean Goff
Sir Alex Ferguson’s angry reaction to allegations he had profited from Manchester United’s flotation on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was telling.
For years now, the Red Devils’ manager has had to defend how the Glazer family has run the club’s finances since they took control in May 2005.
The United faithful were wary of the deal but as with most football fans the promise of more money in the transfer kitty managed to persuade them to keep the faith. Money and success did follow culminating in the holy grail of a second Champions League win in 2008 against Chelsea in Moscow.
But in the background the ever-mounting debt burden was causing United watchers serious concern. Earlier this year it was announced that a move to float the club in Singapore in an effort to raise $1bn was shelved in favour of a more ‘modest’ float on the NYSE.
Where will the money come from for signings?
Again fans’ (and analysts’) fears were allayed with the promise of “more transfer money” and greater success. But instead the Stratford End faithful saw their worst nightmare come true as money-bags Manchester City won the Premier League. On goal difference. On the last day.
But stockpiling the transfer kitty with money from the New York flotation last week looks to have been an empty promise. The Glazers trousered 50 per cent of the cash raised and used the other 50 per cent to pay down the ever-spiralling $1bn debt mountain.
United watchers and more importantly their loyal fans are now wondering where the promised money will come from to bring in the likes of Brazilian ace Moura and Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie to the Theatre of Dreams.
Especially when their noisy neighbours City begin to taunt them come August 18.