Man Utd owners halt dividend payments

AFP , Friday 9 Dec 2022

The owners of Manchester United, the Glazer family, have not taken their usual semi-annual dividend out of the club as they look to sell the English giants.

Manchester United
Manchester United club. AFP


The regular flow of money out of the club in dividends has been a frustration for fans as United's fortunes on the pitch have deteriorated during the Glazer's reign in charge.

A total of £33.6 million ($41 million) was paid to shareholders, with the Glazers taking the majority, in the 2021/22 season as United finished sixth in the Premier League.

"On 15 November, the Board of Directors did not approve the payment of the semi-annual dividend for fiscal 2023," United said in a statement.

The Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) welcomed the news and urged for no more dividends to be paid until a new owner is found.

"Dividends should not be paid when the football club is not achieving success on the pitch, challenging for top honours," MUST said in a statement.

"That is rewarding failure and removes the incentive for the owners to ensure sufficient reinvestment of profits back into the football club."

After 17 years in charge of the club, the Americans announced last month that they are willing to sell United with the 20-time English champions likely to go for a record price for a sports club.

The Glazers bought United for £790 million in 2005 in a leveraged takeover that saddled the club with huge debt.

United's overall debt now stands at £680 million. However, analysts believe the Red Devils could fetch as much as £5 billion at sale.

The decision not to take a dividend was partly affected by United spending a record £200 million in the summer transfer market in a bid to improve performances on the pitch.

Erik ten Hag's men sit fifth in the Premier League and have progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League.

United's failure to qualify for the Champions League resulted in the wage bill dropping by seven percent, but the club still made a net loss of £26.5 million for the first three months of the 2022/23 season.

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