How much money have the Glazers made from Man Utd?

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 5 min read
Glazers, Man Utd, 2022-23
© ProShots

From the moment the Glazer family took over as owners of Manchester United in 2005, they have been disliked by the supporters.

Protests have followed, with fans not happy at their use of the club or the way in which they secured ownership.

The Glazers have spent plenty of money on transfers in an attempt to improve the on-pitch performances of the club, but they have also pocketed a large amount of money through their ownership of Man Utd.

How did the Glazers get control of Man Utd?

It started small. The Glazer family bought their first shares in the club in 2003, purchasing a 2.3 per cent stake after Manchester United’s board had begun a search for new investment.

By the end of 2003, the Glazers had increased their stake to 15% and they started to explore a takeover bid, much to the dismay of the supporters.

The Glazers kept increasing their stake and they had almost reached the 30% required for an official takeover bid by October 2004. In May 2005, the Glazers bought J.P McManus and John Magnier’s 28.7% stake to take their overall investment to a controlling stake of 57%.

Within a month, the Glazers had reached the 97.6% threshold to force a compulsory buyout of all the remaining Man Utd shareholders. They were thus officially the owners of Manchester United.

Supporters were furious that the American family purchased Manchester United via a leveraged buyout which was funded by loans – many of which were secured against the club’s assets.

Fans protesting Glazers
© ProShots

The loans came to a total of £660m and were provided by three American hedge funds. This thrust Man Utd into debt for the first time in over 70 years.

Effectively, the Glazers spent £270m of their own money to buy Man Utd for £790m, loading the club with debt in the process. It was a leveraged takeover that many believe the authorities should’ve blocked.

How much money have the Glazers made from Man Utd?

According to football business expert Swiss Ramble, no owners in the Premier League have taken out more money than the Glazers’s £154m at Man Utd in the last 10 years.

While the Glazers have taken money, some owners have put in significant funds during that time, notably their inter-city rivals Manchester City. Man City’s owners have invested £684m in the club.

Man Utd have also paid the Glazers management fees under a consultancy agreement, which add up to £23m according to the prospectus for the MUFC Finance PLC borrowing.

The Glazers have made a fortune by selling some Class A shares in Man Utd, which works out to at least £465m, and could reach £514m if underwriters took up the option to buy more shares. The club did “not receive any proceeds from the sale”, so only the owners benefited.

Why are Man Utd fans protesting against the Glazers’ ownership?
© ProShots

Furthermore, Swiss Ramble estimates the Glazers have taken out £1.1 billion from Man Utd in total, which rises to £1.6 bln if £465m share sales are included. That £1.1 billion is broken down into these costs:

- Interest = £743m

- Debt repayments = £147m

- Dividends = £166m

- Directors remuneration = £55m

- Management fees = £23m

The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell has estimated that the Glazers have accumulated nearly £450 million from Man Utd since becoming owners, through IPO, share sales and dividends.

How much has Man Utd’s stock value fallen?

Man Utd are not in a good place in the stock market. According to NYSE, Man Utd’s stock value has fallen by £1.32 billion in the past nine months, with their share price on June 14 2022 the first time it had ever gone below $11. The previous low was October 2012’s value of $12.25 per share.

According to The Athletic's Laurie Whitwell, the Glazer brothers sold 9.5 million shares in October 2021, earning themselves £137m, with that money going into their pockets rather than being put back into the club for transfers, wages or stadium renovations.

Man Utd’s finances

The below information has come from Swiss Ramble, and shows how Man Utd are in a mess and the Glazers have benefited greatly from the club.

Man Utd are the only club in the Premier League to pay dividends to their shareholders - which are mainly the Glazers. Since 2016 they have paid £166m in dividends, which averages out to £22m a year.

Furthermore, Man Utd have now paid a staggering £743m in interest since the Glazers’ leveraged buy-out in 2005, and in the last 12 years, Man Utd’s £517m interest payment is nearly three times as much as the next highest club - Arsenal with £174m.

Man Utd have signed Casemiro in the 2022 summer transfer window
© ProShots - Man Utd have signed Casemiro in the 2022 summer transfer window

Since 2010, the Red Devils have also spent £147m on net loan repayments. Only Arsenal have paid more, and that money was used by the Gunners to fund the construction of the Emirates stadium.

Man Utd have used refinancing techniques to move money around, but even considering all that, Man Utd’s gross debt still remains at £592m - which has barely changed since the Glazers took over back in 2005.

That means their debt was the third highest in the English top flight in the 2020-21 season, with only Chelsea and Tottenham in more debt at that stage. However, Roman Abramovich has paid off the Blues’ debt following his removal from post, while Spurs’ debt of £854m is a direct cause of their new state-of-the-art stadium.

While Man Utd have spent £1.4 billion on transfers since 2012, this has been using money generated through revenue, rather than being provided by the Glazers.

Man Utd may have spent a considerable amount of money in recent years, but the Glazers have also managed to use the club to pad out their wallets.