The Glazers “remortgaged” Manchester United in 2005 in order to pay shareholders and spent more in interest than on players sales in the first 12 years of their reign.
That is according to finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively about the £837million United have paid in loan repayments since the Glazers took control of the club in 2005.
United’s transfer expenditure between the 2005-06 and 2016-17 campaigns exceeded £800m with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Angel Di Maria arriving for huge sums in that time.
But it was only until recently that the club’s biggest outlay was not transfer spending but interest repayments.
Maguire explains that the Glazer essentially “remortgaged” the club as part of their takeover without putting in a penny of their own money.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “When the Glazer family took over, they knew they needed to pay the old shareholders. The Glazers themselves didn’t have money to do that.
“Therefore, they effectively remortgaged the club, got the club to borrow the money which was then utilised to pay the former owners on the stock market. Since then, they have spent money in terms of expanding the size of the stadium. That’s increased borrowings as well.
“Now, they are borrowing at such cheap rates that they might as well carry on with these loans.
“They’ve borrowed around £500m but they have spent £837m in interest since 2005. That’s mainly paying off the former owners, and some of that has also gone into funding infrastructure costs at the club.
“The Glazers themselves haven’t put in a penny so I think you could argue that the world of finance has been the biggest beneficiaries of the Glazer period.
“It took until 2017 for the club’s net spend on players to exceed the interest cost under the ownership of the Glazers.”
Old Trafford was expanded by 8,000 seats in 2006, shortly after the Glazers’ takeover.
The club have won 13 major trophies in the subsequent era, five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups, one Champions League, one Europa League and one Club World Cup.