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Unread 18-02-2010, 04:00 PM
fred tissue
Default United fan writes open letter to David Gill questioning Glazers

10 questions posed regarding Americans' stewardship
Evokes memories of the 99 asked by Magnier and McManus

David Gill, the Manchester United chief executive, has come under further pressure to fully explain the club's finances after a season-ticket holder sent an open letter containing 10 questions regarding the controversial ownership of the club by the Glazer family.

The letter from "Andersred" aggressively challenges a number of statements made by Gill with regard to the club's financial position. Gill was involved in a stand-up row with two fans at Birmingham University last week.

The questions, part of the green-and-gold campaign designed to force the Glazers to sell the club, evoke the 99 questions about the club's finances and transfer dealings that were asked by John Magnier and JP McManus, then the club's largest shareholders, in 2004.

The full letter can be seen here

Ten key questions

The Glazers' ownership of United
1. Can you confirm that the Glazers have not put any money into the club since 2005 (as opposed to spending money to buy it), but have in fact imposed costs totalling 266m, including fees and loans for their own benefit of 22.9m?

2. Isn't it the case that if the Glazers hadn't imposed any of these 266m of costs, the club could have held all ticket and executive facility prices at their 2004-05 levels (at a cost of 109m) and that the club would still be better off?

3. Isn't it true that tax and dividends "saved" under the Glazers' structure compared to the plc represent less than 50% of the interest, financing costs and fees the Glazers have made the club pay?

The Carrington training ground

4. If there is no possibility of Carrington being sold, why is it purposely carved out of the security for the bonds and why is the option outlined in the prospectus?

5. If Carrington were to be sold, isn't it true that any buyer would require a commercial rent after the 10-year peppercorn rent period ended, so the club would inevitably be financially hurt in the medium term?

The financial position post the bond issue

6. Will Manchester United have to pay the Glazers the 70m identified in the prospectus and do you believe this will be used to repay some of the PIKS?

7. Will Manchester United have to pay the Glazers the other dividends and fees to which they are entitled to under the bond covenants and do you believe they will use any of these payments to repay the PIKS?

8. Why do you think the Glazers haven't used any of their personal wealth to repay the PIKS and are you concerned about the family's financial position given their need to borrow 10m from United last year?

9. Why did the club insist on the new shirt sponsor Aon making such a large upfront payment a year ahead of the deal starting, given such terms will reduce the total value and the club had a very significant cash balance at the time?

10. Given that the rate paid on the new bonds is higher than that paid on the old bank debt, isn't the only "benefit" that arises from the refinancing the right to pay dividends from United to the Glazers' holding companies?
Rob Smyth

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