Manchester United Board Members Avram and Brian Glazer (R)
Manchester United owners, the Glazers, have issued a statement indicating they wish to float 10 percent of the club's shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Reuters

Manchester United owners, the Glazers, are risking even more fan fury by unveiling plans to keep half the proceeds from the club's imminent stock market flotation for themselves.

The Glazers have issued a statement indicating they wish to float 10 percent of the club's shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Some experts believe the Initial Public Offering (IPO) could raise more than £200m.

The family initially intimated that they would use all the money from the flotation to tackle United's debt, which currently stands at around £437m.

The Glazers created the debt mountain in 2005 by borrowing the money to buy United, then a debt-free organisation, and passing the liability for the loans onto the club - a move which has created lasting resentment among supporters who believe the money used to repay United's debt could otherwise be spent on world-class players.

However, it has now emerged that the 16.67m class A shares to be issued in the IPO will be divided into two distinct categories - 50 percent will be offered by the club, and the remaining 50 percent will be personally offered by the Glazers.

The Glazers will be able to keep all the profits from their personal shares. According to the Financial Times, the family could make around £90m through the IPO.

"Manchester United today commenced its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 16,666,667 Class A Ordinary Shares," read a statement issued by Sard Verbinnen& Co, a PR firm hired to oversee the sale, on 30 July.

"The Class A Ordinary Shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and will trade under the symbol "MANU."


Fans have been quick to voice their outrage at the Glazers' latest statement.

Jim White, broadcaster and author of Manchester United: The Biography, told IBTimes UK:

"It's absolutely shocking, and entirely what we should expect from these people. They bought the club without the money to do so, foisted debt upon the club, and are now using that debt to create cash to prop up other parts of their fading empire.

"It is completely scandalous, the absolute antithesis of football ownership. It's simply asset stripping."

News of the flotation came within hours of United agreeing a seven-year shirt sponsorship agreement with General Motors. The deal will see the club's jerseys branded with the Chevrolet banner, and will come into effect for the 2014/15 season.

"This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the club," United's commercial director Richard Arnold said in a BBC report, adding that Chevrolet "are a key partner on our current tour and I know they have enjoyed experiencing the buzz generated by our fanatical support and the sell-out crowds in South Africa, China, and Europe."

The club's present shirt sponsorship deal - worth around £20m per year with American insurance company Aon - still has two years to run. The deal with General Motors should net the club a further £8m a year, taking the Red Devils to the top of the global shirt sponsorship revenue league, ahead of Spanish club Barcelona and German giants Bayern Munich.