United swerve credit crunch

Image: Glazers: United owners

Manchester United's American owners insist the club will not be affected by the global credit crunch.

Red Devils remain financially secure

Manchester United's American owners insist the club will not be affected by the credit crunch. The financial meltdown currently affecting the global economy has already begun to infiltrate the football world, with clubs feeling the pinch after years of over-spending. Billionaire chiefs such as Chelsea's Roman Abramovich and Manchester City's Abu Dhabi United Group can handle the cash catastrophe, but there were fears that United may struggle. The club remains £660million in debt following the Glazers' 2005 takeover, but continue to generate enormous revenue around the world. A refinancing package in 2006 has helped the club to manage their debt and a spokesman for the Glazer family has played down concerns regarding the club's financial health.

Growth

"The credit crunch is not having a negative bearing on United," they said. "We continue to benefit from the sell-out of Old Trafford and the growth in commercial operations. "We refinanced back in 2006 and that structure provides long-term stability. The debt continues to be comfortably serviced by the club's strong growth in cash flow." United's shirt sponsors, AIG, have been hit by the credit crunch in the States, with their future remaining unclear. However, United insist the £14million-a-year deal with the American Insurance Group represents only a small percentage of their revenue stream. The club remain confident that they could strike a lucrative deal elsewhere should the AIG contract fall through, while they have recently struck a commercial deal with Saudi Telecom and extended their link with Budweiser.

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