New concerns about Manchester United's 'snowballing' debts - SportsPro Media Manchester United's debts have once again been the subject of intense press scrutiny, with respected British journalist David Conn adamant that, despite the club's three Premier League titles in a row, its debts have "snowballed". The Old Trafford giants are currently second in the Premier League, and have won the competition for the last three seasons running. That spell has also taken in a Champions League victory and a runners-up spot in the same competition. Despite that, concerns about the club's finances continue to make headlines. 'In only three years up to 30 June 2008, the closing date of their most recent published accounts, United became liable to pay a staggering £263m in interest alone. Despite that, the capital lump sum which United owe to banks and hedge funds has actually snowballed by £159m, from £540m in 2005, to £699m in 2008,' writes Conn in The Guardian. 'That increase is accounted for partly by the very high interest charged on the £275m the Glazers borrowed from three hedge funds to buy United. When the entire debt was refinanced only 15 months later in August 2006, the hedge fund debt had risen by £79.1m, which included £13.2m for "early redemption". The refinancing paid that off, leaving United with £525m owed to banks and £138m owed to hedge funds. An estimated £29m was paid in professional fees then, principally to bankers, lawyers and accountants.' With United reportedly looking to refinance once again, the large fees demanded by those bankers, lawyers and professionals could come under scrutiny once again. Still, Manchester United continue to be arguably the most valuable sports property in soccer. A study conducted by SportsPro last summer valued the club at US$1.495 billion, noting record annual revenues of US$412 million during the 2007/08 season. Ticket revenue grew by 10 per cent year on year to US$162.5 million – testament to the club's ability to sell out its 76,200-capacity Old Trafford stadium on a regular basis. Broadcast revenue, meanwhile, increased by 44 per cent to US$146.8 million - an amount that continues to rise thanks to the ever-increasing television money pouring into the Premier League and Champions League.