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Ferguson defends Glazers as club debt mounts

SIR Alex Ferguson has defended the Glazer family after the latest financial statement from Manchester United's parent company revealed debts of almost £650 million.

Accounts to June 2008, which were released on Thursday, revealed turnover at the club has risen an incredible 22 per cent to £256.2 million, underpinning a 7.5 per cent increase in profits to £80.4 million. However, Red Football – the umbrella for United and its various offshoots – confirmed a loss of £44.8 million, taking their overall debt to an eye-watering £649.4 million.

Old Trafford supporters opposed to the Glazers have seized on the figures as evidence of a club in crisis. However, Ferguson has never had any complaints about the Americans, who have backed him in the transfer market and have stayed out of the spotlight. And, while he accepts debt was a major factor in the Glazer buyout almost four years ago, the United manager does not feel anything is likely to change as a result of this week's announcement.

"Their support has never changed," said Ferguson. "I do not know what these figures tell you. There has always been debt since Malcolm Glazer took over the club. Most buyouts are like that. But there is no change as far as I am concerned."

For all the criticism their financial structure has attracted, the Glazer family have never given any indication that they are concerned at the amount of debt hanging over United. The Premier League club still returns vast profits on its business dealings, with wages still well under 50 per cent of turnover.

Ferguson, of course, is more concerned about on-field matters and this afternoon takes his title-chasing side up to Sunderland....

Ferguson defends Glazers as club debt mounts - Sport
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