The Glazer family, Manchester United’s American owners, plan to pay off high-interest loans of as much as £220m to help ease the financial pressure at the club.
The loans were taken out with three US hedge funds to help finance the Glazer family’s £790m takeover in 2005. It is beleived the loans will be paid off on 22 November.
Co-chairman Joel Glazer issued a “voluntary free-payment notice” to the lending houses that stumped up the loan, confirming it will be paid off in full.
The Glazers could have used £70million of the club’s funds to help, but decided against doing that. It’s possible they sold off parts of theoir other businesses including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team, but this is unconfirmed.
Manchester United’s total debts are estimated at more than £720m.
A spokesman for the Glazer family did not comment on the reports.
The Glazer’s ownership of the club has provoked harsh, passionate criticism and supporters formed a breakaway fans’ club, FC United of Manchester, as well as the Green and Gold protest movement.
Many fans continue to boycott the team’s traditional red colours, instead wearing green and gold, the original colours of Newton Heath, the amateur side established in 1878 that eventually became Manchester United.
A major protest was held outside Old Trafford before the final game of the 2009/2010 seasons and further demonstrations have taken place throughout this season.
United have won three consecutive Premier League titles (2007-09), one Champions League trophy (2008), one Club World Cup (2008), three Football League Cups (2006, 09 and 10) and three FA Community Shield trophies (2007, 08 and 10) in the Glazer era.