Angry Ferguson denies United shares pay-out

Manager feels 'insulted' by suggestions he backs Glazers' controversial ownership for financial gain

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager, has furiously responded to accusations that his recent backing of the Glazer family is motivated by personal gain.

It has been suggested that Ferguson stands to profit from the controversial initial public offering (IPO) of shares, which the Glazer family are now saying will only partly go against United's massive debts.

A clause within the prospectus for the IPO, which the Glazer's signalled an official intention to launch in New York on Monday evening, suggests senior management figures will receive shares. Almost immediately, some of those opposed to the Glazer family's ownership of United wondered if Ferguson was among them.

But a clearly angered Ferguson said yesterday: "There is not a single grain of truth in this allegation. This is an accusation that insults me.

"Being aware of the media coverage that is currently ongoing I felt, on this occasion, that I should make my position clear to the Manchester United fans. In regards to suggestions that I have praised the Glazer family because I stand to financially benefit from the proposed IPO, there is not a single grain of truth in this allegation. I do not receive any payments, directly or indirectly, from the IPO."

Ferguson's recent praise of the Glazer family raised some eyebrows.Many United fans dislike the Americans for running up massive debts during their leveraged buy-out of the Old Trafford club in 2005. It has been claimed the debts prevent Ferguson from spending big in the transfer market and competing with Manchester City and Chelsea.

"Ultimately, I run the football side of this club and to do this, you need backing from above," he said. "The Glazer family have let me get on with my job. There is no interference or obstruction, only support."

The most successful British manager of all time, Ferguson indicated that he could have left United for more money if cash had been his prime motivation. It is why he has been so annoyed at the slur on his character.

"My decisions and beliefs are not based around what is best for my personal financial gain," he said."That is an accusation that insults me. If that was the case I would have left Old Trafford a long time ago.

"I am speaking because I do not want a situation to develop whereby the media and other parties create a rift, however small, between myself and Manchester United.

"I've spent 25 years of my life pushing this club forward and not only could I not have done that without those fans, I do it for them."

Manchester United are still being linked with Robin van Persie, Leighton Baines and Brazilian Olympic star Lucas, although so far, the only summer arrivals have been Japan playmaker Shinji Kagawa and England Under-18 international Nick Powell from Crewe.

* Brendan Rodgers' first match in charge of Liverpool ended in victory after a 1-0 win against Gomel in their Europa League third qualifying round first leg tie in Belarus last night. Stewart Downing's 25-yard effort midway through the second half was enough to give the Reds victory.