Manchester United have no money troubles, says Gill
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 16 March 2010
David Gill, Manchester United's chief executive, has rejected claims by the Red Knights, the group of wealthy investors seeking to takeover the club, that the Glazers are working to an unsustainable business model at Old Trafford.
Gill yesterday mounted his latest defence of the running of the club after announcing a second major sponsorship deal – with Turkish Airlines – in less than a week. Last week the campaign to oust the Glazers from Old Trafford gathered momentum with the appointment of the Japanese investment bank Nomura to seek out potential investors on behalf of the Red Knights. David Beckham sporting a green and gold scarf after United's Champions League game against Milan also helped boost membership of the Manchester United Supporters Trust. Yesterday it was approaching 140,000.
"People presuppose we have financial problems," said Gill. "We do not believe that is the correct situation. We are very comfortable and we have a sensible business strategy that will continue for many years to come."
Gill also denied that the club's huge debts, incurred since the Glazers took over five years ago, will impact on the playing side – another of the claims made by the Red Knights. Keith Harris, one of the leading voices of the Knights, has said that the club will eventually have to sell players to cope with the debt levels. Last summer Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for £80m, and the Spanish giants have recently been casting covetous glances in Wayne Rooney's direction.
"We fully understand what happens on the pitch has a real effect on what happens off it," he said. "Over the years, since the Premier League came into existence in 1992, we have had sustained success under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the great players he has coached and managed. It has produced significant financial returns that have been reinvested back into the team, the ground, the training ground and also the players; both in terms of new ones and new contracts for existing ones. We are lucky to operate in a sport that produces those results. Our history and heritage means we can bring a lot to the table."
Gill added: "There is also a professionalism about us, so, while we are in an economic downturn, we are one of the quality partners big entities can still associate with."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain