MANCHESTER United’s American owners have debts totalling more than £1.1bn, fuelling speculation they will drain the club of its resources.
The Glazer family tied around £716m of debt to the Premier League club when they bought it in 2007, sparking outrage from fans.
Now a BBC Panorama investigation has revealed they also owe £388m on mortgages for their First Allied shopping centre business in the US and a further £66m on their Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise.
The revelations will pour petrol on the already heated situation at Old Trafford, with fans involved in a long-running “Glazers out” protest.
Last season the club would have made a loss if it hadn’t sold star player Cristiano Ronaldo for a world record £80m, after the owners paid more than £40m to finance debts.
The news will fuel speculation the Glazers may have to consider a bid for the club by a syndicate of wealthy City figures known as the Red Knights, led by Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jim O’Neill. The owners have insisted the club is not for sale and their financial situation is secure, with assets totalling more than £2bn.