Just as the dust was settling on the Manchester United NYSE share sale, a new and even more explosive revelation has appeared. Hot on the heels of the disclosure that the Glazers are now making a u-turn on their promise to use all of the proceeds from the share sale to pay down their debt of £437m, it emerged that senior employees at Old Trafford stand to benefit from a share scheme worth up to $320m (£204m).
The suggestion is that Ferguson and Gill, two of the Glazers staunchest supporters at Old Trafford, will benefit financially from the share sale. The exact wording in the share document actually adds even more intrigue by stating that the club would be rewarding selected senior employees under a plan called the Equity Incentive Award Plan. According to the share prospectus, the plan is designed to "attract, retain and motivate selected employees, consultants and non-employee directors."
Conservative estimates suggest that Gill and Ferguson are already in line for a bonus payment of around £1.25m from the proceeds of the IPO share sale. So that raises the question as to whether this is "hush money". This is especially so after Fergusons overt support of the Glazers in a recent press conference, calling them "great"! Even the staunchest Manchester United fans are now starting to suspect Fergusons motives , especially when he and Gill seem unable to nail down a single marquee signing.
Ferguson it seems has made his decision about which side of the fence he sits on the Glazers issue and it will sadden a lot of Manchester United fans. It will also tarnish the reputation of a man who has been proud to state his trade union roots and his support for working class people in the UK. Now it seeems we are witnessing the classic betrayal. Like a modern day Judas, Ferguson now promotes the Glazers as if they were some doting benefactors, whereas they have been responsible for around £500m in interest payments being taken out of the club. Imagine how many players United could have bought with that sort of money?
Unfortunately for fans, it looks as though the Glazers, will the complicit help of Ferguson and Gill, are turning the club into some sort of corporate conglomerate that will eventually be impossibe to wrench away from the financial leeches that control it until it bleeds to death at some point.