The Glazer family have put the legal costs of their year-long strategic review onto Manchester United, according to reports. Despite pocketing over £900million from Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s impending purchase of a 25 per cent stake, the American owners have made use of the club’s accounts again.
Ratcliffe expects to complete his £1.3billion investment in United next month, bringing an end to the Glazers’ 19-year rule over football operations.
However, the six siblings remain the club’s majority shareholders after rejecting Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s £5bn offer for a full sale.
They have been vastly unpopular among the United’s fanbase since their controversial buyout in 2005, where they paid less than half of the £790m used to purchase the club.
The Glazers have since accumulated over £1bn in debt and interest payments by taking money out while not putting any of their own funds back in.
And despite earning over £900m from Ratcliffe and INEOS’ blockbuster deal, they have once again turned to the club’s accounts.
According to The Athletic, Glazers paid for 56 lawyers to work during the takeover saga through United rather than their own personal wealth.
United reportedly hired Lathan & Watkins LLP after the legal firm previously advised TeamViewer ahead of their front-of-shirt sponsorship deal, which started in 2021.
The Glazers are said to be prepared to pay for the personal advice they received during the prolonged process. However, United will foot the bill for the legal firm’s advice.
It remains to be seen how much the cost of lawyers was while the Glazers weighed up their sale options after announcing a strategic review in November 2022.
That information is expected to be visible in the club’s accounts in due course and will reportedly include fees from financial advisors.
Ratcliffe and his INEOS confidants – most visibly Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc – have already started work at Carrington and Old Trafford ahead of official ratification.
Brailsford has attended all four United games since the club announced the agreement on Christmas Eve. Sunday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham was Ratcliffe’s first.
That sole visit represents more occasions than Joel Glazer has visited Old Trafford for a game in almost five years.
The latter’s most recent appearance was for a Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona in April 2019.
A week after hosting an all-staff meeting at Old Trafford for introductions and initial questions, Ratcliffe, Brailsford and Blanc addressed fan groups at the stadium on Monday.
The Glazers have never done the same, offering optimism that INEOS will finally put United on the right track towards an eventual full takeover.