Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson denies share float windfall


Sir Alex Ferguson has denied speculation that he stands to benefit financially from Manchester United's umpcoming share flotation on the New York Stock Exchange. There were unconfirmed reports that club employees would be in line to benefit from a share incentive scheme, including the long-standing manager. "There is not a single grain of truth in this allegation," Ferguson said in a media statement. The club plans to raise around £210m in a share listing.

The club has been controlled since 2005 by billionaire sports investors from the United States, the Glazer family, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football team.

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

"I am speaking out because I do not want a situation to develop whereby the media and other parties create a rift, however small, between myself and any Manchester United fan. I've spent 25 years of my life pushing this club forward and not only could I not have done it without those fans, I do it for them."

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the football club recently said it would sell 16.7 million shares at between $16 and $20 each, raising as much as $330m for a 10% stake in the club. Manchester United was recently named the most valuable club in sport, worth more than 2 billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine. The club stated that the proceeds will be used to repay debt. The club currently has £437m of debt and £70m in cash.

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