Man Utd chief Arnold ‘stopped Glazers taking latest dividend’
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Manchester United chief Richard Arnold was reportedly ‘influential’ behind the Glazers opting not to take the latest dividend payment from the club. The Americans are polarising figures at Old Trafford, and have been ever since their takeover of the club in 2005. However, their rule is coming to a close with the family open to offloading the Red Devils after 18 years at the helm.
United made a £26.5million loss for Q1 2023, with the Glazers then deciding not to take their semi-annual dividend last month.
And, according to The Telegraph, this was partly down to the influence of Arnold behind the scenes.
The United CEO took the role last year, shortly after the resignation of Ed Woodward – who walked away following the failed European Super League plot of the previous year.
And Arnold has been hoping to fare far better than his predecessor, who many often blame for United’s slump in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Since 2005, the Glazers have received more than £160m in dividends – much to the ire of fans.
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Yet Joel Glazer apparently accepted the continuation of the dividend was ‘hard to justify’ due to the current climate.
United cash reserves were reportedly ‘heavily depleted’ following the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
And with Joel then relaying the message to the rest of the Glazers, the family then decided to ‘fall into line’ on the matter.
That means United now have an extra £20m that can be reinvested in the club however they see fit.
It’s claimed that Arnold now plans to ensure United are not ‘undermined or distracted’ by the potential sale of the club.
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The Glazers confirmed in November they were open to selling their asset, saying in a statement: “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.
“As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
Arnold is also aware that he faces no guarantees over his own position if the Glazers do indeed sell up.
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A source is quoted as saying: “This is one of the biggest underlying issues for Richard now.
“Stitching the fabric of the business together while the owners are uncertain about how they are going to take it forward.”
Another source also hailed Arnold for conducting work in Manchester, rather than London.
Woodward would often work in the capital, another factor that drove his disconnect with supporters.
The insider said: “The biggest single change is Manchester United is now run on an axis between Old Trafford and Carrington where previously it was a triangle with the most powerful element in Mayfair.”
One potential option to take over United is Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
And former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie has endorsed the INEOS chairman, while also saying he has ‘more money than sense’.
“I do not think there is anyone who does not want that family out,” he told Football Insider.
“From the supporters right through to the players I do not think there is anyone. They have made shambles after shambles after shambles, mistake after mistake after mistake.
“It is smoke and mirrors, they have not done anything.
“I think Ratcliffe is no fool, he will not pay over the top for it. I think he is a Man United supporter, what a result that is.
“He has got more money than sense but if you are going to buy a club Man United is certainly the club to buy.”
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