Khamis, 14 Januari 2010

Manchested United 'may be forced to sell Wayne Rooney'

The American Glazer family, who privately own United, are struggling to raise money for transfers while recent figures showed only the £80 million sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid kept the club from recording a loss last year.

With debts mounting - the figure stands at £700m while £325m has been paid in interest since the unpopular takeover in 2005 - the club are issuing a £500m bond in a bid to attract investors.

The possibility of losing top assets such as Rooney was outlined in a prospectus sent out for this purpose - where by law the Glazers have to warn potential investors of all possible risk.

It stated: "(The situation could) limit our ability to acquire or retain top players... the indenture governing the Notes (bonds) will limit our ability to sell or transfer (some assets), but not prohibit us from selling or transferring our training ground facilities and our stadium."

Should Carrington - which is at greater risk than the stadium - or Old Trafford be sold, it is understood United would lease it back from the new owners.

However there is an acknowledgement that such a move would mean United have no say over their future use.

"Although in the sale or transfer of any of these properties, the transferee will be required to enter into a long-term lease with us to enable us to continue to have substantially the same access to such property as we currently do, if we sell or transfer either or both of these properties, we will no longer control them," the prospectus stated.

The club has already drawn a £36m cash advance on an £80m four-year shirt sponsorship deal with American insurance giant Aon, which does not begin until the summer.

United manager Alex Ferguson has said on several occasions that he has access to the money from the sale of Ronaldo, but has not seen anyone worth shelling out for.

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