Manchester United is one of the world’s richest football clubs and in 2009 accepted the highest transfer fee in soccer history when Real Madrid paid a world record £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo. It is also heavily indebted as a result of the £800m takeover by American Malcolm Glazer in 2005, and the company will have to start paying off its £509m debts in 2017. Under Glazer’s sons Joel, Avram and Bryan, sales reached £278.5m in 2009.
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