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By ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2010

"United refinancing bond cost club £54 million"

Manchester United's controversial bond issue has cost the Premier League champions £54 million, reports The Sunday Times.

• Ferguson calls for unity at United
• Rooney set for new Utd deal as Real come calling
• Manchester United's debts swell to £716.5m

As part of the £500 million in funds raised by United last week, the club had to pay £15 million in fees and expenses to investment bankers and lawyers, the newspaper said.

The club had also taken a £39 million hit from the unwinding of interest rate hedging arrangements on the debt that has been refinanced by the bond, The Sunday Times added.

Although the Glazer family, the American leisure tycoons who bought the club in 2005, have managed to defer payment of some liability, the club is still paying £11 million of it up front, the newspaper report added.

No one was immediately available for comment at Manchester United.

News that the bond issue has cost United so much will further upset fan groups after it emerged last week the club is saddled with rising debt partly due to high interest payments.

Debts at parent company Red Football Joint Ventures Limited hit £716.5 million in the year to June 2009, its accounts showed. Net interest for the period was £68.5 million.

On Saturday supporters demonstrated outside Old Trafford before the 4-0 Premier League victory over Hull City that saw United regain top spot in the standings. Fans were chanting "Glazers Out" even after Wayne Rooney opened the scoring.

United manager Alex Ferguson used his programme notes to appeal for unity in the face of the financial pressures facing the club and the opposition from fans to the Glazers.

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