Manchester United owners the Glazers have not taken their dividend payments for the first time in six years after a heavy summer of spending.

The American owners started taking dividends out of United in 2016, and have since received more than £150million. They are the only owners in the Premier League to receive money this way.

The dividends payments have sparked a mass backlash among the United faithful, who complain about poor performances on the pitch and the lack of investment in Old Trafford and other facilities.

The shock decision to stop taking dividend payments comes as the Glazers announce plans to identify “strategic alternatives” for the club, which could result in a potential sale.

The Raine Group, who previously assisted Roman Abramovich in managing the sale of Chelsea, will be acting as the Old Trafford club’s ‘exclusive financial advisor’ during the process.

Why would the Glazers stop dividend payments?

The club’s financial results in the first quarter saw revenues increase by 13.6 percent, putting the club within the range of £590million-610million for the year.

However United invested £225.4million in signings in the summer transfer window, including the five-time Champions League winner Casemiro, Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, and Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord. The investment came after several players departed Old Trafford in the summer.

In turn, the board of directors, which is mostly made up of the six Glazers siblings, did not approve semi-annual dividend payments to the Glazers and other shareholders for the fiscal year 2023.

The decision to not take the payments is indicative of the cost of the club’s financial outlay over the summer and suggests movement in the January transfer window, in part triggered by Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure.