AIB forks out €32k for executive seats at Man U

ALLIED Irish Banks have been outed as one of more than 400 companies who still own executive seats at the home of Manchester United, Old Trafford.

The bank has survived because of a taxpayer-backed guarantee and it needs to find €7.4 billion this year to avoid being predominantly nationalised.

The bank’s relationship with the Red Devils was revealed in a document leaked by a senior club employee as part of an increasingly bitter dispute between the Manchester United’s fans’ organisations and the Glazer family, who own the club. Afterwards the bank confirmed it was among seven named Irish-based companies with executive facilities at Old Trafford.

A spokesman for the bank said the eight tickets involved were not in a corporate box, but in executive seats. The seats cost in the region of €4,000 each, and included food but not alcohol. Four tickets were held by AIB Capital Markets and four were owned by AIB Great Britain.

He said the tickets were bought for the 2009/2010 season and would be reviewed as part of the bank’s overall examination of corporate spending.

AIB was listed on the document posted on the internet by a group called United Supporters for Change. The group said it wanted the names of businesses made public to put pressure on the Glazer family to sell the club.

Other companies listed included Alburn Ltd, owned by developer Noel Smyth, and crisp maker Tayto.

Also listed was Cork clothing makers, Suit Distributors Ireland Ltd.

Its director, Dave O’Connor, said he did not support the actions of the supporters to pressurise the American owners. He said as long as Alex Ferguson believed the Glazers were right for the club so did he.

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