As Manchester United owners cash in, need to buy stars grows

Aug 19 2014, 05:06 IST
Comments 0
SummaryIn Manchester, new manager Louis van Gaal has been evaluating the state of his squad after a sobering loss to Swansea.

With new investors to attract and a team in need of strengthening to appease disgruntled fans, it's a busy August at Manchester United as England's biggest club tries to push deals over the line on two fronts.

In Manchester, new manager Louis van Gaal has been evaluating the state of his squad after a sobering loss to Swansea - United's first defeat at home on the opening day in 42 years. Just two weeks remain for Van Gaal and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to convince players to join a team in transition, out of the Champions League and facing a fight to return there.

In financial institutions this month, the task for United's leadership is highlighting the club's robustness and downplaying any turmoil in the post-Alex Ferguson era following the team's collapse under David Moyes last season.

''Manchester United is the most watched club with the biggest fanbase'', a presentation being shown on the investor roadshow declares.

The Glazer family, which controls United, announced last month that it was selling another 12 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The six children of the recently deceased Malcolm Glazer will raise $196 million while retaining more than 80 percent of the voting power.

Watching the Glazers cash in, following a 2005 leveraged takeover that has cost the club around $1.2 billion in finance costs, has proved particularly galling for some fans after the 2013 champions finished seventh in May.

Success, though, has been measured by other factors in the last year at Old Trafford. Take slide nine of that investor presentation. No major trophy was collected in 2013-14 but it did take ''22 days to become the biggest Premier League club'' on photo-sharing platform Instagram.

Fans have struggled to reconcile their 136-year-old club's heritage and the capitalist motives of the Floridian owners whose affinity to United is to the brand's money-making abilities. Slide 17 underscores this when United is called a ''leading global marketing platform,'' enabling sponsors to have an ''association with success.''

Even after last season's despondency, Adidas signed a 10-year kit deal worth around $1.3 billion from 2015 on top of a seven-year $559 million shirt sponsorship with Chevrolet that has just started.

Woodward has been so keen to reassure fans that the owners are not just milking the club of cash that he boasted in July: ''We're not afraid of spending significant amounts of money ...

Single Page Format
Ads by Google
Reader´s Comments
| Post a Comment
Please Wait while comments are loading...