Manchester United Expanding Shares on New York Stock Exchange
By Brandon Huggard
October 24, 2021
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Between the return of its prodigal son, the emergence of young world class talent, and the controversy surrounding Florentino Perez’s proposed Super League, Manchester United has found its way into the spotlight—and the sport industry noticed.
Cristiano Ronaldo is possibly the most recognizable athlete in the world with 359 million Instagram followers, and his return to Manchester United sent one of the biggest fan bases in soccer into a frenzy.
Before Ronaldo even stepped foot onto a pitch for his return, shirt sales with his name had already topped £187 million, or $255.5 million, according to Sport Bible’s Josh Lawless. This comes as the most prominent headline in a summer full of events that kept the club at center stage in world soccer news.
A summer full of young players showing incredible flashes of talent and the return of a club icon was largely overshadowed by the actions of its United States based ownership group: the Glazer Family; who first bought a portion of the team in 2003, and completed its takeover in 2005. According to Mike Ozanian of Forbes, the club’s value has increased from $1.47 billion to $3.5 billion since being acquired by the Glazers.
With Manchester United’s earnings well outpacing the money they spent on players, the overall value of the club has jumped significantly. The publicly-traded club’s stock price has gone up by $2.24 (USD) since August 27, 2021 as reported by Jamie Jackson of U.K. news company, The Guardian. The shares, which represent about 8% of the Glazer’s family stake, have gone to Bank of America Securities, who will in turn list the shares as publicly tradable on the New York Stock Exchange.
In response to this news, many fans were upset due to the fact that the club itself will receive 0% of the $186,400,000 (USD) earned by the Glazer family. Reported on Berkshire Hathaway’s “Business Wire,” the closing of the sale was confirmed on October 8, 2021, explicitly stating “Manchester United will not receive any proceeds from the sale of any Class A Ordinary Shares by the Selling Shareholders.” After liquidating the aforementioned 8% of its ownership, the Glazer family still owns 69% of the club, with plans to move more small blocks of its claim into shares in the future.
While fans remain up in arms over the fact that the club itself won’t receive any of the money that the Glazers pocketed, no one can deny that the red side of Manchester is not afraid to open its checkbook and bring in new talent from across the globe. This leaves the door open for fans of other clubs to criticize Manchester United supporters who take issue with the Glazer’s business dealings.
The question still remains: with the club routinely competing at the highest level and consistently bringing in new world class players, do fans have the right to be upset at the Glazer’s business dealings?