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Breaking: United Apply For Singapore Stock Exchange

As was rumoured earlier this week, it looks as though the Glazers are prepared to float on the Singapore stock exchange.

United have lodged a listing application and the share sell off could be complete by the end of the year.

The money raised by selling off this chunk of the club could then be used to reduce the club’s debt.

Read more about what this means on the Andersred blog and at United Rant.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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356 Comments

  1. Legend-11 says:

    Balaji Sivaraman said:

    “Can somebody explain to me why people seem to think fan-based ownership is good for the club? The mere idea is giving me jitters. I mean, do you honestly think a large fanbase with controlling stake in the club is a good idea. I think it is absolute bollocks. Business control of a football club as with any other business entity should remain with a single person (more commonly known as CEO) and an over-seeing group of people (more commonly known as Board of Directors).”

    Yeah, because let’s face it… fan ownership has done a world of bad to Barcelona hasn’t it? You might know Barca… the ones who have given us TWO footballing lessons now, forcing our players to look on forlornly while they walk away with the European cup, basically handing our arses to us on a plate, while being widely regarded as the best club side… like, um… EVER. Yes, the fan ownership model has been disastrous for them, you numpty!

  2. StatesideAussie says:

    Legend-11 … didn’t see your post earlier and not sure if you are still looking at this thread.

    You offer Barcelona as an example of how fan-based models can work. But in doing so, you are being highly selective with your facts and how you correlate them. Are you really suggesting that under any other ownership/management model, Barcelona would have been an ordinary team (in football terms), or anyhow less successful? On what basis do you make that claim? You are claiming cause (fan-based ownership) and effect (stunning football). OK. Prove it. And just in case you’re tempted: no, you can’t use the example of Barcelona as the proof. You are saying FCB have been successful (in football terms) because they are fan-owned. I am asking you to prove that what FCB have achieved in football terms could not possibly have been achieved under a different ownership model.

    But there is more to this. A lot of United fans have bitched about the Glazers and the debt. (I wonder if you are one of them?) But compared to FCB, we are rank amateurs in the creative accounting department.

    A year ago, FCB’s own independent auditors, Deloitte, examined the books and declared the club insolvent. As you may know, ‘insolvency’ and ‘bankruptcy’ are basically the same thing: one is how accountants say ‘you’re broke’, the other is how lawyers say it. So when your auditors say you’re insolvent, it is no mere technicality. FCB’s debts at that time represented a whopping 58% of the club’s entire value — not its revenue, its value. (If our debts stood at 58% of market value, we would have debts well over 1 billion.)

    In fact, FCB were so broke, they couldn’t afford to pay their own players. So they went cap-in-hand to a bank and borrowed 150 million. (It gives some insight as to the strength of their connections, that they could borrow that much having already been declared insolvent.) In the year since then, while winning yet another Euro Double, FCB have lost a further 80 million.

    FCB right now are the best football team in the business. But they are financially fucked, being propped up by powerful friends in business and government. They have the highest average player salary of any team in any sport in the world — in US dollars, the average player salary at FCB is $152,130 a week.

    And I haven’t gotten to the politics yet. Pep Guardiola is a brilliant coach. He’s also a very smart man who knows the club inside out, having been there since his early teens. And, of course, he has been amazingly successful. Yet he is all too aware of how painful the politics at Barcelona can be. The problem is that, being fan-owned, the club’s officials (his bosses) have to be elected, and that of course opens the whole process to lies, stupid promises, in-fighting — all the shit that goes with the horrible business of politics wherever it is practised and the stakes are high. So what does he do? He signs one-year contracts. At the end of each season, he sniffs the political winds, and then decides if he wants to sign on for another year. It is the only way he can keep himself “clean” and free of political pressure — continued success on the field in combination with the constant threat to simply walk away at the end of any season if they so much as fuck with him or his team.

    So there you have it, a run-down of Barcelona under this fan-owned model that you like so much: fantastically successful on the field, financially fucked, riddled with politics and unable to get their great coach to sign any contract longer than a year.

  3. King Eric says:

    Legend – Barca couldnt pay their fucking wages a few weeks back and also have huge debt. As stateside has put better than me, their onfield success has fuck all to do with being fan owned. Its to do with a pool of players that have been top drawer through the academy. What a very short sighted view pal.

    Stateside – Great post mate.

  4. Zibbie says:

    some smart people here on RoM.

  5. smartalex says:

    The Manchester United Supporters Trust have created a new campaign to attack the club’s American owners, using United legend, George Best. Taking inspiration from WWII recruitment posters, it features Best with the words: “United Needs You” and “The only thing we want to lose this season is the debt.”
    http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-news/north-west-marketing-services/must-uses-george-best-to-tackle-glazers-20110824100955231

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