• Premier League

Glazers announce shares sale

ESPN staff
July 31, 2014
The Glazer family (including Joel, centre right, and Avram, centre) sold 10% of their stake at the Ney york stock exchange in 2012 © Getty Images

Manchester United's American owners are set to raise around £87 million by selling more of their club shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

The English Premier League club announced on Wednesday that the Glazer family is selling eight million shares with reduced voting rights, which equates to around 5% of the business. The Glazers, who maintain control of the club, previously sold 10% of their holding via a stock listing in 2012.

The announcement comes two months after Malcolm Glazer, who led the family takeover of United in 2005, died. His six grown children control the club.

The latest share sale was announced on a day when United shares closed at £11.42, with the Glazers cashing in at a time of renewed confidence at the club and as the team have started pre-season encouragingly with three wins on their US tour.

Former Netherlands and Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal has taken charge following a dismal first season of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era under David Moyes that saw the team finish seventh and fail to qualify for the Champions League.

United also signed a 10-year kit sponsorship deal earlier this month with adidas, announcing that it would be worth an overall £750m from 2015. But they have disclosed to potential investors in the new share prospectus that failure to play in the Champions League for two or more consecutive seasons would see the annual payments drop after the 2017/18 season by 30% to £52.5m.

Conversely, the fee could rise by up to £4m each year if they win the Premier League, Champions League or FA Cup.

A loss of Champions League revenue from UEFA is already set to cost the club around £35m next season.

"Our success and many achievements over the last 20 years does not necessarily mean that we will continue to be successful in the future, whether as a result of changes in player personnel, coaching staff or otherwise," United said in the share prospectus.

"A downturn in the performance of our first team could adversely affect our ability to attract and retain coaches and players."

United said success on the pitch is key to "the value and strength of our brand and reputation," with a global array of sponsorship deals helping the club generate an estimated revenue of around £430m for the year to June 30, 2014.

Claiming to have 659 million followers around the world has helped to drive up turnover in recent years, but United have conceded that "our popularity in certain countries or regions may depend, at least in part, on fielding certain players from those countries or regions."

The Glazer family have never been popular with a vocal group of Manchester United fans © Getty Images
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