United fans fume over Glazer plan to sell stake on New York Stock Exchange… and keep half the money for themselves
07:30 GMT, 31 July 2012
Manchester United's owners suffered a fresh wave of criticism on Monday night after indicating only half the proceeds of their planned IPO will be used to reduce the club's massive debt.
Previously, the Glazer family had indicated they would use all the money to reduce United's borrowings, which presently stand at 437million.
Announcement: The Glazer family
said they will sell 10 per cent of Manchester United on the NYSE
However, within the prospectus that
was released through a New York Stock Exchange announcement of a planned
sale, the Glazers have indicated only half the sum will be used.
It drew a stinging rebuke from fans, who took to Twitter to express their disgust.
Not that supporter sentiment has been a significant influence on the Glazer family's thinking.
And, with shares set to be launched
at between 16 US dollars and 20 US dollars, the Glazers, who also own
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise, hope to net around 150million
'Manchester United today commenced
its initial public offering of 16,666,667 Class A Ordinary Shares,' said
a statement issued from New York by Sard Verbinnen & Co, the public
relations firm enlisted by United for the IPO.
For sale: United recently launched on the New York Stock Exchange
'Manchester United is offering
8,333,334 Class A Ordinary Shares and the selling shareholder is
offering 8,333,333 Class A Ordinary Shares.
'The underwriters have an option to
purchase up to an additional 2,500,000 Class A Ordinary Shares from the
'The Class A Ordinary Shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and will trade under the symbol “MANU”.'
On an issue where even the use of the
word 'MANU' can evoke bad feeling due to its alien nature amongst
hard-core United fans, the Glazer family has already been a hugely
Some view them as mere custodians of
United and, taking Sir Alex Ferguson's repeated assurances – the latest
delivered less than a fortnight ago – treat them from a neutral
Upset: Fans of the club managed by Sir Alex Ferguson are angry that some of the money from the sale of the shares will go to the Glazer family
More militant Red Devils fans have
maintained an antagonistic stance, continually stressing how draining
the Glazers' involvement has been to United's finances.
Once yesterday's announcement has been fully digested, more may become clearer.
And it is not yet known what the exact response in New York will be given the US can hardly be described as a soccer hotbed.
The news came on a day United
confirmed a massive new shirt sponsorship deal with US car giant
Chevrolet, which takes effect from 2014.
That deal will eventually swell the Red Devils' growing commercial income still further.
However, critics will also point to
the fact the club are yet to post end-of-year accounts which show the
exact amount bowing out of the Champions League group stage cost them.