Tag Archives: Manchester United

Soccer, Soccer Is Life, The Main Street Analyst

Beckham, “Class Of ’92″ And The Royal Qatari Family Buying Manchester United – The Best Football/Soccer Idea…

I was just reading a report in the Daily Mail that David Beckham, his friends and ex-team mates of the “Class of ’92″ (Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and the Nevil brothers) are bidding to acquire Manchester United from the Glazer family. The bid is supposed to be funded by the Royal Qatari Family and is over 2 billion English Pounds.

Well, when the “Daily Mail” and “The Sun” report news, one never knows how much of it, or anything at all, is true. So, it is kind of difficult to add some meat to this. However, if the news has legs, this is probably the best football/soccer idea for over 40 years.

Why is that? Well, do you know Bayern Munich? Over 40 years ago an ex-player took over the business matters in that club. The guys name: Uli Hoeness! As a world cup winner with Germany in 1974 and multiple domestic title winner with Bayern Munich, there was no doubt that Hoeness knew what’s going on in the football/ soccer world. The guy has also displayed a huge mind and sense for business and made Bayern Munich one of the most successful clubs of recent times. As of today, Bayern is arguably the best team in the world. And it doesn’t look like this will change quickly.

Not that Manchester United was unsuccessful over the past 2 decades, the opposite is true, they had lots of success. However, recent changes, most notably Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement let the club slide down the rankings like a bobsled the ice track at the Olympics. As it stands today, it requires a major financial infusion to get the team back on track. On track means on top of the English Premier League, not second, third or fourth. On whether that will be sufficiently accomplished under the current ownership has to be seen. The Glazer’s have been known to fill their own pockets first, before significant money has been spent to strengthen the team.

Beckham and his friends have the same understanding of football/soccer that Hoeness had when he started at Bayern. Over time, he got many other German football greats in to the management team. Beckenbauer and Rummenigge are the best known. Both are still in more or less important roles active at the club. Beckham and his friends would find a franchise that is already established as a brand and could start the project of bringing Manchester United back to relevance way further down the road than Hoeness with Bayern did over 40 years ago. These guys know football/soccer and as far as I can tell, at least Beckham has a sense of big business. There is a good chance that this idea could turn out to be a fantastic one.

If true, this could be huge for Manchester United and English football/soccer. For my part, not as a Manchester United fan, but as a football/soccer fan, I am hoping!

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Social Media Blunder: Manchester United Follows JP Morgan With Ridiculous Twitter Campaign

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Monday is a day of catching up in the office. As a social media consultant with a life, my activities over the weekend are for the most part limited. I hang out with my daughter, with my girlfriend and/or enjoy New York City. I also watch a lot of soccer, as much as the two above allow it.

Today I read in the soccer and social media news how Manchester United’s marketing, pr and social media department allowed a major NoNo to happen. The experts put poor player Michael Carrick on the hot seat and let him be grilled by their own fans and fans of the opposition. Manchester United launched a Twitter hashtag #AskCarrick and people from all over the place started firing.

The club is going through a major crisis at this time. With famous Sir Alex Ferguson retired and a new coach in place, the change hasn’t been blessed with great success. That in itself is to no surprise to those that have an understanding of the sport. Changing leadership, especially in this case, will cause some hick-ups and it might take some time until the great English soccer club will be back to “normal”.

Two months ago a major US bank made a similar mistake. They put an executive, one that had some major activity in the financial crisis going on, on Twitter with the hashtag #AskJPM. Going through all kind of crisis’, no wonder that attempt to engage with “fans” went out of hand as well, and the press reported about it with delight. And so it is happening with poor Michael Carrick, who got a cold shower from participants. Check some of the tweets below:

 

 

 

More Tweets can be found here:

I am wondering how these marketing/pr/social media departments tick. Has anyone an idea how much this can hurt a brand or marketing revenues? How about protecting your employees from public punishment? No?

Lesson number one for social media people in times of crisis (and you should know this if you work for organizations such as JP Morgan or Manchester United):

“Don’t set your employees or players up for a beating from the angry public if your organization already has major problems to keep the lid on a boiling pot of water”.

There are so many ways to use social media to your advantage, don’t complicate things with foolish activities. And sometimes it is even better to just proceed with daily business and not run any extraordinary activities until a major win is booked.

Soccer Is Life: Possession In Football/Soccer Is Useless As A Measure For Dominance

In the aftermath of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid (1-2) the discussions are heated. Reporters, fans and otherwise acknowledged experts debate who deserved the win. One word that comes repeatedly to the surface is “possession”. Here is the explanation of possession in football/soccer: Continue reading

Manchester United Winger Ryan Giggs Signs One-Year Contract Extension

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has signed a one-year contract extension.

The deal, which will take Giggs beyond his 40th birthday, has been agreed after an outstanding series of performances from the veteran and will stop speculation that he would retire at the end of the season. Continue reading

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United – No love lost! – Infographic

With the next round of the UEFA Champions League just round the corner, we decided to take a closer look at one of the big ties as we reach the last 16. Continue reading

Dempsey, Friedel Among Best Americans To Play in Barclays English Premier League

Dempsey, Friedel among best Americans to play in Barclays Premier League – Premier League News | FOX Sports on MSN.

Where else is there to start but with Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel? Both men made history this weekend as Tottenham broke a long-time duck and won at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years. It’s a huge achievement for the club, a vindication of Andre Villas-Boas and most of all, great to have two of the best American players of all time involved.

Make no mistake: this is a massive moment for America. Brad had a superb game and the fact is, when we look back on the best of the Premier League, his name has to be involved. For me, he’s right up there with the greats – van der Saar, Seaman, Schmeichel – and this is another feather in his cap.

Clint is the best outfield player America has produced and sent to this league. When you consider that the list contains men like Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Landon Donovan and my colleague Brian McBride, that really is saying something. His 51st goal did what Gary Lineker did for Spurs in 1989 and it will be remembered for just as long.

You could tell what that goal meant to the club: Villas-Boas’ celebration was genuine, and coming away from this Spurs will be full of belief. Also, United come away with a big, big dent. They have huge problems and how they address them could define their season. There’s a lack of speed at the back, they don’t communicate well and they are far too loose. Spurs could have had four on them in the first half and United’s second half fight-back shouldn’t make people forget that.

 

AMERICAN PRIDE

From Dempsey to Reyna, find out the best US footballers of all-time.

When you lose games like this one, your psyche takes a hit. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. When Newcastle beat United 5-0, I was so proud, and we just felt on top of the world. When we lost to United in 1995-96, I have to be honest: we started to doubt. Losses like these sow seeds of doubt no matter how much you deny it. The great teams come away from both kinds of experiences and dig out the results.

That’s why I think the North London game will have some repercussions. There was a real opportunity for Arsenal to stake a claim here, and a rare coaching mistake by Arsene Wenger cost them dearly. This game may have some of these players – who already have had to deal with Alex Song and Robin van Persie leaving the club –doubting themselves a little bit.

Wenger doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but why he left out Per Mertesacker I cannot understand. People say the German is not the quickest, and he is not, but I see him as the heir to Tony Adams. Mertesacker is a field general, and he knows that what is important is that you know where your partner is on the field. You don’t have to be the fastest as long as you have awareness. Adams and Steve Bould partnered very well for Arsenal in the golden era and I think Mertesacker and Vermaelen have that same understanding now. But without Mertesacker, time and again, on set-pieces, that awareness was found lacking. Arsenal paid the price.

 

BENCHMARK BATTLES

Review the best images from week six of the Barclays Premier League.

Most damaging of all to Arsenal is the fact that I don’t think Chelsea are even firing on all cylinders, and yet they are top of the league. That’s real credit to Roberto Di Matteo, for sure – but I see this also as a time when Arsenal could have shown they really are a better team, but didn’t.

Look, we talk about the Stokes and the Swanseas as the bread and butter games in this league, but the fact is the Big Four clashes are when your players find out what they are made of. All this October, these teams will be playing each other on FOX Soccer and I think the mental part of this game will be critical. United and Arsenal have to dust themselves off and get on with it.

I want to speak quickly about Liverpool and it’s good to see them get their first win. As I think you’ve been seeing on our show BEING: Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers wants his players to be brave, be proud to play, and to respect the club. At Swansea, he had some space to grow the club; he doesn’t have that at Liverpool, so getting this win is a huge relief. But even in Liverpool’s losses I think you saw glimpses of a style that was attractive and signals that when the team gels, they will be very good. I think he has been wise to stick with Luis Suarez and whatever he said to Raheem Sterling has made that young man just tremendous.

 

NEVER WALK ALONE

Get unprecedented insider access to Premier League side Liverpool FC.

Last but not least, I’ve heard a lot about my old team and Demba Ba’s goal. It was a handball I think, but you get the rub of the green sometimes, and that’s just how it is. But Ba’s first goal — to me, that’s a candidate for goal of the season right there. It’s right up with Robin van Persie’s goal against Fulham. If anyone’s got any other candidates, please let me know!

And you can do that by following me on Twitter @warrenbarton2 and ask a question to any of us at any time @FOXSoccer. We love to hear from you and we always pick the best questions each week for Stoppage Time on GOALS ON SUNDAY.

We have a massive week coming up: Champions League, Europa League and of course, some very big games in the Premier League. I do hope you will join us and as always, thanks for reading!

Source: Fox Sports/Fox Soccer

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report – MarketWatch.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — For the upcoming Manchester United Ltd. initial public offering, the “Red Devil” is in the details, since what the fabled soccer club has already revealed to prospective investors is strong on brand promises — but little else.

On Friday, Manchester United (PRE-IPO:MANU) is set to begin trading on the NYSE Euronext’s (NYSE:NYX) New York Stock Exchange following an offering of 16.7 million Class A shares with a current pricing range of between $16 and $20 a share. Read preview of this week’s IPOs.

Half those shares will be issued by the company and the other half will be sold by Red Football LLC, the entity representing Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer and his family.

In 2005, Glazer took over Manchester United after spending two years buying out other owners in a series of debt-backed deals. At the time, the British soccer club — one of the world’s best-recognized sporting franchises, known for its 19 championship wins, celebrity players such as David Beckham, and its “Red Devil” mascot — was valued around $1.5 billion.

It’s that retail recognition, rather than enthusiasm for the stock’s promise as an investment, that may provide support for the IPO. And that may not be enough. Much of the buildup to the IPO is making the stock sound more like a piece of sports memorabilia than a sound investment.

Issues of debt and the lopsided dual-class structure are turning many institutional investors off, said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner and principal researcher at IPO Boutique. At best, it’s going to be “a challenging offering,” he said.

“It’s only appeal is going to be to retail investors,” said Sweet. “It’s almost like having a piece of the Green Bay Packers even though those shares don’t trade.”

Assuming an $18 IPO price, the company plans to use proceeds of $141 million from 8.3 million issued shares to help pay down debt, which is currently listed as £437 million, or about $684 million, according to the prospectus. That’s down from a peak of £773 million, or $1.21 billion, at the end of fiscal 2010. As for the cash from the other 8.3 million shares, that’s going into the pockets of the sellers: the Glazer family.

After the smoke clears, new shareholders will hold 42% of Manchester United Class A shares, which, under the dual-class share structure, gives them only 1.3% of total voting power. The Glazers will retain 58% of the Class A shares, and most importantly, all of the Class B shares, which have ten times the voting power of the Class A shares, leaving them with 98.7% of the voting power.

Such lopsided dual-class share structures have been hallmarks of recent IPOs that have left a bad taste in investors mouths, namely, ones like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) , Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) , and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA)

Adding to the red flags, the company in charge of the 134-year-old soccer team will also take advantage of reduced financial reporting requirements for up to five years as an “emerging growth company” under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, and has no current plans to pay a dividend.

“I feel favors are going to be called in to get [the IPO] done,” Sweet said. “On weak IPOs, many players need to dance every dance to get in on the hot IPOs.”

Given the brand’s global appeal, however, it may very well be the retail investor that drives demand on this IPO.

“Institutional demand will not be great but retail demand may keep this alive,” said James Krapfel, IPO analyst at Morningstar. “Given the float is not that big, it won’t take that much retail demand to make it quote-unquote successful. Institutional investors are leery of the company.”

Morningstar, which models the value of the stock at about $10, said in a note it’s concerned about Manchester United’s ability to earn excess returns on capital consistently given the unpredictable nature of sports. Also, capital costs to get and retain star players are just going to rise.

One way of keeping up with those costs may lie in the bankability of Manchester United’s brand. The team made £103.4 million, or about $162 million, from sponsorship and merchandizing deals in fiscal 2011, compared with total revenue of £331.4 million, or about $518 million.

Last week, Manchester United cut a seven-year, $559 million deal with General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) to advertise the Chevrolet brand on their jerseys beginning in 2014, a deal that reportedly led to the ouster of Joel Ewanick, the GM marketing chief who engineered the deal.

In comparison, the current shirt sponsor, Aon Corp. (NYSE:AON) , who is also among the IPO’s underwriters through its Aon Benfield Securities unit, paid $125 million for a four-year deal. Lead underwriters on the deal are Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) , Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) , and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

That increasing brand value may come into play when Manchester United’s 13-year merchandise contract with Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) expires in three years, either through a renegotiation or through a higher bid from another apparel company, Krapfel said. The team made £31.3 million from Nike in guaranteed amounts and split profits for the 2010/2011 season.

Source: Marketwatch

Pep Guardiola to leave at end of season

Guardiola to leave at end of season – La Liga News | FOX Sports on MSN.

This will cause some major speculation in the coming days and weeks. It already started with the possibility, or speculation, that Sir Alex at Manchester United might have his last season. United rival Manchester City and Roberto Mancini as well as Chelsea and Roberto Di Matteo are now up for speculations.

Guardiaola did an outstanding job at Barca and a line of interested clubs will probably form over the next days. Let’s enjoy that spectacle.