Man Utd Supporters Trust Back Reports of Stock Flotation

June 13, 2011

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) would “cautiously” welcome a flotation of the English Premier League champions after a Sunday Times report suggested the Glazers, who acquired the club in 2005, have held talks with a number of investment banks about listing the club on the Hong Kong stock market.

MUST, a group campaigning for an end to the Glazer family’s control of the club, chief executive Duncan Drasdo told The Manchester Evening News that the flotation “could be an opportunity for supporters to once again share in the ownership of their club”.

Drasdo called for a full IPO listing, “signalling a clean exit for the Glazers”, and added that the valuation “would have to be realistic – something closer to £1bn (US$1.63bn) rather than the £1.5bn ($2.45bn) that the Glazers seem to feel is possible”.

In March, United parent company Red Football Joint Venture Ltd. announced a record £104.7m ($170.8m) fiscal-year loss due to costs related to swapping a long-term bank loan for a bond last year as well as lower income from player sales.

Drasdo also called for available shares to be “available to all Manchester United supporters and floated on the UK market to maximise accessibility”, and added: “Many supporters would hate to see the Glazers walk away with a huge profit, but it isn’t about them.

“It is about what is best for Manchester United – the club and its supporters. If we wish to persuade the Glazers to go for a full flotation then a million Manchester United supporters standing together, represented through MUST, could present a compelling argument.”