Originally targeting a share offering of between $16 and $20, Manchester United has been forced to cut down to $14 in advance of today’s historic flotation on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Glazer family are eager to float Britain’s largest football club in the US in order to help service the large debts that were loaded onto the company when they bought it in 2005 for $1.25bn. They intended to sell a ten percent stake in the business, which should raise around $330m.
The family has come in for criticism, however, as reports have suggested they are to take $140m of that amount for themselves, instead of using it all to pay off debts of nearly $661m.
Supporters of the club are calling for a boycott of sponsor’s products in order to pressure the Glazers into either leaving the club, or paying off more of the debt.
In a statement, the supports trust said: “The Manchester United Supporters Trust has today called for a worldwide boycott of Manchester United sponsors’ products, with support across the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. The boycott strategy is intended to send a loud and clear message to the Glazer family and club sponsors that, without the support and purchasing power of the fans, the global strength of the Manchester United brand doesn’t actually exist.”
Despite the cut in price, the club will still likely be valued at around $2.3bn on its flotation, making it the most valuable club in the world, with Spain’s Real Madrid second at $1.88bn.