United shares fall after Van Persie deal
Following the £24m deal to sign Robin Van Persie from Arsenal, Manchester United's shares fell to their lowest level since listing in New York a week ago. Shares traded below their $14 offer price yesterday, falling 2 per cent to $13.77 by the close in New York.
Football author Simon Kuper told the Financial Times, 'This is clearly not a businesslike purchase - an injury-prone 29-year old [when] forward players tend to peak around 24. Manchester United's supporters don't like the Glazers, so it looks as if they have okayed a non-business acquisition that makes them look good to the fans.'
It is certainly a break from United's normal practice of buying younger players on whom they can recoup their investment if they decided to sell later on. Authoritative United blogger Andy Green commented, 'I think it's interesting that there's no resale value and I think it shows the Glazers have been under-investing in players and this is their response.'
Investors had been warned in the prospectus for United's share offering that this year's net transfer spend could be around £50m, one of the highest outlays since the Glazers took over at the club in 2005. That is predicted to drop around £25m in subsequent years.
Someone close to the shate offering told the Pink 'Un that investors were not looking to make judgments on individual transfer deals: 'This is not an investment group that knows much about football. The management pitched the club to investors on the potential for television advertising revenue that comes with the brand, not about transfer decisions.'