The negatives of the recent launch of the IPO of Manchester United Football Club (MANU) on the New York Stock Exchange have been well publicised over the last few weeks. The likes of MUST have been leading a potentially worldwide movement against the Glazer’s plans to pocket half of the money raised from the floatation, while neutral journalists have also picked massive holes in the Glazer’s plans. Along with the potential cost on the pitch, the extent of which the IPO will effect the club financially has been mentioned regularly, but one factor that’s not been considered properly is the effect it looks set to have on this summer’s transfer business.
In any normal organisation or company, a floatation designed to raise millions of pounds worth of capital would certainly be beneficial to any event that involved large amounts of spending. Even in football, where the world of finance seems totally out-of-touch with everything else in the world, this has to be seen as a good thing. But for Reds alike it’s far from it. Of course the fact half of the money won’t even enter the realms of the club doesn’t help, but Ferguson’s responsibility to prop-up the IPO by being openly honest over our transfer targets and bids to show our potential spending power is arguably more costly in the short-run.
Already this summer we’ve seen Sir Alex openly talk about bids for Robin van Persie, as well as a clear stamement of intent towards the signature of Brazilian, and now PSG player, Lucas Moura. In his years of being manager at United Ferguson has, at some points, been remarkably open about the ongoings within the club, but never has he been as open about transfers as we’ve seen over the last few weeks. A few nights ago we saw Sir Alex openly admit his attempts to sign Robin van Persie once again, adding to his admission a few weeks before that he launched an official bid to Arsenal.
So what’s going on? Of course he’ll deny it, but it seems fairly obvious that it’s all an attempt to support the IPO and show our spending power. It’s can’t be a coincidence that, the one summer where we’re looking to make a massive financial move that involves the backing of the banks, Sir Alex feels the need to confirm every single transfer move we make on the Premier League’s topscorer last season. The irony is, in his speech at the launch of the IPO, David Gill said “we’re not here to talk about individual players” even though ManUtd.com is littered with information about our pursuit of Van Persie.
David Gill now seems keen to keep transfer information close to the club but only a few weeks ago, in the build up to the IPO, he was keen to make it clear that United are still chasing “one or two” more players – something Sir Alex confirmed. I agree (for once) with Gill that transfer business needs to be kept quiet because otherwise there’s a risk that other teams may become interest – but my fear is that the damage has already been done. It’ll be a farce and certainly embarrassing if both players we went public about our intent to sign, didn’t; a situation which is looking increasingly likely with Lucas Moura already off to PSG and the Van Persie move “stalling.”
Now, with the IPO dirty work done – you have to wonder if Sir Alex continue to keep transfer information in the public domain? It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether he does or not because it’ll determine the role he’s had in the whole thing. Regardless of anything that happens with the IPO, it’s important now that we get our heads down and focus on bringing some new players in before Everton – after all we were promised “one or two,” right?
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