Wednesday, January 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

As Man U owners cash in, need to buy stars grows

By
August 20, 2014 |

LONDON — With new investors to attract and a team in need of strengthening, Manchester United is trying to appease its disgruntled fans.

New manager Louis van Gaal has been evaluating this once-mighty club after a sobering loss to Swansea — United’s first home defeat on opening day in 42 years. Two weeks remain for Van Gaal and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to lure players to a team that failed to make the Champions League.

On the financial front, United’s leadership is intent on highlighting the club’s robustness and downplaying any turmoil in the post-Alex Ferguson era following the team’s collapse under David Moyes last season.

“Manchester United is the most watched club with the biggest fan base”, declares a presentation shown on the investor roadshow.

The Glazer family, which controls United, announced last month it was selling another 12 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The six children of the recently deceased Malcolm Glazer will raise $196 million while retaining more than 80 percent of the voting power.

Watching the Glazers cash in, following a 2005 leveraged takeover that has cost the club about $1.2 billion in finance costs, has proved particularly galling for some fans after the 2013 champions finished in seventh place in May.

Success, though, has been measured by other factors in the last year at Old Trafford. Consider one of the slides at the investor presentation. No major trophy was won in 2013-14, but it did take “22 days to become the biggest Premier League club” on the photo-sharing platform Instagram.

Fans have struggled to reconcile their 136-year-old club’s heritage and the motives of the Floridian owners whose affinity to United is to the brand’s money-making abilities. Another slide lauds United as a “leading global marketing platform,” allowing sponsors to have an “association with success.”

Even after last season’s dismal finish, Adidas signed a 10-year uniform deal worth about $1.3 billion from 2015 on top of a seven-year $559 million shirt sponsorship with Chevrolet that has just started.

Woodward has been so determined to reassure fans that the owners are not just milking the club of cash that he boasted in July: “We’re not afraid of spending significant amounts of money … we are in a very strong financial position.”

That’s been clear throughout 2014, but the wisdom of the spending is less so.

Signing Juan Mata in January for a club-record 37.1 million pounds (then $61 million) briefly raised morale under Moyes. But the midfielder couldn’t hold down a regular place at Chelsea and would go on to play just once at the World Cup — in Spain’s group-stage, with the country already eliminated.

The much-vaunted arrivals during the summer transfer period are not established international players. Yet, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrara commanded fees of about $50 million.

Patrice Evra, one of three veteran defenders to leave in the offseason, was replaced with 19-year-old left back Shaw. When the Englishman joined the club from Southampton in June, he had appeared just once at the World Cup — like Mata, in the final group game with England unable to advance.

Herrara, signed from Athletic Bilbao, is a central midfielder who at 25 is yet to make a senior international appearance for Spain.

The challenge is persuading world-class players to join a team that has won 20 English championships but has no Champions League soccer on offer this season, and potentially in the following season unless the team returns to the Premier League’s top four.

United has an admirable commitment to promoting talent from its academy, although to shareholders such players are “carried on the balance sheet at zero book value.” One of the refashioned back three on Saturday was Tyler Blackett, making his first-team debut at 20 in an unaccustomed defensive formation alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

Hardly a trio of names to instill fear in opponents or plaster on noodles in Malaysia, wine in Chile or credit cards in the United Arab Emirates in the Glazers’ pursuit of global sponsorship riches. Revenue rose to another club-record of about $727 million for the year to June 30, 2014.

Despite Van Gaal questioning the commercial demands during the preseason slog across the United States, fans won’t be able to count on the former Netherlands and Barcelona coach joining their anti-Glazer protests.

In fact, the 2-1 defeat to Swansea on Saturday might have reinvigorated the anti-Glazer campaign online, but the movement no longer has a unified public front following all the success under Ferguson.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
2 Solano road projects get green light

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police to offer parenting class

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Vanden to host science fair

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

Coalition members review tobacco control report card

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Officials lose track of billions in funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Catholic church in San Francisco to phase out altar girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Sports

 
 
Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

 
Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Clarence E. Morgan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Julia P. Tan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 11 Comments

 
Woodrow Allen Oakley

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6