After Fergie Time: What the future holds for Manchester United

By on May 10, 2013

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At the age of 71, there were a few questions about how long it would be before Sir Alex Ferguson would call it a day. In the end, Sir Alex decided that this season would be his last, a move which, although seemingly inevitable, still shocked many Manchester United fans, as well as supporters of other clubs.

Sir Alex has achieved more in his 26-year spell at Old Trafford than any other manager in the history of English football. 38 trophies in total, which includes 13 Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League wins, were added to the United roll of honour, while many games where his man-management and motivational skills came to the fore live long in the memory of fans.

Money talks

All the success achieved under Sir Alex’s watch, coupled with the backing of former chairman Sir Martin Edwards meant that United’s financial clout was greater than that of their rivals. Until the middle of the last decade, United were held up as a model of financial consistency, but the controversial takeover by the Glazer family saddled them with millions in debts.

Despite that, United are seen as one of the world’s biggest sporting brands. According to Forbes, their valued topped $3bn, only a few months after becoming listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Both those facts alone prove that United are a very big club in more ways than one, but the news that Sir Alex is to retire hasn’t been taken to well by the markets.

In New York, shares in the club fell by 4.5% during trading yesterday. Anxiety over who his successor could be the reason why, given that he’s been in charge of the Red Devils for over quarter of a century. Fortunately for the club’s moneymen, the share price stabilised somewhat. Over in the UK, the impact on United’s value about Fergie’s resignation was minimal at best.

Unchartered waters

Many believe that Sir Alex is irreplaceable, but with United’s board unanimously backing David Moyes as the successor, the question is whether the Everton manager can step up to the expectations of a club like United. The departure of Sir Alex could harm the club’s finances in the long-term if his replacement doesn’t achieve at least some success.

United were listed on the New York Stock Exchange recently – this was a move by the club’s American owners to try and bring more money into the club. Despite the 4.5% drop in share price on Thursday, overall, the financial picture appears to be pretty good.

Money for new boss?

Moyes will have a significant amount of money to spend in the summer transfer window. This would be made possible because of recent financial results, which showed that in the previous quarter, United posted record income of £91.7m, boosted by new sponsorship deals.

Joshua Raymond from city index said about United’s financial prospects:

“Manchester United’s commercial dominance has been further entrenched within their quarterly numbers. Revenues rose broadly in line with market expectations of close to 30% to £91.7m, whilst the recent success of winning the Premier League will also enable the club to secure more lucrative sponsorship deals and increases the value of the Manchester United brand.

“There remains an open question however on the sheer volume of sponsorship deals being secured, which may slow but could also impact the long term value of the brand. For now though, these numbers will likely please shareholders”, he concluded.

What are United fans thoughts on what the future holds for the club? Get involved in the comments section below.

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