A Level

Secondary History- “Why is Manchester United selling shares?”

A very interesting example to use with A-level students, as Manchester United owners prepare to sell 10% of the club on the New York stock exchange. But why would they do this? This article can be used for a whole range of aspects included in the course as outlined below.

Brief outline:

So why are they selling the shares? With the purchase of the club financed by large borrowing, the Glazers are now looking to pay off some of the estimated £425 million debt. The sale of the estimated 16.7 million shares will hardly dent the power of the glazer family, with them retaining over 80% of the company. Having tried and failed to offer stock on in Singapore, the Glazers need to reduce the club debts. If the sale goes as planned, Manchester United will be valued around £3.3 Billion.

Aside from the footballing aspect, this story is both interesting and adaptable for a whole range of areas within the AS/A2 syllabus. Below are just some areas it could be used:-

Unit 1:

– Enterprise/entrepreneurs: Are the Glazers good examples of entrepreneurs?

– Risk vs. reward: The purchase of Manchester United using borrowed money was a huge risk, but will it reap rewards?

– Understanding markets: How have the Glazers used their knowledge of markets to make their businesses successful?

– Raising finance: The selling of shares is one way of raising finance, but the Glazers have used many others to get to this point.

– Costs, revenue and profit: Basic business terms put into context.

Unit 2:

– Improving cash flow: The share sale will help generate extra cash to reduce debt and improve cash flow.

– ROCE: What is the return on the investment?

– Marketing; Is this just a marketing ploy?

Unit 3:

– Financial objectives: How will this help achieve their objectives?

– Financial data to measure and assess performance; By looking at the clubs financial information, their performance can be investigated,

– Making investment decisions: With the previous flotation scrapped, is this going to be a worthwhile investment.

Unit 4:

– Business and economic environment: Has the economic climate had a impact on this decision?

– Relationship between business and the competition: Have the Glazers had to respond to changes by competitors?

– Internal causes of change: What has caused this change?

– Mergers and takeovers: Is the takeover a success yet?

– Leadership: Is the leadership of the business helping or hindering?

Below are links to various articles written on the story. These can be given to students to give them a little more information on the sale.

Website links






Andrew Dean


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