David Prosser: Why a home fixture is not the preferred option for Man United
Outlook So why is Manchester United considering an IPO in Asia rather than the UK, where it was listed on the London Stock Exchange until 2005? Assuming the club goes ahead with the float, the answer will presumably be that Asia represents a hugely attractive market for the club, which reckons the continent is home to two-thirds of its 300 million-strong fanbase.
The more honest answer, however, would be that the Glazer family knows it would not get anywhere near as much money for the stake it wants to sell off were it to go for an IPO in London.
It is true that Man United enjoys huge support across Asia, but its successes in monetising that support have been modest so far. Its most recent results reveal that matchday income and media rights (mostly UK and European) account for two thirds of its turnover – there is no breakdown of its other commercial sales, but it is fair to assume much of those are here too.
The problem with London, however, is that it has plenty of experience of publicly listed football clubs and almost none of it is happy. A wave of football flotations over the past 20 years have seen investors lose money, the market knows how performance on the field – which is so unpredictable – can cause havoc to the bottom line, and the industry's financial precariousness is a national talking point.
The LSE has played host to its fair share of over-priced rights issues over the years. Still, it is difficult to imagine investors here being prepared to pay the mooted $1bn for a 25 to 30 per cent stake in a business that is loss-making after the costs of servicing its debt unless star players are sold.
Then there is the political factor – the green and gold campaign of the Manchester United Supporters Trust has been less vociferous this year, but would no doubt resurface in the run up to aLondon flotation, muddying the waters for the IPO still further.
Asia, then, looks more promising, particularly as the Glazers need the highest valuation possible – for the sake of the money itself, of course, but also to justify the short shrift given to the Red Knights, the group of wealthy businessmen who held discussions a year or so ago about bidding £1bn for the club.
However, Man United is still picking its market carefully. Singapore now appears to be the club's favoured destination, which looks rather Championship compared to the Premiership that Hong Kong, previously expected to be the IPO venue of choice, would represent. But then Hong Kong's listing rules are more exacting, especially when it comes to the requirements for recent financial performance.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
'Santa Claus' dead: John Moore starred in Coca Cola and Morrisons adverts
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...