Tag Archives: Manchester United

Soccer Is Life: Possession In Football/Soccer Is Useless As A Measure For Dominance

In the aftermath of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid (1-2) the discussions are heated. Reporters, fans and otherwise acknowledged experts debate who deserved the win. One word that comes repeatedly to the surface is “possession”. Here is the explanation of possession in football/soccer: Continue reading

Manchester United v Real Madrid – Ryan Giggs’ 1,000th match

He had to wait a little longer than expected but now it’s been confirmed, Ryan Giggs is to make his 1000th career appearance.

Manchester United Winger Ryan Giggs Signs One-Year Contract Extension

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has signed a one-year contract extension.

The deal, which will take Giggs beyond his 40th birthday, has been agreed after an outstanding series of performances from the veteran and will stop speculation that he would retire at the end of the season. Continue reading

Aside

With the next round of the UEFA Champions League just round the corner, we decided to take a closer look at one of the big ties as we reach the last 16.

Dempsey, Friedel Among Best Americans To Play in Barclays English Premier League

Dempsey, Friedel among best Americans to play in Barclays Premier League – Premier League News | FOX Sports on MSN.

Where else is there to start but with Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel? Both men made history this weekend as Tottenham broke a long-time duck and won at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years. It’s a huge achievement for the club, a vindication of Andre Villas-Boas and most of all, great to have two of the best American players of all time involved.

Make no mistake: this is a massive moment for America. Brad had a superb game and the fact is, when we look back on the best of the Premier League, his name has to be involved. For me, he’s right up there with the greats – van der Saar, Seaman, Schmeichel – and this is another feather in his cap.

Clint is the best outfield player America has produced and sent to this league. When you consider that the list contains men like Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Landon Donovan and my colleague Brian McBride, that really is saying something. His 51st goal did what Gary Lineker did for Spurs in 1989 and it will be remembered for just as long.

You could tell what that goal meant to the club: Villas-Boas’ celebration was genuine, and coming away from this Spurs will be full of belief. Also, United come away with a big, big dent. They have huge problems and how they address them could define their season. There’s a lack of speed at the back, they don’t communicate well and they are far too loose. Spurs could have had four on them in the first half and United’s second half fight-back shouldn’t make people forget that.

 

AMERICAN PRIDE

From Dempsey to Reyna, find out the best US footballers of all-time.

When you lose games like this one, your psyche takes a hit. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. When Newcastle beat United 5-0, I was so proud, and we just felt on top of the world. When we lost to United in 1995-96, I have to be honest: we started to doubt. Losses like these sow seeds of doubt no matter how much you deny it. The great teams come away from both kinds of experiences and dig out the results.

That’s why I think the North London game will have some repercussions. There was a real opportunity for Arsenal to stake a claim here, and a rare coaching mistake by Arsene Wenger cost them dearly. This game may have some of these players – who already have had to deal with Alex Song and Robin van Persie leaving the club –doubting themselves a little bit.

Wenger doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but why he left out Per Mertesacker I cannot understand. People say the German is not the quickest, and he is not, but I see him as the heir to Tony Adams. Mertesacker is a field general, and he knows that what is important is that you know where your partner is on the field. You don’t have to be the fastest as long as you have awareness. Adams and Steve Bould partnered very well for Arsenal in the golden era and I think Mertesacker and Vermaelen have that same understanding now. But without Mertesacker, time and again, on set-pieces, that awareness was found lacking. Arsenal paid the price.

 

BENCHMARK BATTLES

Review the best images from week six of the Barclays Premier League.

Most damaging of all to Arsenal is the fact that I don’t think Chelsea are even firing on all cylinders, and yet they are top of the league. That’s real credit to Roberto Di Matteo, for sure – but I see this also as a time when Arsenal could have shown they really are a better team, but didn’t.

Look, we talk about the Stokes and the Swanseas as the bread and butter games in this league, but the fact is the Big Four clashes are when your players find out what they are made of. All this October, these teams will be playing each other on FOX Soccer and I think the mental part of this game will be critical. United and Arsenal have to dust themselves off and get on with it.

I want to speak quickly about Liverpool and it’s good to see them get their first win. As I think you’ve been seeing on our show BEING: Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers wants his players to be brave, be proud to play, and to respect the club. At Swansea, he had some space to grow the club; he doesn’t have that at Liverpool, so getting this win is a huge relief. But even in Liverpool’s losses I think you saw glimpses of a style that was attractive and signals that when the team gels, they will be very good. I think he has been wise to stick with Luis Suarez and whatever he said to Raheem Sterling has made that young man just tremendous.

 

NEVER WALK ALONE

Get unprecedented insider access to Premier League side Liverpool FC.

Last but not least, I’ve heard a lot about my old team and Demba Ba’s goal. It was a handball I think, but you get the rub of the green sometimes, and that’s just how it is. But Ba’s first goal — to me, that’s a candidate for goal of the season right there. It’s right up with Robin van Persie’s goal against Fulham. If anyone’s got any other candidates, please let me know!

And you can do that by following me on Twitter @warrenbarton2 and ask a question to any of us at any time @FOXSoccer. We love to hear from you and we always pick the best questions each week for Stoppage Time on GOALS ON SUNDAY.

We have a massive week coming up: Champions League, Europa League and of course, some very big games in the Premier League. I do hope you will join us and as always, thanks for reading!

Source: Fox Sports/Fox Soccer

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report – MarketWatch.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — For the upcoming Manchester United Ltd. initial public offering, the “Red Devil” is in the details, since what the fabled soccer club has already revealed to prospective investors is strong on brand promises — but little else.

On Friday, Manchester United (PRE-IPO:MANU) is set to begin trading on the NYSE Euronext’s (NYSE:NYX) New York Stock Exchange following an offering of 16.7 million Class A shares with a current pricing range of between $16 and $20 a share. Read preview of this week’s IPOs.

Half those shares will be issued by the company and the other half will be sold by Red Football LLC, the entity representing Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer and his family.

In 2005, Glazer took over Manchester United after spending two years buying out other owners in a series of debt-backed deals. At the time, the British soccer club — one of the world’s best-recognized sporting franchises, known for its 19 championship wins, celebrity players such as David Beckham, and its “Red Devil” mascot — was valued around $1.5 billion.

It’s that retail recognition, rather than enthusiasm for the stock’s promise as an investment, that may provide support for the IPO. And that may not be enough. Much of the buildup to the IPO is making the stock sound more like a piece of sports memorabilia than a sound investment.

Issues of debt and the lopsided dual-class structure are turning many institutional investors off, said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner and principal researcher at IPO Boutique. At best, it’s going to be “a challenging offering,” he said.

“It’s only appeal is going to be to retail investors,” said Sweet. “It’s almost like having a piece of the Green Bay Packers even though those shares don’t trade.”

Assuming an $18 IPO price, the company plans to use proceeds of $141 million from 8.3 million issued shares to help pay down debt, which is currently listed as £437 million, or about $684 million, according to the prospectus. That’s down from a peak of £773 million, or $1.21 billion, at the end of fiscal 2010. As for the cash from the other 8.3 million shares, that’s going into the pockets of the sellers: the Glazer family.

After the smoke clears, new shareholders will hold 42% of Manchester United Class A shares, which, under the dual-class share structure, gives them only 1.3% of total voting power. The Glazers will retain 58% of the Class A shares, and most importantly, all of the Class B shares, which have ten times the voting power of the Class A shares, leaving them with 98.7% of the voting power.

Such lopsided dual-class share structures have been hallmarks of recent IPOs that have left a bad taste in investors mouths, namely, ones like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) , Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) , and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA)

Adding to the red flags, the company in charge of the 134-year-old soccer team will also take advantage of reduced financial reporting requirements for up to five years as an “emerging growth company” under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, and has no current plans to pay a dividend.

“I feel favors are going to be called in to get [the IPO] done,” Sweet said. “On weak IPOs, many players need to dance every dance to get in on the hot IPOs.”

Given the brand’s global appeal, however, it may very well be the retail investor that drives demand on this IPO.

“Institutional demand will not be great but retail demand may keep this alive,” said James Krapfel, IPO analyst at Morningstar. “Given the float is not that big, it won’t take that much retail demand to make it quote-unquote successful. Institutional investors are leery of the company.”

Morningstar, which models the value of the stock at about $10, said in a note it’s concerned about Manchester United’s ability to earn excess returns on capital consistently given the unpredictable nature of sports. Also, capital costs to get and retain star players are just going to rise.

One way of keeping up with those costs may lie in the bankability of Manchester United’s brand. The team made £103.4 million, or about $162 million, from sponsorship and merchandizing deals in fiscal 2011, compared with total revenue of £331.4 million, or about $518 million.

Last week, Manchester United cut a seven-year, $559 million deal with General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) to advertise the Chevrolet brand on their jerseys beginning in 2014, a deal that reportedly led to the ouster of Joel Ewanick, the GM marketing chief who engineered the deal.

In comparison, the current shirt sponsor, Aon Corp. (NYSE:AON) , who is also among the IPO’s underwriters through its Aon Benfield Securities unit, paid $125 million for a four-year deal. Lead underwriters on the deal are Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) , Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) , and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

That increasing brand value may come into play when Manchester United’s 13-year merchandise contract with Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) expires in three years, either through a renegotiation or through a higher bid from another apparel company, Krapfel said. The team made £31.3 million from Nike in guaranteed amounts and split profits for the 2010/2011 season.

Source: Marketwatch

The Most Dramatic 5 Minutes in Soccer

Pep Guardiola to leave at end of season

Guardiola to leave at end of season – La Liga News | FOX Sports on MSN.

This will cause some major speculation in the coming days and weeks. It already started with the possibility, or speculation, that Sir Alex at Manchester United might have his last season. United rival Manchester City and Roberto Mancini as well as Chelsea and Roberto Di Matteo are now up for speculations.

Guardiaola did an outstanding job at Barca and a line of interested clubs will probably form over the next days. Let’s enjoy that spectacle.

David de Gea and Manchester United’s biggest Problem

With today’s loss Manchester United leaves another important competition and increased the pressure on the team and Manager to stay in the race for the Barclay’s English Premier League title. Continue reading

Dark Clouds over Manchester

Saturday’s FA Cup match between Liverpool and Manchester United put some expression of concern of all Manchester soccer fans’ face. While it was United that lost and excused themselves from the FA Cup, on the blue side of town things are no less a concern. Both clubs started into the season with hopes and ambitions in different competitions. And, a number of “pots” was expected on both sides and in the soccer world, not only in the English, in general. Now, for both, there are two opportunities left” The Europa League and the Barclay’s English Premier League Title. Continue reading

Manchester City’s misery just increased

Though times on the horizon for Manchester City. With today’s loss against their biggest rivals another trophy for the season is gone. Yes, the loss was quite unfortunate and one can’t say the better team won, but losing is losing and in soccer the goals are counting. A few more unfortunate losses and the last important trophy, the premier league title, is gone as well. Continue reading

Looks like its happening…

He is back – Berbatov hits treble in United rout

Berbatov hits treble in United rout – Premier League News | FOX Sports on MSN.

Ferguson wants Giggs to continue…

Experts opinion…