On the surface, this story doesn’t have anything to do with the NFL, but it could have an impact on one team.
Manchester United, owned by the Glazer family that owns the Buccaneers, just posted a much bigger net loss in financial records from the fiscal fourth quarter, according to the Associated Press.
Citing uncharacteristic early exits in the group stage of the Champions League and the English FA Cup (to which the non-soccer crowd reads as “blah blah blah blah blah”), Man U lost $24.2 million in the fourth quarter. Over the same span last year, the team lost $570,000.
The report was the first since the team’s disappointing start on the New York Stock Exchange. While they were hoping to sell shares between $16 and $20 a share, it opened at $14, and shares were trading at $12.72 Tuesday morning.
Man U is saddled with debt (hence the IPO), and revenues are declining, at least until a new sponsorship deal with General Motors kicks in in two years.
Meanwhile, the guys that own the prestigous soccer team have an American football team that can’t sell enough tickets to prevent blackouts at a reduced percentage, even after splashing $141 million worth of contracts on three players (Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Eric Wright) in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bucs were carrying more than $13 million worth of salary cap room earlier this month, seventh-most in the league.
It doesn’t take an economist to realize it’s not a healthy mix.