The club has avid fans cherishing the club’s association with the glory of sports on the one side and a significant proportion of dedicated detractors who loathe the club’s shift from being a prominent social and cultural organization to a corporate entity working on the principles of profitability. It was Louis Edwards’ son Martin Edwards, who initiated the task of metamorphosing the club into a corporate organization, by converting it into a listed company in 1991. With the evolution of the club into a global enterprise, a significant proportion of the authentic supporters of Manchester United felt alienated by this novel trend towards profit maximization and corporate sponsors. The bursting coffers of Manchester United started attracting hostile takeovers by early 2005. In particular, coveting aspirations of the American investor Malcolm Glazer, least interested in football, commensurately attracted the ire of the Shareholders United, a front of small shareholders owing a sincere allegiance to the club. An impressive number of supporters even managed to float a parallel club. Eventually, Glazer managed to have his way by purchasing a majority stake in the club. The British government preferred to leave the matter to the shareholders. In this altered scenario, Glazer came out with his aggressive corporate plans. In the meantime, the Shareholders United not only swelled in following, but also managed to garner free legal representation and popular financial and organizational support. Glazer attempted to dilute such opposition by dedicating some funds for the upkeep of sports and the sportsmen. By June 2005, United reverted to private ownership, courtesy the loans accrued and the support of old veterans. In the existing scenario, the club seems to be the cause of the rift between its businesses minded owners and its dedicated fans and small shareholders.In the post-Glazer scenario, the club has undoubtedly managed to do well, going by its augmenting fan following around the world, the generation of massive revenues, beelining sponsors and lucrative merchandising.
Business Strategy of Manchester United and Macpac