10 August 2012
Last updated at 03:58 GMT
Manchester United has been forced to cut the value of its imminent share flotation in New York.
The football club said it would sell shares at $14 each, below the $16-$20 range that it announced just weeks ago.
It is selling shares representing 10% of the club, which will raise $233m (£150m) to pay off some debt, below the $333m hoped for.
The lowering of the debut share price suggests that it could not find buyers at those higher prices.
The business has been controlled since 2005 by billionaire US sports investors the Glazer family, who paid £800m for the club, which this sale now values at double that.
They also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football team.
The shares will begin trading in New York on Friday under the ticker name Manu.
The club currently has hundreds of millions of pounds of debt despite its sporting success.
Some supporters had hoped that the money raised by selling shares in the club would all go towards reducing the debt load.
A statement from the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) criticised the money-raising plan: “We have made it clear that on the Glazers’ terms, the share sale is a bad deal for fans, investors and the club.
“For the club, this is a bad deal because more than half of the funds raised will now be paid direct to the Glazer family, with a smaller portion being used to pay down some of their debt which they have saddled the club with since 2005.”
Earlier this month, MUST called for a boycott of the club’s sponsors in protest at the planned share issue.
It said this was intended to send “a loud and clear message to the Glazer family and club sponsors that, without the support and purchasing power of the fans, the global strength of the Manchester United brand doesn’t actually exist”.
The club, which has one of the largest fan bases of any Premier League team, was recently called the most valuable in sport and worth $2.23bn, according to Forbes magazine.
Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, recently denied speculation that he stands to benefit financially from the imminent share flotation, after reports that club employees would benefit from a share incentive scheme.
“There is not a single grain of truth in this allegation,” he said in a statement.
The Premier League giant came second last season and has won a record 19 titles.
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Man Utd lowers stock float value
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