There is enough corporate gloss and legalistic jargon in Manchester United’s United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s F-1 Form Registration Statement (you can read it in all its glory here) ahead of their Initial Public Offering to make one’s eyes burn, including the fact that the club’s success qua football club is mentioned as bullet point one of five in describing the club’s “competitive success,” and of course this little nifty flowchart detailing the new chain of command:
The section on potential Risk Factors to Man United’s business model however makes exceedingly fascinating reading, because it’s essentially a window into what, broadly speaking in some cases, keeps major club owners up all night. There are far too many to cram into this post, and most are well worth your time to read. Here’s the direct link.
There are several gems in here, including.
Our business is dependent upon our ability to attract and retain key personnel, including players.
We are highly dependent on members of our management, coaching staff and our players. Competition for talented players and staff is, and will continue to be, intense. Our ability to attract and retain the highest quality players for our first team, reserve team and youth academy as well as coaching staff is critical to our first team’s success in league and cup competitions and increasing popularity and, consequently, critical to our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flow.
Keep that in mind, Stan Kroenke!
Business interruptions due to natural disasters and other events could adversely affect us and Old Trafford.
Our operations can be subject to natural disasters and other events beyond our control, such as earthquakes, fires, power failures, telecommunication losses, terrorist attacks and acts of war. Such events, whether natural or manmade, could cause severe destruction or interruption to our operations, and as a result, our business could suffer serious harm.
Indeed. And my personal favourite:
There could be a decline in our popularity or the popularity of football.
There can be no assurance that football will retain its popularity as a sport around the world and its status in the United Kingdom as the so-called “national game,” together with the associated levels of media coverage. In addition, we could suffer a decline in popularity.
There is much, much more in there, everything from fear of FFP to fear of Premier League voting, to admission of non-reliance on CL revenue. Take the time…