One of Manchester United’s largest shareholders has criticised the club for ‘poor investment in players and personnel’ after the club’s stock price dropped last month.
BAMCO, Inc – a subsidiary of Baron Funds – currently owns just over 13 million shares in United, which are said to be worth around £173 million.
However, they have failed to gain any returns on those shares in the last 12 months after the price on the New York Stock Exchange dropped from around $26 (£20) per share in September 2018 to just below $16 (£12) in October 2019.
In a recent quarterly report to their investors in August, the content of which were reported by Manchester Evening News, Baron Funds claimed the reduction in value was due to a series of poor investments.
In a recent quarterly report to investors in August, as reported by MEN , Baron Funds said: “The stock price of Manchester United plc…has declined because of recent poor investments in players and personnel.
“We feel, however, the club’s on field success will eventually improve and its loyal fans, whose allegiance goes back generations, will continue to support their team.
“The team is also taking steps to improve interaction with its supporters through digital experiences. Expiring contracts should be renewed at higher values, which will lead to increased profitability.
“We believe the company’s private market value is probably 50-to-100 times higher than the price of its shares.”
Shares in United were first floated on the New York Stock Exchange back in 2012, when Baron Funds decided to invest.
United’s recent on-field fortunes have caused uncertainty, but there is no doubting their global commercial appeal.
The club are due to undergo the process of renewing their kit deal in the near future, with their current agreement with Adidas the largest in Premier League history .
Baron Funds added: “We believe Manchester United’s market value is substantially greater than its current share trading price.”
That said, the company have gradually been reducing their stock in the club, after selling three quarters of a million shares in February, before dropping another 300,000 since.
However founder Ron Baron has insisted the firm are “long-term investors”.
Meanwhile United have been at the centre of speculation suggesting the Glazer family could be willing to sell up, although executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has denied the claims.