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Don't Buy Manchester United In This Growing Transfer Fee Environment

  • Manchester United will grow revenue quite significantly in the upcoming years.
  • However, transfer fees paid for soccer players are rising for several seasons now.
  • Not only transfer fees are rising. Salary expenses are rising as well.
  • I find Manchester United not an attractive investment in this environment.

After a year of absence in the UEFA Champions League, the most lucrative European competition in terms of television and match day revenue, Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) managed to qualify for the group stage this year. Good news for United's supporters and for investors as well.

The UEFA Champions League is a big deal financially. Just consider United's drop in revenue during the first nine months of fiscal year 2014/2015. During this period, United reported revenue of $446.1 million or 14.1% less than in the same period of the previous year. The drop in revenue was mainly caused by less broadcasting and match day revenue following United's absence in the Champions League.

For the period 2016 to 2018, the UEFA expects that the total amount available for distribution among Champions League competitors to rise 25% to $1.4 billion annually compared to previous years. And that is not all. Broadcasters in the United Kingdom will pay Premier League teams a total amount of $7.9 billion per year compared to the current amount of $4.6 billion. This increase will be effective next fiscal year.

From a revenue point of view, investors should be very happy with the developments in Manchester. As one of the top teams in the Premier League and with a presence in the Champions League, United's broadcasting and match day revenue are poised to increase significantly in the upcoming years. However, there is a downside to consider as well: transfer fees.


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