January 21, 2009

Manchester United No Longer America's Team: AIG, the giant insurer acquired by the U.S. government late last year, is ending its sponsorship of Manchester United when the $78 million current deal expires in 2010. Sponsorships provide the team with one-third of its revenues, and as Forbes observes, "If it can't get a new sponsor to pay out a similar or higher amount ... club owner Malcolm Glazer will find it even harder to repay the debts he saddled the team with when he bought it in 2005."

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:48 AM - 5 comments

Given the club's global profile, and assuming the keep Lady Boy in the squad, I think the Red Devils will easily find many suitors for the spot. And I would think better of Forbes and the linked article if the only source for the rumor that the Glazers might be selling the Buccaneers wasn't essentially a sworn enemy. Twelve months from now we'll either be off the bottom, with executives eager to show the recovery through a splashy shirt deal, or none of us will much care who owns United.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:50 AM on January 21, 2009

That's a pretty big sponsorship deal to replicate in this economic climate. I know the Premiership is one of the most profitable leagues in the world, and Man U's the biggest team globally, but I expect they'll get a smaller deal to succeed AIG.

As for Ronaldo, I figured he was a goner after this season.

posted by rcade at 12:31 PM on January 21, 2009

Don't worry, Sir Alex: there will be other businesses with money to burn. Just ask the New York Yankees, who are spending money like the end of the world will soon be upon us -- or maybe it's their own version of a stimulus package. There will big fish with deeper pockets who will be more than willing to share their wealth with Man U and gain global exposure.

posted by jjzucal at 09:49 PM on January 21, 2009

As the world's most valuable sports team I don't believe United will have any problems finding a replacement for AIG at the same levels in money.

If someone can be found to give enough money to Man City for them to be able to put out a $150m offer for Kaka with a straight face then there's enough money around for United to get their hands green too.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:21 AM on January 22, 2009

The AIG story actually came on the heels of this.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:35 PM on January 22, 2009

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