Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25% of Manchester United values the club around £5 billion. The deal provides Ratcliffe control of football operations – the part of the club that has undermined the Glazer family’s ambition of a larger valuation.
In the ten full seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from management, Manchester United spent virtually the same as Manchester City in wages and amortised transfer spend, but won 20% fewer points and 11 fewer major trophies. They spent 83% more than Tottenham Hotspur, only to win exactly the same number of points.
We assess a club’s valuation based on their ability to convert spend into sporting success, and translate that success into commercial value. Manchester United have underachieved terribly on the former; a valuation of £7 billion or more may have been achievable had the club been able to convert its considerable investment into more points and trophies.