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Trying to follow a soccer team can be difficult.
One of the well-known publicly traded clubs whose share price moves would test the faith of even the most loyal fans is Manchester United.
Analysts say that soccer teams can't guarantee the type of earnings growth that shareholders want because of volatile on-field performance. High costs due to player salaries and transfer fees
Russ said that football clubs are similar to investment banks. Money ends up in the pockets of the talent, not the owners or shareholders, when things go well and bad, because they can make a lot of cash when things go well.
One of the bigger publicly traded clubs, Italy's Juventus Football Club S.p.A., is 70% below its initial public offering price. It is known for its consistent superstar-factory of a youth team, but the company is currently trading below its IPO level. Club Brugge SA, Belgium's top professional club, put its listing in Brussels on hold due to market conditions.
The average S&P 500 stock has more than 20 analysts who provide coverage, but only four of them cover Man United and six of them cover the other team.
Industry experts don't think there's any reason for further soccer club flotations. Dan Plumley is a sports finance lecturer at a university.
Losing on the pitch can cause a decline in share price. After losing to AC Milan in October, the stock of the Italian team dropped as much as 7%, while its shares fell 18% in one day.
There are other dangers. The entire board of directors of the team resigned amid a probe into the company's financial filings.
The family of the late Malcolm Glazer, who bought Manchester United in 2005, has been distrusted by hardcore supporters ever since. While the team continued to win trophies under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the early years of Glazer ownership, resentment has grown after the legendary coach's retirement in 2013)
Since the club announced in late November that sale options were being explored, the shares of Manchester United have doubled in value.
Paris Saint-Germain, which is ultimately owned by Qatar Sports Investments, and Manchester City, which is controlled, are examples of teams that are under the control of billionaires.
The shares can be bought for emotional reasons. Don't do it with your eyes closed. The economics just don't add up.
David Hellier helped with the project.