The deal between Manchester United and General Motors has already proved unpopular after Joel Ewanick, the man behind the deal got fired.
In addition the deal is very unpopular with ManU fans. According to an open letter by Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), a concerted effort is under way to boycott all ManU sponsors — including Chevy.
MUST released a statement last week outlining the group’s intentions: “The boycott strategy is intended to send a loud and clear message to the Glazer family and club sponsors that without the support and purchasing power of the fans – the global strength of Manchester United brand doesn’t actually exist.”
MUST claims that the Glazer family is diluting the team by putting it in debt in the $1.23 billion takeover. The group may be alluding to the upcoming IPO of the team.
“Long term you are eroding brand value and fan goodwill,” MUST says of the IPO plans, adding that “operating profit has been falling over the past three years” and that “the ability to invest meaningfully and competitively in the team is being restricted.”
Manchester United will make its New York Stock Exchange debut on Friday after a flotation that disappointed the English soccer club’s American owners and has enraged some of its fans.
The 134-year-old club, with a record 19 English championships, is one of the most well-known teams on the planet, so the IPO is highly anticipated. But some analysts say the debt-ridden team is overvalued and the offering is dependent on investors wearing their fan colors rather than their financial thinking caps.
The 134-year-old club looked at listing in Singapore and Hong Kong last year to tap into its large Asian fan base but pulled out, blaming volatile markets.