United’s shares survive despite Ferguson exit

Julian Harris
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MANCHESTER United shares dropped as much as 5.5 per cent during volatile trading in New York yesterday, yet recovered to end just 1.8 per cent down – suggesting that investors have largely brushed off worries over Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

The English football giant admitted yesterday morning that Ferguson, who has managed the team for 27 years and won 13 Premier League titles along the way, will retire at the end of this season.

The market was closely watched for signs of panic, yet shares eventually levelled out, spending most of the day around two per cent down.

United’s controversial Glazer family owners listed the club in America last August. The stock dropped to around $12 by September, yet has jumped to over $18 a share since.

Equities analyst Richard J Hunter, of Hargreaves Lansdown, remains bullish: “The company is thinly traded and researched on Wall Street, but of the handful of analysts which cover the stock the consensus of the shares as a buy is likely to remain intact, despite the inevitably difficult transition phase to a new chapter in the club’s history,” he said yesterday.