Football isn't just about six days of transfer rumours followed by a game. Oh no. There are also unimportant side issues to be written about, like shares, their fluctuating prices, and what those fluctuating prices mean.
Those of you that follow these things may be aware that Manchester United's share prices -- 10% of the club is traded on Wall Street as MANU -- rose 8% on Wednesday, ending the day at $17.65 and sparking all manner of speculation as to what was going on. Over on the Telegraph, TBB's favourite Telegrapher Mark Ogden reckons that the market is getting all flustered in anticipation of the long-rumoured Gigantic New Kit Deal:
United have been in negotiations with current kit suppliers Nike for more than twelve months, with the club also holding talks with Adidas, Puma and Warrior in an effort to secure a world record agreement for a new deal to replace the Nike contract, which expires in June 2015. Senior figures at Old Trafford have remained guarded over the kit deal discussions, but an agreement is understood to be close.
How much, you cry? A cool £600m, according to Ogden. That's a lot of Marouane Fellainis. A note of caution, however, comes from Twitter, where the United-supporting, wise-in-the-ways-of-the-financial-world blogger Andy Green notes that the recent block purchase of shares by Baron Capital may mean that this sort of thing happens more often, kit deals or no.
To those asking why @ManUtd shares rising sharply, I don't know! With 1 firm owning 57% of shares on market, price will be very volatile.— Andy Green (@andersred) April 17, 2014
There are only around 7m @manutd shares not owned by Glazers or Baron Capital available on NYSE. That's only around £80m worth.— Andy Green (@andersred) April 17, 2014
My point is that £80m is a tiny amount (in stock market terms). That makes the share price very likely to fly around.— Andy Green (@andersred) April 17, 2014
Got all that? Good. Now, what's Toni Kroos been up to ...