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The global economic crisis has affected different countries in the world with United States of America being the worst affected as this crisis begun in this nation. Nearly, every economy in the world has been shaken by the wave of economic instability that threatens to slow down these economies with some of them being forced into recession. Among the national economies that were not speared by this wave of economic destruction is the United Kingdom. Different industries, businesses and organization have registered a retarded growth in the past few months, with some companies being severely affected.
The United Kingdom, having been hit by a wave of economic downturn between 2008 and 2009 is in the process of recovering from what is claimed to be the worst recession since 1960. As a result, there are still economic issues that are yet to be set in order with most businesses operating below their standards. However, analysts have argued that the United Kingdom is still far from being freed from the chains of economic downturn and instead, faces challenges on how it can align itself in such a way that it would be able to recover from this season of negative economic growth. According to Hamilton (2010), there is a high likelihood that the United Kingdom will slump back into economic recession if there are no critical measures that are taken to ensure that the road to economic recovery is maintained. On the other hand, he also reiterates that current economic conditions are not favorable to the running of businesses.
Before proceeding far, it is important to define what a recession is. A recession can be described as a turn down in economic growth that affects nearly every sector in an economy over a period of more than a few months, and it is usually revealed in the real income, GDP, employment, wholesale-retail sales, and industrial production (Bernstein 2008, p.77). It is important for one to understand that recessions has negative impact rather than positive impact on the economy. For example, the current economic recession in the United Kingdom has had a very negative impact on Manchester United Football Club.
First, there were arguments as recent as May 2009 that the football arena remained untouched by the ongoing recession in the United Kingdom and across the globe in general (Financial Times Express 2009). However, there are tremendous changes that have occurred so far and the football world is now feeling the pinch of economic recession. Manchester United that had not been greatly affected as per May 2009 has an uncertain future since the sponsorship it was receiving from AIG is unpredictable, especially after a subsidiary company of AIG went under in the United States (Kelso 2009). Similarly, there has been a drastic drop in the number of tickets that are bought by its fans. As a result, there has been a drastic reduction in revenues that are collected by this club. This is attributed to the fact that most people have been affected and they are working on reducing expenditure and increase their savings. Thus recent company ratings reveal that Manchester United has fallen behind Barcelona FC on the rich list (Gibson 2010).
According to Andrews (2004), the mission statement of Manchester United states that the goals of this team are to protect the brand through evolution, commitment and innovation and through sustaining the playing success on the field and growing the business in order to enhance the financial strength of the group (p.1). The mission statement reads; Our goal is, through innovation, commitment and evolution, to protect and develop the brand by sustaining the playing success on the field and growing the business to enhance the financial strength of the Group (p.1).
Manchester United as a company has been able to maintain its performance standards in terms of finances and growth. This team, working as a company has not only enhanced the standards of its game on the pitch but has also opened up business franchise to enable it to continue earning extra income thus leading to a tremendous overall growth. On the other hand, there are different revenue channels that have been employed to ensure that it is able to have a continuous earning, whether on the field or off the field. For example, this team has been able to enhance its earnings through advertisements, merchandise, investments in the hotel industry, etc.
Similarly, it has continually enhanced its mutual relationship with its partners and sponsors such as AIG and other partners. This has guaranteed it a never ending support whenever it is needed.
One of the greatest strengths of Manchester United is its brand recognition on the world market. Throughout the world, Manchester United's brand is well known and this has led to easy identification of its products. For example, if Manchester United came up with a new product, it will not struggle in selling it since its brand is well recognized among its fans across the globe. Another strength of Manchester United arise from the fact that this team has been able to establish a broad network of fans, who through their buying of tickets are able to contribute highly to a rise in its revenues (Thinking Made Easy 2008).
Despite having strengths in its strategies, Manchester United has weaknesses too. Among these is a fact that seems to have emerged whereby, due to a large fan and customer base, this team has introduced too many products in the market to exploit the available channels of income. There is doubt whether there were consultations with fans as part of its stakeholders on the kind of products to be introduced in the market. On the other hand, it is difficult for this team to monitor and follow up on the products that are doing extremely well on the market resulting in high revenues and those that are not. There is also of focus on football game and instead the company has concentrated more on its business earning. This is a weakness that can easily ground this team since the football game is its backbone (Thinking Made Easy 2008).
There are various opportunities that are available to this company. While it has been a challenge in venturing into the US market with its merchandise, Manchester United Company has been working on coalescing with the New York Yankees with an aim of not only promoting football in this country but of also introducing their precious merchandise on the US market, which would increase the risks if Manchester United ventured in this market alone (Thinking Made Easy 2008).
However, it is important to recognize that the opportunities that are presented to Manchester United Company do not guarantee automatic success. This is because it is not a monopoly in this market. There are other competitors in the market such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea who have for a very long time threatened to take the position held by this club in terms of financial growth, state of play and business. It can also be noted that the English teams are not the only competitors. There are also the Spanish teams which have performed equally well on the market and can easily overtake Manchester United if there are no appropriate strategies that are laid in place. Another threat to this team is its leadership. This is because of the current leadership has been trusted by the fans and other partners of this club and any transition can easily affect this team (Thinking Made Easy 2008).
Forecast the future performance of this company in the UK
Manchester United has a bright future due to the position it has curved for itself in the market and also in the football arena. Having been able to secure a large number of fans, this teams needs to work on how to convert these fans into merchandise customers. As a result of this, it stands a better chance of leading both in the field and in business. On the other hand, there are various challenges that need to be tackled and fixed once and for all. Among them is the issue of financial debt that resulted from the owners of this club borrowing money from bank at a premium interest rate. According to the Telegraph (2010), the Glazer family that bought this team through a loan from bank has to come up a strategy that would enable them to reduce borrowing and work on repaying the remaining amount of the loan. Without doing this, Manchester United will land into financial problems.
The current economic challenges have not only affected the government but have also impacted negatively on different companies within the economies that are affected. Among the economies is the United Kingdom with Manchester United as one of the company that has been impacted negatively by the current economic crisis.
On the other hand, the decisions and strategies employed by Manchester United have been found to have both positive and negative impact on its growth with its business sector being in a position of shifting the focus from the core mission of this company i.e. promoting football to exclusively doing business. This can endanger the future of this company on the global markets. On the other hand, the current debt of this team remains to be a nagging issue that needs to be approached with a lot of precision to avoid plunging this company into financial problems.