Alex Webb

Alex Webb


Bloomberg @business @bopinion tech, media and telecoms columnist, back in London after stints in the US and Germany. Opinions be mine.

6396 followers  •  2896 follow  •    •   https://t.co/kB5PaatsfB

Tl;dr? The owners of Man Utd and Arsenal have theoretically valuable assets on their hands. But because they generate almost no profits yet are still valued in the billions, they're almost impossible to sell. The only option is really to sell off little chunks occasionally.

Basically, you need an irrational buyer: a fan with money to burn or a sovereign wealth fund looking to burnish their reputation. And there are no fans who can afford to write a multi-billion dollar cheque with no regard for whether the team will ever make a profit.

The Saudis would be the obvious candidates, and they held early talks about taking a stake in @ManUtd  a few years ago. But they abandoned the @NUFC  takeover amid fears it would be blocked by the league. That would seem to rule them out here too.

Oh and one more thing: I estimate the Glazers have made an almost 500% return on their initial investment. They put in at most £272 million ($507m in 2006 dollars) of their own cash, though there may have been more leverage behind that. That's now worth about $2.4 billion.

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A side note. This unimposing one-storey building on an industrial estate in upstate New York is the headquarters of the Glazer family's empire, spanning shopping malls, @ManUtd  and the @Buccaneers .

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Starting shortly, @mikebutcher 's excellent Tech Media Weekly Wrap. Do dial in -- always fascinating to hear the views of smart peers on the tech beat.

Hosting a liveblog next Tuesday on European football after the ill-fated Super League, with Amanda Staveley, Keith Harris, Glenn Murray and my esteemed colleague @hellierd . If you've got @TheTerminal , head to {TLIV<GO>} at 3 p.m., and shout if you've any question suggestions.

This feels like *very* wishful thinking. Basically, @theathletichq  wants to be acquired by t @nytimese  . But why would NYT Co. want to spend big $$$ buying the Athletic's 1m subscribers when it's already adding 1m to 2m subs a year organically?

🚨🚨🚨 GREAT JOB ALERT 🚨🚨🚨 The crack @business  @technology  team is hiring a reporter in the Paris bureau. They're an awesome team, and the office is next door to @pierremarcolini , so you have easy access to posh chocolates too. What's not to like?

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The U.K.'s getting its own @FoxNews  wannabe, @GBNEWS . I spent a few months poking around and dug up a bunch of previously unreported stuff. I also had a crack at answering the question that will determine its success: can it make Fox-like money?

Here's the car that #Apple 's using to test its autonomous car technology. Story with .

The euro just fell off a cliff after @ecb  President Mario Draghi announced EU60b/month of asset purchases.

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This startup has 18 employees, no revenue, $15k in cash and is valued at $1.2b. Oh, and it has the word blockchain in its name. 's mind-boggling piece

"How many of the Fortune 500 are hacked right now? The answer: 500." Ramifications of the #TalkTalk  hack:

If WSJ report on #Apple  in talks to buy Tidal is true, worth reading this: Why Jay Z’s #Tidal  Is a Complete Disaster

"When the president uses FaceTime to say he's in charge of the country, it's hard to believe he's still in charge."

So @VancityReynolds  appears about to buy @Wrexham_AFC . ⚽️ Why, I hear you ask? It's the purest expression yet of why there's been a surge in American investment in European football. Namely, content. 📺

You have to wonder whether this is the kind of heat prompting Elon's meltdown. With every day that Model 3 production fails to ramp, the horizon of BMW, VW and Daimler electric cars gets closer. Perceptive from

It's an incredibly canny play. Rather than approaching a club and asking to make a documentary, with all the legal and financial hurdles that entails, just buy the friggin club! And do it on the cheap! Demand for sports documentaries from OTT platforms is soaring. 5/

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