The perils of investing in a publicly-listed sports team have been laid bare by the recent trials of Manchester United.

US owners the Glazer family listed the marquee English Premier League club on the New York stock exchange in 2012.

All was going well in August and September last year as the new EPL season ramped up, with shares hitting an all-time high of US$26.05 last year, valuing the team at around US$4b ($6b).

Sure, it was another mixed start.

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But the team still had its record-setting £750 million, 10-year shirt sponsorship contract with Adidas.

And even two side-deals announced

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