Manchester United Football Club is looking at offering pension plans to supporters as part of its plans to extend its range of financial services.
According to a United spokesman, the club is currently examining its options and pensions is just one area in which the it feels that its financial services division could expand into. Other areas being considered are banking products, mortgages, savings and investments.
One pension product that could be offered by United is a stakeholder pension, according to Raj Mody, a Bacon & Woodrow consultant. But the difficulty with stakeholder, according to Mody, is that as the operational fees are so low, in the short-term it would be difficult for companies to recoup their costs.
However, Mody added that having a recognisable brand name, such as Manchester United, is one way in which companies could ensure that they achieve critical mass regarding the number of stakeholder clients. But he also warned that having a successful brand name is in no way a guarantee of success.
Will people associate Man United with pensions?, he said.
If the club pursues its plan it has an impressive fan base to tap into. In the UK alone, there are an estimated seven million supporters. Currently, the club's financial services arm offers credit cards in association with MBNA and a savings account with Britannia Building Society.
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