sport

United axe Round and Lumsden

Manchester United have parted company with coaches Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden following the sacking of David Moyes as manager, according to Sky sources.

Round and Lumsden were both added to the United backroom team by Moyes after he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson 11 months ago.

But both are believed to have followed Moyes out of the club after agreeing severance packages with United officials.

However, Sky Sports also understands that first-team coach Phil Neville and goalkeeping coach Chris Woods will remain in their roles until the end of the season.

Moyes' sacking on Tuesday morning inspired the club's share price on the New York Stock Exchange to climb sharply to its highest point since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement last May.

The shares had slumped in value on Monday when reports started surfacing that Moyes was set to be axed.

But the official confirmation of his departure was followed by a spike in share price up from 17.72 US dollars to 18.60 dollars in the first two hours of trading.

Analysts believe United's owners, the Glazer family, had reached a point where the team's poor performances were threatening to impact on the club's finances - the anticipated new deal with Nike has been much-delayed.

The decision to axe Moyes and appoint a new manager appears to have won the confidence of investors - perhaps in the belief that the Nike deal will now be confirmed.

London-based financial analyst Andy Green, who writes a blog on football finance and advises the Manchester United Supporters' Trust, said: "It's telling that there was a level of underperformance the owners could tolerate and a level they couldn't and it's interesting where that level was.

"You can have transition but decline is a different thing entirely and Nike would have not wanted to announce a huge new sponsorship deal while the situation - and the football - has been so dire."

More than half of the United shares on the NYSE - though only 5.5% of the club - are owned by one American investment firm. It was revealed in March that Baron Capital had acquired 57% of the shares - a good investment strategy in the light of the recent surge in value.

United's debt was reported by the club in September as being 389.2million, costing 71million last year in debt servicing.