After 17 years of dominance by protests from fans and declining on-pitch performance, Manchester United Football Club may finally be sold by its American owners.
Sky News exclusively reveals that the Glazer family will announce that it is looking into outside investment sources that could include an auction of the club’s most recognizable football team.
Sources claimed that Manchester United‘s owners had instructed investment bankers to assist with the process. This could include a partial or full sale or a strategic partnership with third parties.
One of them stated that they could soon receive a statement confirm their intentions.
An announcement about a review of financial options, which could include a sale process, would end years of speculation about whether the Glazers might be persuaded by the public to sell a club that has suffered a footballing decline for almost a decade.
Continue reading The’scavengers’ Glazers bought the club and left Old Trafford rusting and in a mess
Manchester United owners have warned that they are ‘running out of roads’ and that they should sell their property.
Manchester United: Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United immediately
Since 2013, the Old Trafford team has not won the Premier League title. They have also sacked several managers following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Recent events have seen the club get into a bitter legal battle with Cristiano Ronaldo (its most well-known player) over an interview in the course of which he questioned United’s ambition and criticized the Glazers’ approach to owning it.
United announced Tuesday that Ronaldo was leaving “with immediate effect”.
It is possible that the family could decide not to sell United, as they took control of it in 2005 through a PS790m deal, which was largely funded by debt.
One possible outcome of the process is a partial sale to investors with capital raised to finance an overdue rehabilitation of Old Trafford.
The Glazers acknowledge the need to invest in infrastructure to make the stadium a world-class venue. Significant funds are also needed to allow the men’s team again to compete at the top of European football.
United would be sold for all, making it the latest top-flight team to go under contract. This follows the sale of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich to a consortium headed by Todd Boehly, who had earlier in the year agreed to sell Chelsea for PS2.5bn to an American businessman.
United’s market capitalization would undoubtedly exceed $2.15bn, as implied by Tuesday’s trading session at the New York Stock Exchange.
Recent reports have suggested that the club would need to be valued at between PS5bn-PS9bn in order to convince the owners to sell.
In 2012, the Glazers purchased a minority share of the company but maintained overwhelming control via a dual-class structure that gives them almost all voting rights.
The club has promised for more than 18 months that it would introduce a modestly-sized fan ownership scheme that would grant fans shares and the same voting rights structure as the Glazers.
Despite a promise to make it operational by the beginning of the 2021-22 season, the initiative has yet to be launched.
Joel Glazer, United’s vice-chairman, made it one of many commitments in the aftermath of the European Super League (ESL), disaster in which the club had a key role.
Manchester United was among six Premier League clubs that agreed to join the project. It collapsed in hours after its official launch amid political and public ire.
Red Devils fans protested against the ESL, Glazer and forced the postponement in May 2021 of their home match against Liverpool.
“Love United, Hate Glazers” is a popular refrain that has been used during their tenure. Supporters have criticised a lack of investment in the club’s infrastructure, while the owners have received hundreds of millions of pounds worth of dividends due to its continued commercial success.
If the formal sale process has been initiated, then attention will be drawn to potential buyers.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is an Ineos billionaire and has supported United since his childhood. stated in August that he wanted to buy the club, but has since suggested that English football’s elite names have been overvalued.
Bids will be made by billionaires around the globe, and sovereign investors will also be involved in the bidding process. They will seek to replicate the takeovers that occurred at Newcastle United, now owned by Saudi-backed investors, and Paris St Germain which is Qatari-owned.
It is possible that the Red Knights consortium, led by Lord O’Neill (former United director) could revive a 2010 attempt to take over the club.
The auction of Manchester United is significant because Fenway Sports Group (owner of Liverpool) also considers selling any or all of the Anfield clubs.
It would be unheard of for two of English football’s so-called ‘big six’ – Arsenal, Chelsea Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Tottenham Hotspur – to sell simultaneously.
Analysts believe that the timing suggests that investors are speculating on the future value of top clubs, particularly in light of the tough economic outlook for the next years.
United’s announcement will likely be made during the World Cup, which is fuelled by Gulf oil petrodollars. This underscores the shift in financing for the global football industry.
Manchester United did not respond to Tuesday’s request for comment.