The Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, have stated their intention to “examine strategic options,” which might include selling the club.
In 2005, the United States spent £790m ($1.34bn) to acquire the Old Trafford club.
Fans have been protesting the team’s ownership for years.
The board will “examine all strategic possibilities, including additional investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the firm,” according to a statement released by the club.
To ensure “the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s, and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders,” the process “will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale,” the statement continued.
The Glazers first listed 10% of their stake in 2012 and have since sold more shares.
The board “has authorized a full study of strategic options,” according to Avram Glazer, co-chairman and director, and Joel Glazer, co-chairman and director.
“In order to provide the greatest service possible to our supporters and to ensure that Manchester United makes the most of the enormous development prospects now available to the club, we will consider all of our available alternatives.
We will keep our fans, stockholders, and other stakeholders at the forefront of our minds during this process.
Since 1995, the Glazer family has controlled the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and in 2021, Avram Glazer acquired a club in the new United Arab Emirates Twenty20 cricket competition.
When their father, Malcolm, had a stroke in April 2006, Joel and Avram took over United’s daily operations. In 2014, at age 85, Malcolm, a billionaire, passed away.
United is being advised financially by American investment company Raine Group, which also oversaw Chelsea’s £4.25bn sale in May.
The club said in their statement: “There is no guarantee that the investigation being conducted will lead to a business transaction with the firm.
Unless and until the board has authorized a particular transaction or other course of action requiring a formal statement, “Manchester United does not plan to make any more announcements about the review.”
United, now in fifth place in the Premier League, haven’t won the league championship since 2013, and they last won a trophy in 2017 when they took home the Europa League and the English Football League Cup.
United’s home league match against Liverpool in May 2021 was postponed due to demonstrations against the Glazers’ ownership, which had occurred several times in previous years.
Before the same matchup this season, in August, thousands of fans marched to Old Trafford to express their displeasure.
United was a member of the doomed European Super League proposal, which fell apart in a hurry in April 2021. Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, expressed regret for the disruption he created.
He has recently gone to fan forums in response to fan anger and promised to sell shares to supporters.
United’s net transfer spending under the Glazers is 1.36 billion euros (£1.18 billion), second only to Manchester City’s spending over the same time span.
After being named Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo announced his immediate departure from Manchester United on Tuesday. In a contentious interview last week, Ronaldo said that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, “don’t care about the team” from a sports perspective.
After Liverpool’s chairman Tom Werner said that Fenway Sports Group was “exploring a sale” of the Anfield club, United’s board decided to sell the club as well.
According to a Bloomberg article from August of 2022, the Glazer family is reportedly open to selling a minority ownership in the club.
MANCHESTER UNITED SHARE PRICE
Prior to his October statement that the Glazer family had informed him they did not want to sell, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe had shown interest in purchasing United.
Most supporters would be relieved to see the Glazers go, according to one research.
Stone, Simon, football correspondent for BBC Sport
That the Glazers consider Manchester United an investment has never been seriously contested.
While they are involved in the football side to varying degrees (co-chairmen Joel and Avram being the most committed), their primary goal has always been to produce money, and they have been successful at doing so.
For this reason, the Glazers have decided to take the plunge and see where the exit market takes them.
The European Super League initiative was the first to be scrapped. Even though Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid are certain it will be approved by the courts, the deal as it was originally conceived has already been cancelled, along with any potential profits.
The increased competitiveness in the Premier League and, ultimately, Europe, is a direct result of Saudi Arabia’s financial support for Newcastle.
It will cost a lot to keep United competitive in the near future, what with the massive expenditure needed to renovate Old Trafford and upgrade the club’s Carrington training site.
Therefore, the £4.25 billion that Chelsea was sold for during the summer begins to appear like a steal.
Since the day they acquired United in 2005, the Glazers have not been well received as owners.
Most of their admirers would be relieved to see them go. However, the asking price makes it unlikely that they will ever be able to buy it.
Even if lifelong supporter Sir Jim Ratcliffe goes through with his summer plan to try to purchase the club, he probably won’t be the only bidder. At Old Trafford, the future may only hold more uncertainty in the near future.