Manchester United could be on the right track for new owners with the Glazer family ready to consider a partial or full takeover of the club from Old Trafford.
It appears to be the beginning of the end of the unpopular 17-year reign of the Americans, who bought United in a debt-financed takeover in 2005 and have since taken millions of pounds out of the club.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what comes next and what it could mean for United.
“What did the Glazers say?”
A statement from United said the board “will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment in the club, sale or other transactions involving the business”. Executive co-chairmen Avram and Joel Glazer added that they were looking to “maximize the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future”, but it looks like they are ready to cash in.
– What happens now?The Raine Group, which whittled down more than 250 expressions of interest for Chelsea to a handful of serious offers before Todd Boehly’s takeover earlier this year, has been tasked with managing the process, which is expected to attract large numbers of interested parties.
– Could a sale be completed as quickly as that of Chelsea?It’s unlikely. The sale of Chelsea went through quickly due to the unique circumstances left by the sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich, when it could be a much longer process without a set timetable.
– Why are the Glazers looking to sell now?The Glazers have followed Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group in making it known that their club is for sale, meaning England’s two most successful teams on the pitch and their most marketable assets are both on the market.
It comes at a time when the failure of the European Super League and Project Big Picture has thwarted attempts by so-called big clubs to gain greater control over football.
And with Newcastle forcing their way into the competition for the limited number of Champions League places after their Saudi-backed takeover, as well as the price paid by Boehly for Chelsea, the Glazers and FSG seem to think that the time has come to cash in.
– Why are the Glazers so unpopular with club supporters?
They arrived in Manchester in 2005, the terms of their leveraged deal putting the club in debt and costing millions in interest and dividends at a time when success on the pitch dried up.
– So should United fans be excited?The news of their likely departure was met with great enthusiasm, but it remains to be seen who could replace the Glazers and whether they will be better for the club. United fans can certainly hope for owners more interested in delivering trophies ahead of earnings, but as supporter trust managing director Duncan Drasdo warned, they could still “get out of the frying pan and into the fire”.
– How much could United sell?After Boehly and his group paid £2.5bn for Chelsea earlier this year, there has been a rapid recalculation of what the Premier League’s top clubs could be worth. Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has said that, based on a comparison with Chelsea’s revenue, profitability and assets, United would be worth around £4-4.5bn, with an expectation reasonable that a possible bidding war would push the price up to £5 billion.
– What would potential new owners have to deal with?Any interested party will surely know that there would be a bill of hundreds of millions needed for overdue investments at Old Trafford and the Carrington training complex, not to mention the spending still needed in the transfer market to catch up with the main teams. of the Premier League.