Glazer family to consider Manchester United sale
Manchester United could become the latest English Premier League side to have new owners after announcing it was “assessing strategic alternatives for the club”.
The Glazer family have been majority owners of Manchester United since 2005 when Malcolm Glazer took over the team after being a minority owner. The Glazers are also the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“As part of this process, the board will consider any strategic alternatives, including new investments in the club, a sale or any other transaction involving the company,” the team said in a statement. “This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including the refurbishment of stadiums and infrastructure and the expansion of the club’s commercial activities on a global scale, all linked to increasing the long-term success of the men’s, women’s and football teams at the club Clubs Academy teams and benefits for fans and other stakeholders.”
The family ownership of Manchester United has been a controversial issue among Red Devils supporters. The takeover bid was heavily funded by loans secured by the team’s assets. The high interest rates on the loans have resulted in significant annual debt payments after the club has been known to be debt-free for decades. The Glazers even offered shares in the team on the New York Stock Exchange to refinance.
Malcolm Glazer passed away in 2014 and his sons Avram and Joel Glazer are currently the team’s co-chairs.
“Manchester United’s strength comes from the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and supporters,” the Glazer brothers said in a statement, a thorough assessment of strategic alternatives. We will examine all options to ensure we are best serving our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club now and in the future. Throughout this process, we will be fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders and various stakeholders.”
Manchester United bill themselves as the most famous club in the world and have significant commercial presences around the world. If the team is sold, its purchase price is likely to far exceed the $3.2 billion Roman Abramovich paid for Chelsea to Todd Boehly earlier this year after the Russian oligarch was forced to sell the team due to sanctions imposed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The news that the team could be sold came hours after United announced they were terminating his contract with star striker Cristiano Ronaldo. The 37-year-old Portugal captain has been at odds with the club since returning to United ahead of the 2021/22 season and had only been given limited playing time this season.
United’s announcement also comes just weeks after Fenway Sports Group confirmed it was looking into a possible sale of Liverpool. FSG bought Liverpool in 2010 and would see an incredible return on their $350m investment if they sold the team.