Manchester [UK]: The owners of English football club, Manchester United, the Glazer family are open to the option of selling the club.
The American owners are willing to listen to offers after 17-year-long ownership rights, largely plagued with fan protests and a decline in on-field performances as two important highlights.
The prestigious club, valued at around £5bn, if sold, is expected to be purchased by US investors, as per Sky sports.
Manchester United released a statement, confirming plans of identifying “strategic alternatives” and added that number of options like “including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.”
“Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club,” said the statement.
“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalise on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.”
“As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company. This 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, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders,” concluded the statement.
Executive co-chairman directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer also were quoted as saying by Sky Sports, “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the club’s history of success, the Board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.”
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future. Throughout this process, we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
The Raine Group, which facilitated the sale of the football club, Chelsea, over the summer acts as United’s exclusive financial adviser. While for Glazer Family Shareholders, Rothschild and Co play the same role.
The statement by the club regarding the review of financial options, including a sale, would signal an end to years of speculation over whether the Glazers might be persuaded to offload a club which has over the years experienced a heavy decline as a football team.
They have not won a Premier League title since 2013 and a number of managers have come and gone after the retirement of Alex Ferguson, the most decorated manager in the club’s history.
More recently, the club are involved in a legal fight with Cristiano Ronaldo over a controversial interview in which he questioned the club’s direction, and ambition and criticised the Glazers.
On Tuesday, the club announced that Ronaldo had left “with immediate effect”.