The owners of Manchester United are considering selling the football club | Update News

Manchester United said on Tuesday it was beginning the process of seeking strategic alternatives, including new investment or a potential sale, 17 years after the American Glazer family bought the English Premier League football club.

The Glazer family is working with financial advisers on a process that could lead to a partial sale of the Old Trafford club or investment, including redevelopment of the stadium and infrastructure, the club said in a statement.

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Manchester United fans clamored for a change of ownership and the Glazers were the target of intense criticism as the team had not won a trophy for five years. The last trophy they won was the Europa League and League Cup in 2017.

“As we seek to continue the club’s success story, the board has authorized an in-depth evaluation of strategic alternatives,” United’s co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in a statement.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant development opportunities available to the club today and in the future,” the statement read.

In August, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe expressed interest in buying United, Reuters reported. At the time, Elon Musk also joked that he was planning to buy the club.

The owners are under pressure as United sit fifth in the Premier League midway through a season that has been put on hold due to the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.

Manchester United shares rose as much as 20 per cent after Sky News first reported the sale process, giving the club a market capitalization of $2.6 billion.

The company was worth $2.5 billion at the close of US trading on Tuesday. At its peak as a public company, it had a market capitalization of $4.3 billion in 2018.

Ronaldo is leaving

Also on Tuesday, the club announced that striker Cristiano Ronaldo would leave with immediate effect, marking the bitter end of the Portugal captain’s second spell at Old Trafford after he said he felt betrayed by the club.

The Glazers purchased the club for £790 million ($939.07 million) in 2005 in a highly leveraged deal that has been criticized for burdening the club with debt.

United has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012, when the Glazers sold 10 percent of their stake through the listing and have since sold more shares.

Raine Group is acting as financial adviser and Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal adviser to Manchester United.

Rothschild and Co. acts as financial advisor to the shareholders of the Glazer family.

Among the fan protests against the Glazers was one in May 2021 which forced the postponement of a home match against Liverpool, one of the club’s biggest rivals. It was the first Premier League game postponed due to a protest.

United and Liverpool were among a group of big clubs that said they wanted to establish a European Super League in April 2021 but then backed out, partly due to opposition from many fans in England.

According to club chairman Tom Werner, Liverpool are also “exploring sales”. In May 2022, Chelsea Football Club was sold to a consortium led by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital for $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion).

United finished sixth last season in their worst Premier League campaign in terms of points scored, failing to qualify for the lucrative European Champions League competition.

They won the last of their record 20 top-flight titles in 2013, the year the great Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager after more than 26 years in power.

The club hired Dutch manager Erik ten Hag from Ajax Amsterdam to turn around his fortune.

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