The Glazers’ ownership of Manchester United has come under increasing levels of fire with fans continuously protesting the family. It would now appear as if the family are now reportedly exploring “strategic alternatives”.
The Glazer family have owned the club since 2003 with fans becoming more and more disgruntled with their ownership as the years have progressed, and while the family have been staunch in their hope of keeping hold of the club, a statement from the club said the board will: “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.”
The statement from Old Trafford comes shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo and United parted ways following CR7’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he heavily criticised the club ownership saying the Glazer family: “don’t care about the club” on the sporting side. The news also comes after Liverpool’s chairman, Tom Werner, said Fenway Sports Group were “exploring a sale.”
How much are the Glazers asking for?
This time around, it is not yet known how much the Glazers are asking for. However, when the issue was raised earlier this year, the family were reportedly asking for around £5 billion from any interested parties. They first bought the club for around £800m nearly 20 years ago.
Malcolm Glazer first bought out the remaining other parties who owned shares in United between 2003 and 2005 to gain superior control of the club. When he died in 2006, his 90% stake was then split equally between his six children.
Fans have strongly taken issue with their ownership after the club, and some argued the Glazers were using it as leverage against significant debt. Supporters have been against a lot of the decision-making the owners have taken, as well as a lack of personal investment since they took over.
The situation was then made worse when the Glazers showed interest in the controversial European Super League. An army of supporters then supposedly had issue with the lack of support Erik ten Hag was given during the summer transfer window before Ronaldo made his own views widely known in his recent interview with Morgam.
Is Sir Jim Ratcliffe interested?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is high on the list of potential buyers. Ratcliffe is Britain’s richest man and owner of INEOS who partner Mercedes F1 and own a Tour de France cycling team. He is also a long-time Man Utd fan. Speaking last month, Ratcliffe said: “I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan. I was there in 1999 for the most remarkable match of all time in Barcelona. So, you know, the club is deeply etched in my mind. If it had been for sale in the summer, yes, we would probably have had a god, following on from the Chelsea thing. But we can’t sit around hoping that one day United will become available.”
The INEOS owner tends to hope for full control of businesses he buys and would have the means to do so, thus would be more likely to discuss the minority holding with the Glazers if it was part of a larger plan to take control later on. Ratcliffe launched a last minute bid to buy Chelsea when it became available recently, but lost out to eventual buyer Todd Boehly and his consortium.
Who are the other interested parties?
David Beckham has become the latest to make noise surrounding the potential buying of Manchester United. While the former United legend would be unable to purchase the club buy himself, he could form part of an investment consortium as prospective buyers would be keen to use the Red Devils icon to boost their chances in the race to buy.
Beckham is set to earn around £150million in a 10-year-deal for his work in promoting the Qatar World Cup - a move which has been heavily criticised most notably by the LGBTQ+ community. He currently has a net worth of around $450m (around £371m) according to Celebrity Net Worth.
What is the Glazer’s net worth?
Before his death in 2006, Malcolm Glazer’s net worth was around $4billion according to Forbes. His son, Joel, who is most involved with United at present is reportedly worth around $1b.
In 2019, BusinessInsider wrote that the Glazer family as a whole had a net worth of $4.7b.