The Glazer family are considering the sale of Manchester United, the Premier League giants have announced.
United released a statement confirming the American owners are ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ including a sale and talkSPORT sources say the possibility of the club changing hands is ‘very real’.
Investment bankers have been instructed to advise on the process, which could also result in a partial sale or a new partnership with third parties.
A statement from the club read: “The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize 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.”
Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said: “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 authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.”
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The Glazers have been unpopular at Old Trafford ever since taking control using £500m of debt towards a £790m purchase in 2005 – and many supporters want them gone amid a steady decline on the pitch since 2013.
Discontent among fans has reached new heights in recent years, particularly after the failed European Super League plot, and Old Trafford has seen regular protests.
United, one of the world’s most famous football clubs, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and share prices on Tuesday implied a $2.15bn valuation – although the club’s real worth is thought to be anywhere between £5bn and £9bn.
Chelsea were recently sold to American billionaire Todd Boehly in a deal that could reach £4.25bn and Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group recently confirmed they looking into the possibility of a sale.
Britain’s richest man and boyhood United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently emerged as a prospective buyer if the Glazers sell and sovereign states could also come into play amid Saudi Arabian investment into Newcastle and Qatari funding of Paris Saint-Germain.
News of a potential sale comes on the same day that Cristiano Ronaldo left United following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.
The 37-year-old hit out at the Glazers during a 90-minute sit-down over his recent difficulties at Old Trafford.
And now, United have confirmed that the Portugal icon will leave the club by mutual consent with immediate effect.
Ronaldo revealed he had never spoken to co-chairmen Avram and Joel Glazer – or any of the family – since his return to Manchester in 2021 and declared they have little interest in sporting matters.
“The owners of the club, they don’t care about the club,” Ronaldo said.
“As you know Manchester United is a marketing club, they will get their money from the marketing, but with the sports they don’t really care in my opinion.”
When asked by Morgan if he had ever spoken to the Glazers, Ronaldo responded: “Never. They give all the power to the president and sporting director.”
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