Manchester United supporters may not get the quick sale of their club that they are demanding, if reports are to be believed. The Guardian is reporting that the Glazer family are holding out for £6 billion to close a deal, which would see the Americans relinquish control of the Old Trafford club.
It is well-known that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani has submitted a £4.5 billion offer through Qatar’s Nine Two Foundation. In addition, Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has also matched this bid. Ratcliffe is a boyhood United fan, which makes his offer the most appealing at present in the eyes of supporters.
The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson believes that the decision on an acceptable price for United is not unanimous among the Glazers. All six members of the family are said to have various prices in mind, with each having their own agendas surrounding the sale of the club. Jackson says an offer “closer to £6 billion” is what the family is hoping for, although they “may countenance an offer” that takes a middle ground between the initial £4.5 billion bids and their optimal asking price.
Manchester United are still a big deal in world football.
There is no doubt that United are one of the most valuable football clubs on the planet. The Red Devils’ sustained success occurred during the emergence of the rebranded Premier League, which is now comfortably the most popular league for football betting, due largely to its unrivalled exposure and the wealth of data at the fingertips of Premier League enthusiasts. According to the Deloitte Football Money League ranking, United is the fourth-richest club in the sport, behind only Manchester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Although the two opening bids for the Red Devils are in the right ballpark for the Glazers, the sale now looks likely to conclude at the end of the 2022/23 season. Initial expectations were for a deal to be closed by Easter, but the indecision among the Glazers means they have agreed to wait until the domestic campaign is over. The Manchester United share price has been exceptionally volatile in recent weeks, with a bullish spike after the announcement of interest from Ratcliffe and the Qataris. This was followed by a plunge of 13% upon speculation that the Glazers were toying with the idea of pulling out of a sale with Erik ten Hag seemingly turning United around on the field.
Despite landing their first domestic trophy in six years in the Carabao Cup against Newcastle United, the United fans did not forget to voice their continued displeasure at the Glazers’ ownership of their club. Co-owner Avram Glazer was present at Wembley Stadium to watch the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over the Magpies, with the American forced to swallow chants of “We want Glazers out” from multiple sections of the United end.
The general state of play on the sale of Manchester United
American merchant bank, Raine Group, has been enlisted to negotiate the sale of United. They also played a key role in the recent sale of Chelsea by Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich. The Daily Mail suggests that Raine has not only received two serious offers to acquire the club in full, but fresh investment offers too.
Elliott Management, which was the former ownership group behind AC Milan, is also said to be keen to acquire a 60% stake in the club. Elliott Management is one of the oldest and biggest activist funds on the planet. The fund trades in securities of various forms, including equity-oriented moves.
Avram and his brother, Joel, are considering using this investment to buy out the rest of their family and rebuild the club’s ageing training ground and its creaking Old Trafford stadium. It’s unlikely that such a move would be received well by supporters, who have been vocal about the need for a complete overhaul of the club’s hierarchy. On the field, United are in the best shape they have been in for several seasons. Although they are still eight points adrift of league leaders Arsenal, the fact that a top-four finish is almost a certainty is testament to the job done by new head coach Erik ten Hag. Few would have predicted this after their opening day defeat to Brighton. Nevertheless, he has shown great leadership skills, with the strength to stand up to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for the Portuguese star’s ill-discipline, which ultimately ended Ronaldo’s second spell at the club.