Manchester United have issued a statement announcing that the club could be sold as the Glazers “explore all strategic alternatives.”
United stated the Glazer family was looking at outside capital to boost expansion, which could pave the road for a prospective takeover.
“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,” read a statement.
The Raine Group, an American investment bank, has been recruited to oversee any sale or new investment.
Raine managed the sale of Premier League club Chelsea to Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital earlier this year, successfully collecting 2.5bn pounds ($3bn) plus a pledge of 1.75bn pounds ($2bn) in additional investment.
While there is no certainty that the Glazers would relinquish complete control of Manchester United, the announcement will give hope to fans who have long fought to oust the American family, who also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Glazer Family On Selling Manchester United?
The late tycoon Malcolm Glazer acquired Manchester United in 2005 for 790m pounds (then about $1.4bn) amid fan protests.
Unrest persisted in the years that followed, with more violent protests. Last year, a game against Liverpool had to be postponed due to protests at Old Trafford.
“The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers,” said co-chairmen Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer in the statement.
“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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While any prospective sale is expected to take time, previous potential suitors will be on full alert to takeover over.Billionaire United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been just one of the names linked with the club in the past.