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Glazers willing to sell Manchester United for £5bn

Old Trafford (DB)
For sale: Old Trafford (pic: PK Media & PR Ltd)

Manchester United is up for sale, with the Glazer family looking at “strategic alternatives” as they consider bringing their 17-year ownership to an end.

The news came just hours after it was confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo had left Old Trafford by mutual consent in the wake of his controversial TV interview in which he criticised senior executives at the club and manager Erik ten Hag.

In two spells at Old Trafford, Ronaldo scored 145 goals in 346 appearances.

The Glazers have been in charge since a £790 million buyout in 2005 and some reports suggest they are looking for a figure in the region of £5bn to sever their ties.

It remains to be seen whether billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of petrochemical giant Ineos, part-owner of the Grangemouth chemicals plant, would be tempted after failing in a £4bn bid to buy Chelsea earlier this year.

He suggested recently that United wouldn’t offer value for money but now that the Glazers have broken cover with their plans for the club, the self-confessed United fan may yet want a seat at the negotiating table.

Revealing the Glazers’ plans, a club statement said: “Manchester United announces today that the company’s board of directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.

Billionaire fan: Jim Ratcliffe

“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.

“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.”

Executive co-chairmen and directors, 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 authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”

The Raine Group, which managed the summer sale of Chelsea on behalf of Roman Abramovich, is acting as the company’s exclusive financial adviser and Latham & Watkins is legal counsel to the company. Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial adviser to the Glazer family shareholders.

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