The Glazer family have officially announced their process to identify “strategic alternatives” that could lead to the sale of the club.
The Americans bought the club for £790 million in 2005 and a sale by next year will end 18 years for the Glazer Family as the owners of Manchester United.
A statement from the club reads: “Manchester United plc, one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
Club statement on a process to explore strategic options for Manchester United.#MUFC— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2022
“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.Embed from Getty Images
“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 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. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
“The Raine Group is acting as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel to the Company.Embed from Getty Images
“Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.
“There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the Company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the Board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.”
The statement essentially reveals that the club are looking to invest heavily into the infrastructure of the club. Which includes the training ground and stadium.Embed from Getty Images
To do this club will require a heavy cash injection and through exploring possible ways to do this, a full sale of the club is on the table.
A potential change of ownership will cast an end to what many describe as a toxic relationship between fans and the board.
The biggest demonstration of this came in May 2021, when protests by Manchester United fans resulted in the postponement of their fixture with Liverpool.Embed from Getty Images
Lack of on-field has exacerbated fan anxiety with no Premier League trophy since 2013 and the club has not won the Champions League since 2008.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from the club was announced just hours before this press release and some argue this contributed to the Glazer’s decision to reveal these plans.
Manchester United will resume competitive fixtures against Burnley on the 21st of December.