Manchester United owners offer to sell club

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Manchester United owners, Glazer family, on Tuesday, announced they were ready to sell the club.

This would bring down the curtain on an acrimonious 17 years under the Glazer family.

United had earlier announced that the club’s forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has left the club with “immediate effect”.

Weeks of turbulence appeared to have come to an end when United announced Ronaldo’s contract had been terminated by mutual agreement to bring to an end his second spell at Old Trafford.

The dramatic announcement was eclipsed just hours later by the news the US-based Glazer family could also be on their way out.

“The board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company,” United said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Glazers have been unpopular with supporters ever since a £790 million ($934 million) leveraged takeover in 2005 burdened the club with huge debts.

Frustration towards the Americans has only grown during a nine-year decline in results on the pitch since Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager in 2013.

The Red Devils have not won the Premier League title since Ferguson’s final campaign in 2012/2013 and have failed to win any trophy since 2017.

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.

“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,” the club’s executive co-chairmen and directors, Avram and Joel Glazer, added.

They further stressed the need for investment in stadium redevelopment.

Old Trafford remains the largest club stadium in England with a capacity of 74,000 but has not had a significant upgrade since 2006.

News of the Glazers inviting investment comes just weeks after Liverpool’s American owners, the Fenway Sports Group, indicated they were willing to sell.

Both Manchester United and Liverpool were involved in the failed European Super League (ESL) project that sought to create a US-style closed league format for Europe’s elite clubs without the need to qualify or promotion and relegation.

Amid a furious backlash to the ESL, a match between United and Liverpool was abandoned in May 2021 after supporters stormed the pitch at a time when fans were shut out of stadiums due to coronavirus restrictions.

Protests against the Glazers have continued to be common on matchdays at Old Trafford despite huge spending on player transfer fees and wages, including on Ronaldo’s homecoming.

In May, Premier League rivals Chelsea were sold for £2.5 billion ($3 billion), a record for a football club, to another American consortium led by Todd Boehly, with a further investment of £1.75 billion promised on the playing squad and infrastructure.

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