Glazers and the Red Devil’s Ownership Conundrum
With the fate of Manchester United hanging in the balance, the club’s ownership saga has just taken an unexpected turn. In a recent revelation by the Daily Mirror, the American family that owns the Red Devils, the Glazers, have hit the ‘pause’ button on the previously announced sale of the club. The sudden hesitation in the transfer of one of the world’s most renowned football entities speaks volumes about the complexity involved in the United takeover saga.
The United faithful, disappointed by the decade-long drought of a Premier League title and a 15-year wait for a Champions League trophy, have been eagerly awaiting a change in ownership. After all, the struggle to match the might of cross-town rivals Manchester City over the last decade has been real.
However, it seems like they might have to wait a bit longer, as the Glazers’ desire to cash in at the opportune moment becomes evident.
Potential Suitors and Unmet Expectations
Nine months ago, the Glazers, in the quest for “strategic alternatives”, put the cherished club up for sale. With The Raine Group leading the proceedings, it seemed like a straightforward affair. Yet, the preferred bidder remains unnamed.
The owners are believed to have been courted with generous offers from INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the main contenders in the ongoing takeover narrative. Still, none of these lucrative propositions have succeeded in twisting the Glazer family’s arm.
The halt in proceedings, as reported by The I, comes as the Glazers express dissatisfaction with the offers, estimated around £5 billion.
Influencing Factors in the Decision-Making Process
United’s recent collaboration with Adidas, worth a whopping £900 million until June 2035, has played a significant role in this pause. It’s worth noting that Adidas took over the mantle as the club’s kit manufacturer from Nike in 2015.
Moreover, the Glazers have also shown an inclination towards assessing the upcoming Premier League TV deals’ worth and the burgeoning popularity of football in the United States. The current TV deal in the UK expires in two years, adding another layer to the complex scenario.
Despite the turmoil and protracted takeover process, both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have not relinquished their interest in acquiring United.
Ratcliffe, through INEOS’ Director of Sport, Sir Dave Brailsford, recently communicated his keenness for ownership:
“Obviously we’ve been involved and it’s something that we’re very keen to do,” and adds, “To be custodians of one of the biggest sporting teams, brands, in the world and trying to really support the team and go back to the success they deserve.”
Sheikh Jassim, on the other hand, desires a complete takeover.
United Faithful’s Plea for Change
The fervent United supporters continue to champion for the Glazer’s exit. A striking sentiment was echoed by two anonymous members of the 1958 Group, a United fans group, who voiced their discontent in a BBC Sport interview:
“This family have inflicted untold damage, generational damage, on our club. It is personal and real to us… A lot of United fans would happily see United go down if it meant that the Glazer family left.”
Clearly, as the new Premier League season beckons, the ardent Red Devils wait for the curtain to lift on the next act of this intriguing takeover drama.