After nearly 20 years as owners of Manchester United, has the time finally come for the Glazers to move on?
Man United fan, and the second richest man in the UK, Sir Jim Radcliffe looks set to secure a 25% stake in the club for a price of £1.3 billion.
The Glazers’ partial sale to the INEOS CEO is yet to be confirmed, but with all other bids off the table following the withdrawal of an offer by Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, it’s reportedly nearly complete.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) and fans around the world have expressed their dissatisfaction about how the Glazers, have run the club through a series of protests.
After much pressure, the club informed the public last November that they were “exploring strategic alternatives,” including selling the club.
However, after Sheikh Jassim withdrew his bid, allegedly frustrated by the Glazers’ valuation of the club, it looks like the Glazers will remain primary owners, for the time being at least.
Amid this chaos, the concern for the Manchester Utd faithful is what the takeover means for the club.
And it looks as if Radcliffe’s offer, while offering less of a cash injection in the club, will see a new figure taking control of footballing matters.
Nonetheless, possible lines of action most fans are clamouring for include clearing out the club’s debt, renovating the stadium, training ground, and other club facilities, and making better signings in the transfer market.
Of course, this will be in the hopes that the process positively affects the team’s performance, with the club’s odds as wide as 200/1 to win the Premier League title this season after a 3-0 humiliation at the hands of rivals Manchester City.
United are now eighth in the league, nine points behind City and 11 behind league leaders Tottenham.
United remain one of the biggest, if not the biggest, commercial football clubs in the world, so, a new owner and a few new signings under the name could certainly boost the club’s performance and re-ignite worldwide interest in the side.
Clearly, football means more to fans than simply just the beautiful game, the national obsession with it in the UK has helped create a global brand.
The success of the Premier League, attracting some of the best players in the world to our shores, only heightens interest in this particular sport, and Man Utd is no exception (source: https://www.safebettingsites.com/).
Indeed, it’s already thought that there are more than a billion fans of the club worldwide.
Ratcliffe’s package offer for 25% of the club involves an acquisition in equal proportion of a chunk of the shares currently owned by the Glazers family and those traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Should this happen, it would mean the Glazers no longer have a controlling stake in the club, making Joel and Avram Glazer minority owners.
Nonetheless, the British Man Utd fanboy billionaire is believed to still be pushing for total control.
His proposition includes a clause that he and his INEOS group will oversee the club’s footballing operations.
Some fans believe this will be a positive for the club as it might improve the team’s performance.
This ideology stems from Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s experience in the football world.
The billionaire owns two football clubs: the French side OGC Nice and the Swiss Super League Club, FC Lusanne-Sport – albeit with mixed results at those two clubs.
So, a couple more high-profile signings and club renovations are expected with his cash injection.
However, his bid structure raises questions about how he would handle the club’s burgeoning debt, which is close to £1 billion.
Furthermore, it’s hard to understand how he’ll be able to hold total control of footballing affairs with only 25% of the club.
These questions and many more concerns cloud the minds of most fans amidst the takeover process.
For Manchester United fans, staff members, managers, and players, several questions must be answered regarding the club’s football.
But one thing is sure: they want this process to be over as soon as possible, and they want clarity on the next steps for the club.