The Race To Become Man United’s New OwnersGriffochaz
In late November of last year, Manchester United announced their intentions to “explore strategic alternatives” for investment with later news confirming that The Glazer family, who have been at the helm of the club since 2005, were to put the club up for a full sale.
Naturally, this process has been and will continue to be addressed in a behind closed doors setting however information about potential new owners has leaked over the past few weeks.
So what is the latest on the sale of Manchester United and who will be at the top of the club and when?
The Glazer Story
The news of the sale was a welcomed one in the Manchester United fanbase and has been one protested for some time but why do the Red Devil supporters want the American family gone so much?
The beginning of the ownership was were many problems started with The Glazers buying their first stakes, £9million for 2.9%, in the club back in 2003.
From then, the American family slowly gained more control of the club before accumulating 50% ownership in May 2005 and shortly after this, the full takeover was complete.
Totalling all money spent on the club, The Glazers spent around £800million for their investment.
During the takeover, former Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was an advisor in the deal.
Now this may seem an innocent purchase but the family actually went into enormous debt to gain control of the club and that has cost the entity of Manchester United ever since.
It is estimated that over £1billion has been ejected out of the club to pay these various fees from the takeover, fees still hanging over the club today.
A large part of that money, around £133million, has also gone towards dividends to The Glazer family and other higher ups at the club, a situation that is reportedly exclusive to United.
Below is a figure from Swiss Ramble highlighting the funding Man United have recieved in the last 10 years.
It is quite clear that from the purchase and what followed, the Glazers only consider the club as a business and has treated it as a cash cow.
This has understandably caused anger in the Manchester United fanbase leading to various protests in the form of chants, social media campaigns and even getting football matches cancelled following on from the ownership signing the club up for a heavily fan-opposed European Super League.
Hence why the November news came as a huge relief to a fanbase who had been doing all they can to get cogs moving in the process to remove the current owners from the club.
Who Could The New Owners Be?
The money question, no pun intended, on everyone’s lips.
In pole position and looking likely to walk through Carrington’s doors are a Qatari investment group.
While this will fill United supporters with joy due to the seemingly unlimited budget that will come with the new ownership, it is worth highlighting that the identity of this rumoured bid is yet to be revealed.
The latest reports coming in from Times Sport suggest that the bid is set to come from a group of private individuals with no connection to French side PSG.
It had been strongly rumoured that the Qatari entity planning a multi-billion pound bid for the club were in someway linked to the French champions.
This generated concern as doubts arose surrounding the situation of having two clubs with the same owners in the UCL however these reports have fizzled out.
In related news, UEFA have confirmed that they will not block the takeover from going through despite recent reports.
— centredevils. (@centredevils) February 14, 2023
Plans have already been rumoured for if the Qatari ownership gets given the green light.
It is thought that the hefty investment coming from this reported ownership will both go towards the club and the City of Manchester.
Can Qatar Be Rivalled?
The magnitude of this rumoured bid has in effect silenced all other surrounding talk from other potential investors.
In recent developments, Elon Musk expressed interest in buying Man United.
There are no doubts on whether the Twitter CEO can afford the takeover but the legitmacy of his intentions are unclear.
Musk has previously stated his wishes to buy the club only to renege on the comments mere hours later.
Despite early interest from major companies such as Apple and Amazon, nothing has since materialised.
The other outstanding candidate is Manchester native Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the CEO of Ineos and French side Nice.
While his love for the club and the surrounding area will be without question, his funds are much the opposite.
Previous reports have suggested that Sir Jim cannot financially rival that of Qatar’s bank account and may even have to buy the club on debt, akin to the Glazers purchase in 2005.
As of right now, Qatar seem to be the only legitmate party at the table which, if that remains the case, could speed up the sale of the club.
It is worth noting that there is minor concern from the Qatari investment that late Saudi interest may cause issues in their confidence of acquiring Manchester United.
A soft deadline for bids has been set for Friday 17th February at 10pm.
Who do you want to see buy the club. Let us know down below.