The Glazer family, who own Manchester United, is thinking about selling the organization as they look at “strategic alternatives.” Here are some potential purchasers for the Old Trafford club if the Glazers decide to proceed with the sale:
Despite expressing interest in the 20-time English champions in August, British millionaire Ratcliffe claimed that when he approached the Glazer family two months later, they informed him that the Premier League team was not for sale.
The purchase of London club Chelsea, which was finally made by an investment consortium headed by American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, was another attempt by him to fail this year. Many United supporters have identified Ratcliffe as someone they would welcome, however there are concerns that his price tag may be prohibitive given that some estimates place the club’s value at over $4.5 billion. Ratcliffe, who serves as chairman of the chemical company INEOS, declined to comment.
DAVID BECKHAM IS PART OF A CONSORTIUM
According to The Financial Times, former England captain and United midfielder David Beckham was willing to speak with prospective buyers to increase their prospects of acquiring the team.
The former Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Madrid player won several awards during his playing career, but his road to becoming a co-owner of Major League Soccer team Inter Miami has not been easy. As one of the key players in United’s treble-winning campaign in 1998–99 under manager Alex Ferguson, Beckham is still well-liked at Old Trafford, and any consortium will benefit from his lengthy association with the club.
Due to “speculation in the media of inflated valuation expectations,” the Red Knights, a consortium that included former English Football League chair Keith Harris, then-Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jim O’Neill, and British businessman Paul Marshall, had to postpone their plan to purchase the club in 2010.
After the club’s intentions to join a European Super League last year drew much criticism and finally fell through, O’Neill and Marshall wrote to United co-chairman Joel Glazer asking for rapid corporate governance improvements. O’Neill would think about going after a takeover, but only if the Glazers decrease their present “unrealistic” demands, according to a November 23 article in the Manchester Evening News.
O’Neill responded to the BBC’s inquiry about if he needed to raise $4 billion to purchase United: “I’m not sure if it’ll necessarily be that much, but let’s see.”
INVESTORS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
The Abu Dhabi United Group sponsors Manchester City, a local rival of United, while the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia completed a contentious 300 million pound takeover of Newcastle United in 2021. Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris St. Germain, and there have been whispers that investors from another Gulf nation may be interested in purchasing United. According to a story in the Arabian Business, Dubai investors may be interested.
E. L. M. S.
In August, Musk, the richest man in the world, tweeted that he was buying Manchester United, briefly raising the stock price and fans’ hopes. However, Musk later clarified that the message was part of “a long-running joke.”
On Twitter, several of the club’s supporters have previously pushed Musk to take into consideration purchasing the organization, lamenting the Glazers’ perceived lack of investment.