Tensions have been brewing between Manchester United supporters and the Glazer family due to the club’s recent developments. The Glazers have decided to take Manchester United off the market, causing frustration among fans.
Since the announcement of putting Manchester United up for sale, offers have been springing up left and right. The family reportedly backed up from sales as they thought that the club may not fetch the high offers they were expecting.
So far, only two bidders have shown serious interest: Sheikh Jassim of Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe. However, none of them have matched the Glazers’ starting price of £6 billion for the club.
Sheikh Jassim proposed acquiring the entire club, while Ratcliffe’s offer could have left the Glazers with a minority stake post-sale. It appears that neither of these offers met the Glazer family’s expectations, leading them to withdraw the club from the market.
The Old Trafford-based professional football club has undergone different ownerships over the years. Initially, the club was a publicly-owned club until 1892, when it transitioned into private ownership for 100 years.
Originally founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, it adopted the name Manchester United in 1902. Over time, the club changed hands multiple times, with various takeover bids, until it landed in the possession of its current owner, Malcolm Glazer.
After Malcolm’s passing in 2014, United came under the joint ownership of his six children. Each received an equal share of their father’s 90 percent ownership. Malcolm himself had acquired the club’s ownership in 2005 through an investment firm Red Football Ltd. However, the Glazer family’s management of the club had been a subject of criticism from fans and supporters, leading to discontent.
The recent decision to withdraw Manchester United from the market has upset supporters, resulting in a sit-in protest at Old Trafford to urge the Glazers to sell again. This protest went unnoticed by the Glazer family, further fueling the frustration among fans.
Instead, the family opted to back Manchester United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, hoping that he could restore the club to its former glory. The Glazers are optimistic ten Hag can lead Manchester United to major wins in the next two seasons, which can ultimately boost the club’s selling price in the future.
Glazer family put selling Manchester United on hold
The main reason the Glazers decided to sell Manchester United was reportedly due to the club’s debt. The previously debt-free club entered massive debt as soon as the Glazers took ownership in 2005. Ed Woodward, former executive vice-chairman, is said to have recommended a purchase agreement that added more than £500 in debt to the club’s finances.
Despite this massive debt burden, the club’s revenue has doubled during the Glazers’ ownership. The club was ranked the third most valuable football club in the world by Forbes, largely owing to the commercial partnerships facilitated by the Glazers.
Additionally, Manchester United are also placed fourth in the 2023 Deloitte Football Money League, which profiles football clubs generating high revenues. The club is just behind Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester City.
It has been said that the Glazer family will once again try to put Manchester United up for sale in the foreseeable future, around the year 2025. By then, the chance for the Red Devils to be sold at an even higher price will be more promising, as there is an anticipated price uplift in TV revenue due to the expansion of the Club World Cup and the 2026 World Cup.
In the event of the World Cup, it is predicted that American billionaires’ interest in football will heighten since the tournament will be held in North America. The Glazers are optimistic they will likely be able to set an even higher asking price for Manchester United by then, between £7-£10 billion.