AP Photo/Jon Super
Manchester United announced in a statement Tuesday that the Glazer family is beginning the process “to explore strategic alternatives for the club,” including “new investment into the club, a sale or other transactions involving the Company.”
Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in a statement:
“The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
The Glazer family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took control of Manchester United in 2005 for £790 million. However, fans of the Red Devils have been protesting the move ever since, primarily because of the way the club has been run since the Glazers took over.
From 2005-2013, Manchester United enjoyed great success, posting five first-place finishes in the Premier League, three Carabao Cup victories, four Community Shield wins and a UEFA Champions League victory.
However, the club has been on a downward spiral since then, unable to compete with teams like Liverpool and Manchester City. While the Red Devils have won one FA Cup, one Carabao Cup and a Community Shield since 2013, they haven’t won the Premier League nor have they been competitive in the Champions League. Further, they have competed in the Europa League in five of the last eight seasons.
Manchester United fans have been so disgruntled with the way the club has been run that they forced the postponement of a game against Liverpool at Old Trafford in May 2021 because they were protesting against the proposed Super League and the Glazer family.
Manchester United’s announcement comes after it revealed Tuesday that they had decided to mutually part ways with superstar Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who criticized the club, its ownership and manager Erik ten Hag in a recent interview with Piers Morgan.
Manchester United is following in the footsteps of Fenway Sports Group, which also owns Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. FSG recently announced that Liverpool would be put up for sale.
If both Manchester United and Liverpool are sold, they would join Chelsea as the next Premier League clubs to be sold. Roman Abramovich sold Chelsea to an investment group led by Todd Boehly, who owns MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, and Clearlake Capital in May.