In November 2022, the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, sent shockwaves through the football world when they announced their consideration of selling the renowned club as part of their exploration of strategic alternatives.
This revelation was met with an outpouring of emotions from the fanbase, characterized by overwhelming displeasure and frustration.
However, despite initial hopes for a swift resolution, nearly nine months have elapsed since the announcement, leaving the Glazers still at the helm of Manchester United.
The prolonged nature of this ownership saga has plunged the club into a state of uncertainty, leaving fans yearning for a resolution that remains elusive.
Week after week, reports emerge suggesting an imminent breakthrough in the sale, only to leave supporters disheartened by the lack of progress.
Who are the Bidders?
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Qatar-backed bid and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group have emerged as the primary contenders in the race to acquire Manchester United.
These potential buyers offer different visions for the future of the club, with each proposal having its own unique implications.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a figure highly regarded by many Manchester United fans, has put forward a bid that includes an option for two of the Glazer family members, Avram and Joel Glazer, to retain minority ownership stakes in the club.
While Ratcliffe’s bid may be appealing to supporters due to his positive reputation, the Glazers’ potential involvement raises concerns about their continued influence, albeit in a diminished capacity. In this scenario, the Glazers would remain as financial contributors to the club but would not hold decision-making powers.
On the other hand, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, leading a Qatari consortium, has expressed a desire to acquire a 100% stake in Manchester United and its associated assets.
The Sheikh’s bid is fully funded by his Nine Two Foundation, raising the possibility of a debt-free future for the club.
This potential sale could inject substantial financial resources into Manchester United, enabling investments in various areas such as the football teams, the training center, the stadium, infrastructure, fan experience, and community initiatives.
Why so much delay?
The primary hurdle in the sale of Manchester United lies with the Glazer family themselves, as has often been the case according to reports.
Joel Glazer, holding the largest stake of nearly 20%, is reportedly determined to retain control of the club with a new financial partner. Avram Glazer, his brother, is open to either staying on or pursuing a complete sale.
However, the six Glazer siblings collectively lack the authority to make a unilateral decision without unanimous agreement, and it appears that the remaining siblings are inclined to sell only if it allows them to completely divest from the club.
Thus, conflicting reports emerge regarding the Glazers’ intentions to sell Manchester United. On one hand, it is true that they are open to a sale.
On the other hand, it is also true that they may have reservations about parting ways with the club. The concept of “The Glazers” represents a conglomerate of six individuals with varying and evolving interests, which can change from week to week, further complicating the situation.
The complex dynamics within the Glazer family and their differing preferences contribute to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the sale of Manchester United.
The divergent interests and shifting perspectives among the siblings create a fluid and unpredictable environment, making it challenging to reach a conclusive agreement. This intricate internal landscape of conflicting motivations adds another layer of complexity to an already protracted ownership saga.
Reports…Reports…Reports, whom do you trust?
According to Reuters, Manchester United and Sheikh Jassim are in advanced negotiations. According to reports, the Qatari prince is the club’s top choice and an exclusivity deal is imminent.
According to TimesSports, In a transaction that would value the team at close to £6 billion, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos are still the front-runners to take over at Old Trafford.
Then there is increase in Man United stocks
🚨 There's been a spike in Manchester United PLC stocks, which means NYSE have reacted to something they've heard about the takeover 👀🔴 pic.twitter.com/kpTVyfMcGK
Since the announcement in November, Manchester United has remained up for sale, with continued interest from Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
However, a preferred bidder has yet to be named, leaving the ownership situation in a state of uncertainty. The Glazer family, the current owners, have not responded to the latest bid, adding to the frustration surrounding the ongoing takeover process.
Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol has expressed his exasperation with the extended duration of the process, stating that it has “become a joke.” Bidders, including Sheikh Jassim, are reportedly growing increasingly frustrated and fed up with the prolonged nature of the negotiations.
Erik Ten Hag’s frustration due to lack of clarity
Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, is reportedly becoming increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with the Glazer family due to the protracted takeover of the club.
The delays caused by the ownership saga have had a direct impact on the footballing department, creating a sense of uncertainty and hindering crucial transfer deals.
One such affected transfer is the highly anticipated move for Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, which has been put on hold due to the ongoing takeover situation.
The uncertainty surrounding the ownership has made it difficult to progress negotiations and finalize the deal. Additionally, a similar hindrance has been experienced in the pursuit of Chelsea’s Mason Mount, further adding to the frustration.
Moreover, reports indicate that Erik ten Hag remains unaware of his transfer budget for the upcoming summer.
The lack of clarity regarding available funds for player acquisitions has further compounded the uncertainty and made it challenging for the manager to plan for the upcoming season effectively.
The Fans frustration
The frustration among Manchester United fans is palpable. Initially, there was widespread excitement and hope when the Glazer family hinted at the possibility of selling the club.
However, as time goes on without any concrete progress, many supporters are losing faith and becoming disillusioned, doubting whether the much-despised owners will actually depart.
Amidst the ongoing speculation, numerous reports have surfaced, often unverified and subsequently denied, suggesting that a deal with one of the interested parties is imminent.
Conversely, an equal amount of media coverage has been dedicated to questioning whether the Glazers even have the intention to sell. The uncertainty surrounding the owners’ true motives only adds to the frustration felt by fans, who are desperate for a change in ownership.
As the days pass and the start of the Premier League and Champions League seasons loom, the lack of preparedness on the part of the club becomes increasingly apparent.
Manchester United’s fans are concerned that the protracted takeover process has hindered the club’s ability to adequately plan and make necessary preparations for the upcoming campaigns.
The longer the ownership saga drags on, the more absurd the situation becomes, leaving supporters feeling apprehensive about the team’s readiness to compete at the highest level.
Manchester United staff concerned over job security
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the potential sale of Manchester United is not only affecting the fans but also causing concern among the club’s employees.
According to The Guardian, the lack of a resolution in the seven months since the Glazer family announced the possibility of a sale has left the 800-plus staff members in a state of worry and frustration.
The employees, ranging from various levels of staff and management, are in the dark about the progress of the takeover process. They have received no information or updates regarding the potential sale, leaving them unsure about their job security and future prospects.
The prolonged uncertainty has created a sense of unease and apprehension among the club’s workforce, as they await clarity on who will own Manchester United and what policies the new owners might implement.
The Ending Words!!!
The ongoing saga of Manchester United’s potential sale began with a statement from the Glazer family, and it will ultimately conclude with another statement, determining the fate of the club.
The crucial question that remains unanswered is who will issue that statement – will it be the new owners, heralding the dawn of a new era for the club, or the current owners, desperately attempting to retain control.