Glazers Considering Delaying Decision to Sell Manchester United
The Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, are considering delaying a decision on the potential sale of the Premier League club until after the end of the season, sources have told ESPN.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim have both lodged bids to buy United alongside U.S.-based investment groups, with American merchant bank Raine Group acting as intermediaries.
Though staff were previously told to expect “clarity“ on the ownership situation by May 2021, sources have claimed the Glazers may be planning to wait until after United‘s final Premier League game of the season against Fulham on May 28th as well as the FA Cup final against Manchester City on June 3.
“One of the reasons for the delay, according to one source, is that the Glazers are still trying to come to an agreement about their future with United, particularly because Joel and Avram Glazer are reluctant to give up their stake,” ESPN reported. Ratcliffe has proposed allowing Joel and Avram Glazer to remain as shareholders while taking control himself, while Sheikh Jassim has offered to purchase 100% of the club.
Raine Group will soon declare a preferred bidder, though pending protests by United supporters may factor into the Glazers‘ considerations.
An anti–Glazer demonstration in May 2021 caused United‘s Premier League fixture with Liverpool to be postponed after some fans made their way onto the pitch and into the dressing rooms.
And last month saw more than a thousand fans march from Manchester city centre to Old Trafford ahead of the home game against Aston Villa.
As Manchester United enters its final weeks of the season, the focus is on finishing as high as third or as low as fifth and securing Champions League qualification. Or, in other words, whether things are sorted out before the end of the season or not, the club will still be at the mercy of its performance on the field. As one source told ESPN, “A lot will depend on results.”
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