The Glazer family has instructed banks to handle the sale of Manchester United after 17 years at the club.
The Raine Group will be the club’s financial advisor during the process. They helped Roman Abramovich handle the sale of Chelsea to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.
United released a statement on their website saying: “Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
“As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.
“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.”
Executive co-chairmen and directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, added: “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.”
Malcolm Glazer took over United in 2005 following a £790 million bid. However, fans of the club never welcomed him or his family.
Fan protests against the American family’s ownership have marred their time in England.
In May last year, protests forced the postponement of United’s Premier League match against Liverpool at Old Trafford.
In the same fixture in August this season, supporters marched to the stadium to protest.
One prospective investor is Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The INEOS boss signalled interest in buying the club months ago.
Ratcliffe recently claimed he would not be interested in a move to buy United. However, he also said he wouldn’t buy Chelsea before making a £4 billion bid.
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