Manchester United have issued a statement confirming that the club could be sold as the Glazers “consider all strategic alternatives.”
The news will be welcomed by Man Utd fans who have questioned the current owners’ commitment to the growth of the club, leading to multiple protests in Old Trafford.
There can be little doubt that the Red Devils have fallen behind their rivals in recent times and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was released on Tuesday, claimed he had seen no investment in infrastructure since he first left the club in 2009.
That, though, looks like it could finally be about to change.
“Manchester United plc announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club,” the statement read.
“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.”
The statement also confirmed that The Raine Group, who facilitated the recent sale of Chelsea, will be acting of the club’s financial advisers during the process.
The Glazer family gained full control of Man Utd in the summer of 2005, although it was primarily financed through loans secured against the club’s own assets, which was understandably hugely unpopular among the supporters.