Manchester United, one of the most valuable football teams in the world, will soon be auctioned off as its US owners prepare to receive bids for a potential sale, the team announced on Tuesday.
Members of the Glazer family, who have owned the team for nearly two decades, have hired a financial adviser to explore a full or partial sale, the club said. The Glazers, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, paid $939 million for Manchester United in 2005.
The Glazers are seeking new investment in the squad to help with stadium upgrades and business expansion, Manchester United have said. The club’s board “will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment in the club, sale or other transactions,” he said in a statement.
“We will assess all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximize the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future,” Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in a statement. . “Throughout this process, we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders and various stakeholders.”
It’s unclear what price the Glazers will ask for United. Forbes values the club at $4.6 billion. Manchester United, whose shares are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, posted a market value of $2.4 billion on Tuesday. The team’s stock price jumped 15% on Tuesday to $14.94.
In the 2020-21 season, Manchester United generated revenues of around $572 million, ranking it No. 5 in the world among professional clubs, according to Deloitte. Premier League arch-rivals Manchester City top the consultancy’s list, with revenue of $661m.
In May, a consortium of investors led by American businessman Todd Boehly reached an agreement to buy Chelsea FC, which like Manchester United play in the Premier League, for up to 4.9 billion of dollars.
Departure of Cristiano Ronaldo
News of a potential United sale comes just hours after Cristiano Ronaldo breached his contract with the club. His contract was due to expire at the end of this season, but he will now start looking for his fourth club in just over four years.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” the club said in a statement. “The club thanks him for his immense contribution over two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.”
The top scorer in men’s international football rejected a new offer from a Saudi club this year, but CBS Sports reported this summer that a rival suitor in Saudi Arabia may also be interested in his services if he leaves Manchester United.
A sale would be a welcome change for many Man United fans, who have become embittered over Glazers ownership. The famous club haven’t won a Premier League title since 2013.
Several billionaires are expected to come forward as potential candidates to buy the club. A wealthy person has already withdrawn from the race. Jim Ratcliffe, owner of British chemical company INEOS, said earlier this month that he would not bid for the team, the Associated Press reported.