One of Manchester United’s controlling shareholders, Avram Glazer, has sold a sizeable chunk of his stake in the club.
The Athletic’s Matt Slater reports that Glazer has put five million of his shares up for sale at a time when the stock price is at its highest in over a year. The transaction will net him around £70 million.
A week after Man Utd’s financial results confirmed how resilient they are, Avram Glazer puts 5m shares up for sale. Share price is over $20 for 1st time since Jan 2020, which means he’s looking at $100m return. Would take Glazer family stake from 78% to 74.9%. Still in charge. pic.twitter.com/MuWTBMvws3
— Matt Slater (@mjshrimper) March 11, 2021
The news comes on the back of United’s latest financial update released last week, which showed a £41 million profit despite an increase in debt.
Whilst this was the lowest profit over a six month period since 2017, it was still seen as a good result given the circumstances and the massive drop in revenue caused by the lack of gate receipts, lack of pre-season tour and closure of the megastore.
The Red Devils also benefitted from an increase in revenue due to Champions League participation, although this was partly offset by an increase in wages due to the players being entitled to their full salaries, having qualified for the Champions League (most of the squad have their salaries reduced by 25% if United are not in the UCL, which was the case in 2019/20.)
It is also seen as a good result in relation to many of United’s competitors, whose financials have suffered much more acutely due to the pandemic.
The second half of the year’s results are expected to be worse so it would appear that Glazer has taken the opportunity to cash in on a share price hike caused by good interim results.
As Slater points out above, Glazer’s sale only reduces the family’s majority ownership from 78% to 74.9% – now fractionally under three quarters. It is in that sense a drop in the ocean and does not dilute the Glazers’ power. However, it is a step in the right direction, however small, for those wishing to rid the family from control of the club.