A full takeover of Manchester United Football Club is likely, with the Glazer family believed to be willing to sell the club after 17 years as owners.
According to Miguel Delaney of The Independent, at least three consortiums are circling with a view to completing “the deal of the century.”
The most public of the prospective owners is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, for whom a spokesperson confirmed an interest in buying an initial stake in the club with a view to taking full control of United.
Ratcliffe has previously made his interest known, although the hard-line stance of the Glazer family has been prohibitive in the past.
While the club has never officially been up for sale, it is thought that the Tampa Bay owners would finally walk away if their $6bn valuation of the club is met.
Meetings have allegedly been taking place since May between brokers and wealthy would-be investors.
Whether they have discussed that $6bn valuation as a realistic bidding price or a matter to haggle over is unknown.
With Todd Boehly recently purchasing Chelsea FC for £4.25bn, a deal once thought to be impossible now appears probable.
The gigantic outlay of Boehly’s consortium for the London club is thought to have caused the Glazers to take notice, waking them up to the prospect of a mammoth sale themselves.
A “bizarre” late bid from Ratcliffe in the Chelsea sale may also have drawn their interest, with industry insiders viewing it as a “calling card,” signalling the Ineos founder’s intent to bid big for a Premier League club.
Ratcliffe’s seemingly bizarre late bid for Chelsea was seen by industry insiders as a calling card for #mufc – a notice of intent.
— James Robson (@jamesalanrobson) August 17, 2022
As a Manchester United fan with experience in the ownership of football clubs, Ratcliffe’s interest has been met with joy from supporters desperate for the removal of the parasitic hierarchy that has hamstrung the club.
SIR JIM RADCLIFFE – YES, YES, YES, YES, THIS IS WONDERFUL NEWS – I SAID FROM DAY ONE THE GLAZERS WILL BE GONE THIS TIME & THE GREAT JR IS THE MAN TO IT & IT'S HAPPENED!! Thank you to EVERY fan that believed this message, yr support has been magnificent.BRAVO!⚽️🙏👏👏👏👏👍👍⚽️
— Michael Knighton (@RealMKnighton) August 17, 2022
There will be a while to wait for fans, however, with the due diligence for a deal of this size likely to take around six months to complete once terms are settled and positions jostled for.
Nevertheless, this is the most positive news to have come for those who have suffered under the Glazer ownership these past 17 years.
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