The sale of Manchester United Football Club could set a landmark for football, should the Glazer family follow through with it.
A statement issued last week confirmed that the Tampa Bay family was prepared to sell the club and had instructed banks to handle any potential transaction.
Having suffered under the Glazer ownership for 17 years, the statement was welcomed by fans.
And Bloomberg reports that United will not be short of interested parties, even accounting for what will likely prove to be an unprecedented asking price.
When Chelsea was put up for sale earlier in the year there were over 250 interested parties, with Todd Boehly’s consortium eventually committing £4.25bn to the takeover.
With £1.75bn of that put towards investment into the club, the sale of Chelsea’s shares stands at £2.5bn – a record figure likely to be smashed by the sale of United.
“This deal has to be at a landmark valuation,” said Adam Sommerfield, a sports investment expert. “Clearly this is the leading light of football, probably sport overall.
“Everyone who is anyone is going to be looking at this very seriously.”
United’s global reach and revenue streams over the last few decades remain unparalleled in English football, and their lack of on-field success since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement is not expected to diminish the club’s valuation.
With the club a hugely attractive proposition for a number of buyers – among them Saudi Arabian capitalists and American private equity firms – fans can expect intense speculation surrounding the situation before United eventual owner becomes apparent.
It looks to be an ideal position that the Glazers currently occupy as they stand to make a monumental profit on their family’s takeover of the club back in 2005.
“They don’t really need to sell,” Sommerfeld said. “Looking at adding the brand value, I get to around £4.7 billion, but I think the Glazers would want to surpass that.”