Avram Glazer was tracked down by Athletic journalists outside of the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar after France’s 2-0 win over Morocco in the World Cup semi-finals and was questioned over the current state of a potential sale of Manchester United Football Club.
When asked for an update on the sale, the co-owner replied, “It’s not necessarily a sale, it’s a process and we’re going forward with the process, so we’ll see what happens.”
The refusal to commit to a full sale will no doubt put a dampener on fans’ hopes for a Glazer-less United, but it is worth remembering that no company would announce the possibility of a sale unless it was very much on the table.
And while it does leave the door open for potential investors to come in for a partial stake in the club, previous attempts by the Glazers to negotiate such a deal have failed.
The Tampa Bay owner refused to be drawn to an answer over how many parties had made their interests known, instead only saying, “I’m here to really watch the World Cup but I appreciate your interest.”
The Athletic notes that Glazer was most likely with or a guest of either the Qatari state or an invitee of a commercial partner of either them or FIFA.
He Glazer family do have ties in the Near East, having bought a cricket franchise in United Arab Emirates’ T20 cricket league.
The aforementioned discussions over a partial stake in Manchester United were also with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
Perhaps in need or a thesaurus, Glazer had only this to add when pushed for an update on the ‘strategic alternatives’ the club were pursuing:
“That’s the update, it’s the process and the process is proceeding.
“Once again, I’m here to enjoy the World Cup but I appreciate your questions.”
There does not seem to be all that much clarity over the current state of United’s potential sale and while that could simply be due to the shroud of secrecy that often envelops deals of this magnitude, it perhaps also speaks to the fragmented nature of the Glazer family.
Avram and Joel are the most involved in the day-to-day running of the club, but it is known that they rarely see eye-to-eye with directors Kevin, Bryan, Edward, and Darcie, and even explored the possibility of buying out their sibling over the summer.
It could well be the case that the reason for so much ambiguity, both in the official statement and in Avram Glazer’s comments, is because the six siblings are not of a single mind regarding their desired outcome for Manchester United.
Several Glazers may want to cash out as quickly as possible, while others may want to wait on the chance of a higher price. Others yet may even insist on maintaining some level of control at the club.
Regardless, this is as close as United fans have ever been to seeing the back of the Glazers, having watched their club deteriorate over the past seventeen years.