The Glazers may well have shot themselves in the foot regarding the ongoing Manchester United takeover saga.
Reports emerged last week suggesting that Carlyle were deep in talk over an investment into the club that would allow the despised owners to remain in charge of the club.
And as reported by The Peoples Person, Gary Neville is adamant that talk of minority investors is being pushed by the Glazer family to put pressure on Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheik Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to up their offers.
He is certainly not alone in that opinion, and the timing of the reports – a week ahead of each bidding deadline – certainly seems convenient.
If the Glazers are indeed leaking stories in such a way, they went even further off the back of Neville’s comments, with news yesterday suggesting that the Tampa Bay family were becoming increasingly confident of remaining at Old Trafford.
But if the intention was to drive the price up by threatening to stay, it has surely backfired.
Yesterday saw Manchester United’s share price slump to a low of around $18.50, a decrease of around 11% from the previous day, as per Bloomberg.
It was, in fact, the lowest the share price has been since November, before the announcement that the club was up for sale, and a far cry from the dizzying $27 highs of February, when many thought a full sale was close.
If there was ever a more clear indication that the entire financial market sees the Glazers as a parasitic burden on the club and a huge detriment to its value, it is right there in black and red.
It is therefore unsurprising that, as reported by The Guardian, Sheik Jassim remains confident that his bid will be accepted. Ratcliffe is also unlikely to be moved by recent reports.
The Glazers seem keen to drag the sales process on while threatening to pull the plug, but at some point even they must realise that every moment they spend in charge of the club only decreases its value.
And while The Athletic earlier argued that climbing interest rates and global economic health could be a factor in scuppering a full sale, there appears to be little that the Glazer family can do to dig their way out of their current predicament. The club is far from financially healthy, and any investment group willing to hand money over to the current owners will only do so if they believe they can extract something from them in return.
Lacking the will, faith, or funds to arrest the slide, the Glazers just do not have any cards to play. They can sell the club now – for a gargantuan profit no less – or watch the asset deteriorate as direct result of their own association.
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