The Financial Times has confirmed that all six Glazer siblings will continue at Manchester United if Sir Jim Ratcliffe becomes the new owner of the club.
Sir Jim has been locked in what appears to be a two-way battle for control of the club after the Glazer family put it up for sale at the end of 2022.
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani is the other bidder.
During the third round of bidding, it was widely reported that Sir Jim’s bid was not for 100% ownership of the club but for a controlling stake, with the Glazers maintaining a minority stake of around 20% of the club.
Furthermore, there would be an agreement that would allow him to buy out the rest of their stake at a future date, effectively removing them altogether.
Today’s report from the FT has hit the headlines because it puts some flesh on the bones of this story, in particular, that all six Glazer siblings will retain a share.
In truth, it should matter little to fans whether two or six Glazers are involved if the percentage they own as a whole is still only 20% – a figure which is neither confirmed nor denied by the FT.
If anything, it is probably better that the rumoured 20% is divided into six as it will water down any one Glazer’s voting power.
What is perhaps more significant about the FT report is the revelation that the club’s rules stipulate that if any Glazer sells their Class B shares, they would automatically become Class A shares.
The class B shares are vital because they have significantly greater voting power than ordinary class A shares.
The FT states that “One possible solution is for the Glazers to vote through changes that would allow the B shares to pass over to Ratcliffe without turning into A shares, two people close to the process said.”
However, that change to the constitution of club could take some time, potentially causing further delays to the already protracted takeover process.
Indeed, the FT notes that “no deal is expected imminently.
“One person briefed on the meeting said Ratcliffe’s appeared to be the more serious of the two bids at this stage but that it still contained a number of issues that needed to be worked through.”
From a footballing point of view the ongoing saga is in danger of leaving Erik ten Hag and his team high and dry this summer, with no clear idea of transfer budget, strategy or chain of decision making.